How to Repair a Lamp Socket

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Repair your lamp's socket and continue to enjoy it for years to come.
Repair your lamp's socket and continue to enjoy it for years to come. (Image: lamp image by Bube from Fotolia.com)

Many times a lamp will break at the switch. Turning the lamp off and on each evening can wear the switch out in the socket. Knowing how to repair a lamp socket can save your lamp and keep it from decorating a land fill. Repairing a lamp socket is a minor and inexpensive repair that you can do and salvage the lamp that you once thought might never light again. So fix it rather that toss it and enjoy many more years with your lamp.

Things You'll Need

  • Screw driver
  • Interior lamp socket

Unplug the lamp from the wall. Remove the lamp shade and light bulb and move the lamp to a level work surface that is large enough for you to work on your lamp comfortably.

Remove the lamp harp. The lamp harp holds the lamp shade onto the lamp. It is attached to the lamp harp base by tension placed on the harp base by the harp. Grasp both sides of the lamp harp and squeeze the sides toward each other to release the tension off of the harp base, allowing you to lift it up out of the harp base.

Remove the exterior socket off of the lamp. Grab the exterior socket and pull straight up and out of the lamp socket base to expose the interior socket. The interior socket is also the switch and the area the light bulb screws into the lamp.

Disconnect the interior socket from the lamp. Grab the interior socket and gently pull the socket up and away from the socket base to expose the wiring. Loosen the two screws on the interior socket and remove the wires from beneath the screws. Discard the interior socket.

Install a new interior socket. The lamp wires can only be told apart by the way they feel. The ribbed wire connects to the aluminum screw. The smooth wire connects to the copper screw. Tighten both screws to hold the wires securely in place.

Grab the lamp cord at the base of the lamp and pull it out and away from the lamp. This will remove any slack in the lamp wire and allow the interior socket to set against the socket base.

Slide the exterior lamp socket over the interior socket and push it firmly into the socket cap.

Replace the lamp harp, the light bulb and the lamp shade. Plug your lamp back into the wall.

Tips & Warnings

  • To avoid electrical shock, never work on any electrical appliance while it is plugged into the wall.

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