Renew a Table Lamp With a New Socket

2 Materials
15 Minutes

Replacing a socket after a switch gets worn is a good idea for safety, and not that hard to do

A retired lady at church asked me to repair some lamps for her, so I made this one a project to post. She had already removed the harp (the hoop that holds up the shade)

Obviously NEVER work on a lamp plugged in.

The sockets snap together. Un-snap the socket halves, they just pull apart. (Go buy the new socket first, it's a good lesson on how they go go together : ). After they come apart I always mark the hot wire, it's the smooth one. The neutral wire is ribbed.

Here I have unscrewed the old parts from the lamp, the harp base and the lock nut are off to the right, along with the new unassembled socket.

I put the harp base on, the lock nut, and then screwed on the base of the socket. You will thread the wires through each of these parts.

The top half of the socket will be in three parts: An aluminum socket with plastic base (seen here), a cardboard insulating sleeve, and a metal shell. Wrap the neutral ribbed wire around the silver screw and tighten down snugly.

Here you can see all of the wire is under the screw.

Wrap the smooth hot wire around the brass screw and tighten as well.

Gently rotate the socket down towards the base to take up the slack of the wires. DO NOT OVERTWIST! Also - be sure that you orient your switch so that it does not get blocked / interfere with the harp for your lamp shade.

Slide the cardboard insulating sleeve and metal shell down over the socket and snap onto the base. Make sure everything fits firmly into place.

Time for the test! I test mine on an outlet strip, giving me the added safety of a remote switch the first time. BE CAREFUL! It's live electricity. If you have any doubts, find a friend that has electrical experience.

Returned home to it's rightful place, and ready for nightfall. I hope this helps someone give an old lamp a 2nd chance : )

Suggested materials:

  • Lamp socket (($7)   (Ace Hardware)
  • Screwdriver   (Ace Hardware)

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  • William William on Dec 02, 2020

    Great instructions for anyone who never replaced a lamp socket. I like to tie a knot in the wires before attaching the new socket. Prevents any chance from the wires disconnecting in the base or being stressed from pulling the cord or when moving the lamp.

    • See 1 previous
    • Jim Cox Jim Cox on Dec 03, 2020

      And for those of you that get a lamp with a cord that's not secure, tie a knot just below the socket like the picture below so It can't pull loose from the screws : ) - Thx William