How To Replace a Damaged Lamp Socket

Replacing damaged lamp socket

Replacing a damaged lamp socket is not necessarily a complicated job, though some lamps, depending on the style, can make it more difficult. Basic home tools should handle the job. Parts are usually available at the home stores and by following directions you can make your old lamp new again.

Possible parts needed:

  • Lamp shade risers
  • Harp
  • New lamp socket

Tools needed:

  • Screw driver (both Phillips and slotted type)
  • Long nose pliers
  • Side cutting pliers (side cuts)

Step 1

Unplug lamp and put on a work place where you have room to work. Remove lamp shade by twisting the lamp shade riser counterclockwise and setting both shade and riser aside for now.

Step 2

Remove lamp harp from lamp socket. You will normally see the harp connected to the socket base with compression couplets. Squeeze lamp harp between you fingers and pull upward and out of the socket base.

Step 3

With the lamp upright, take your long nose pliers and pull upwards from the top of the old lamp socket such that top of the socket pulls apart from the base of the socket, exposing the wire connections. Loosen the two screws, silver and brass, and remove the wires from under the screw heads.

Step 4

Unscrew the old lamp socket from the threaded pipe which passes through the lamp. You are now ready to install the new lamp socket. If you need more wire, remove felt pad on lamp bottom, loosen bolt founder underneath the felt, then you can pull additional wire through the lamp for the new socket.

Step 5

Take your long nose pliers and pull upwards from the top of the NEW lamp socket. The top of the socket should pull apart from the base of the socket exposing the wire connections.

Step 6

Now thread the lamp wires through the base of the new socket and then screw the new socket on the threaded pipe end which passes through the lamp. Make sure the bottom part of the harp is threaded on just below the base of the new socket.

Step 7

The new socket has two screws, one silver and one brass. The light cord will consist of two wires molded together. One side will have a ridge or a double ridge and the other won't have ridges. Terminate the ridge side of the wire to the silver screw, this is the neutral wire which matches the larger prong on the plug end. (called a polarized plug) . The smooth sided wire is the hot side. Check to see that each screw is snug but not over-tightened, that the wires are all under the screw head, and that the wires and the insulation are not damaged. If you reverse the connections you may get a shock when you touch the brass lamp socket when turning the light off and on. so make sure the hot side goes to the brass screw.

Attach lamp wires to the screw terminals in the new lamp socket base. If necessary cut away more of wire insulation to have enough length to go ¾ the way around the screw. Make sure you place the wire end under the screw with your long nose pliers and lay the wire clockwise under the screws and tighten the screws. If you put wire under counterclockwise they will spin off as you tighten the screws. Check to see that each screw is snug but not over-tightened, that the wires are all under the screw head, and that the wires and the insulation are not damaged.

Reinstall the top of the lamp socket into the bottom part, snug it down. Reinstall the harp into the socket with the compression couplets. Tighten the bolt on the bottom of the base, if you loosened it initially. Reinstall the top part of the harp into the compression couplets. Install the lamp shade riser and then the shade. Test the lamp and if all works, then reinstall the felt pad on the bottom of the lamp, if you needed to remover it earlier, and you are good to go.

 

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