How to Repair a Faulty Lamp

Most of us tend to throw away that lamp that has a loose socket that causes it to flicker on and off, it may be difficult to turn on or off, or it just may not turn on at all. Instead of throwing it away why not replace the socket yourself and give that lamp a new life. You will find that replacing a socket in a lamp is so easy that even if you do not like the lamp you can fix it and give it to your bossy sister.

Finding and purchasing replacement parts for your lamp is as easy as going to your home center or hardware store. Lamp cord can be purchased by the foot, and you can use any type of plug to replace an old one.  These parts are considered to be standard parts.

Lamp socket switches come in a variety of styles. You have seen them, the ones that are controlled by pushing a short shaft on the side of the socket, others that turn a knob, and another by a pulling a chain. Another consideration is whether your current lamp uses what is called a three-way bulb; if it does you will need to purchase a socket switch that is designed to control it.lamp light socket in need of repair

The easiest ways to find the correct replacement parts for your lamp is by taking the lamp apart and bring them with you to the home center or hardware store and find the same replacement parts.

In order to replace a lamp socket, follow these steps:

  1. Unplug the lamp.
  2. Remove the shade, bulb, and harp (the wired shape that holds the shade).
  3. Snap off the socket shell from the socket shell cap.

Many sockets will have the word PRESS that is stamped in two places on the shell. Squeeze the shell at those points that are stamped PRESS and pull up to remove it. If the shell does not move, push the end of a screwdriver in between the base of the socket and the side of the shell and then pull the shell up and off the socket base.

  1. Pulling the socket switch up and out of the shell base to expose enough of the switch so you are able to see the two wires that are attached to it.

If you find that the screws are loose, tighten them back up and reassemble the lamp. These loose screws may have been the only problem with this lamp. If you find that the lamp works great after you tighten up these screws, fantastic! If not, start all over again and take it apart and proceed with the next steps.

  1. Unscrew the wires.

A lamps switch has two screws; a brass screw that a black (hot) wire is attached to and a silver screw that a white (neutral) wire is attached to. Lamp cords, however, do not have colored wires in them. Keep in mind that before you remove the wires from the old switch remember what color screws each wire is connected to.

  1. Loosen the socket cap set screw, next unscrew and throw it away along with the old shell and socket.
  2. Screw the wire leads onto the new socket.
  3. Place the new socket shell over the socket, pushing the cover down until it snaps into the new socket shell cap.
  4. Replace the harp, bulb, and shade
Posted in Local Electrician Blog

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