Lamp Repair

This is not my friend’s garage sale!

Recently I helped a dear friend with her garage sale.  A friend’s garage sale is always the best place to make great finds…they usually like the same things we like.

She had a cute little brass lamp that had a broken on/off switch.  She was about to toss it when I asked if I could have it.  I had had a few lamps and chandeliers re-wired, but I had not attempted this repair myself.

Cute lamp in need of repair.

I headed to Lowe’s with the mission of purchasing a lamp re-wiring kit.  Instead I ran into a knowledgeable Lowe’s employee who recommended that I just purchase the 3-Way Knob Socket replacement (about half the price of the re-wiring kit).

The on/off switch had broken off.

Pointers that he mentioned:

  1.  The electrical cord has a smooth edge and a ribbed edge.
  2.  The ribbed side gets tightened under the silver screw.  The smooth side gets tightened under the gold screw.
  3. I might be able to replace the screw on the switch or the socket without having to change the base.
All that I need to fix the problem!

Armed with the directions from the socket replacement I purchased, I gathered two small screw drivers and a pair of needle-nosed pliers with a built-in wire cutter.   First I checked the cord and plug to make sure they were in good shape.

Preparing to repair the lamp.

Having passed inspection, I then checked to see if the new on/off switch would screw onto the old on/off switch.  It would not, as the screw diameters were different.

The old socket.

I then removed the socket shell, insulation sleeve and socket.  The base was in fine condition and the new socket fit into it, so I did not switch the new and the old bases out.

Old parts that were replaced.

I could not find the ribbing on the electrical cord.  The directions said it could be white, ribbed, have silver strands or a color tracer on the side of the wire that needed to go under the silver screw.  To be safe, I compared to the two sockets.  They were exactly the same, so I put the wires that were under the silver screw under the new silver screw, repeating for the gold screw.

New socket in place with a on/off switch that works!

Afterwards, I added the new socket, insulation sleeve and socket shell.  I then screwed the black on/off switch onto the new screw.

A working lamp…yay!

I did not have the appropriate 3-way wattage bulb on hand, but a regular bulb proved that I did it correctly!  I LOVE my new little lamp.  The brass is so in style and the shape is perfect.  I tested the “look” with this suede shade from another small table lamp.

This looks lovely!

If you are not sure of the various parts of a lamp, Google “parts of a lamp” and you will find several good descriptions or click here.

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