How to Replace a Lamp Socket

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Sometimes you need to change a lamp socket either as an upgrade or to replace a faulty or old socket. This is a simple job that requires little electrical knowledge and only a few hand tools to complete.

Things You'll Need

  • New lamp socket
  • Screwdriver
  • Wire nuts
  • Wire strippers
  • Disconnect power to the lamp socket by turning off the switch or switching off the breaker.

  • Remove the screws holding the socket in place and let the socket hang by its wires.

  • Break the joints holding the lamp socket in place by removing the wire nuts. Once the socket is loose, replace the nut on the black wire remaining in the ceiling and dispose of the old socket.

  • Open the new socket box and inspect it to see how it attaches. Pull the wires out so they are accessible.

  • Start with the green ground wire and connect it to the ground hanging out from the ceiling by twisting the two wire ends together and covering with the wire nut used here previously. Repeat with the white wires, then with the black wires.

  • Push the wires back into the electrical box and attach the lamp socket to the ceiling using the fasteners that came with it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Test the socket before fastening it fully back into the ceiling so that if it does not work you can fix it before finishing the job.
  • Some lamp sockets do not have wires attached to them. In these cases the home wiring is affixed to the lamps using screws on the fixture itself. Simply loosen these screws to remove the lamp socket from the wires instead of breaking the joints described in Step 3.
  • Connect the black wire to the center pin of the lamp socket, not the outer pin. This makes the socket less likely to give someone a shock when changing the bulb.

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