How to Fix a Lamp

Remember that with the lamp unplugged, you can’t get shocked.

To find out why the lamp doesn’t work, check these things:

1. Is the bulb burned out? Try a new one.

2. Is it getting current? Plug the lamp into another outlet on a different circuit. If it lights up, then you must determine if the outlet is bad or if the entire circuit is out.

3. While the lamp is plugged into a live circuit and the switch is turned on, wiggle the plug. If the light flickers, check the plug. If wires are loose, tighten them. If not, replace the plug. There are easy to replace plugs called quick-connects. There is no splitting or stripping. Just snip off the old plug, push the wire through the outer body of the new plug, and sharp points stab the insulation to make contact. The white wire should be on the side with the wider prong.

4. Test the cord by flexing it. If you get intermittent light, either change the cord or cut out the bad section. You can also use a continuity tester to find out if the cord is the culprit.

fix a lamp How to Fix a Lamp

5. After all that, if you haven’t found the problem you can probably assume that the socket is bad.

If you have to replace the socket, it may be an opportunity for you to replace the old one with a three-way socket. Of course, you need to have a 3-way bulb. Or, maybe you’d like a dimmer switch. They are all wired in just like the old one. Here are the steps:

1. Unplug the lamp and remove the bulb.

2. Remove the old socket from its base by pressing the outer brass shell with your thumb and forefinger. If it’s stubborn, pry with a screwdriver.

3. Remove the cardboard insulation sleeve.

4. Unscrew the two screws holding the wires.

5. Split and trim off the wires. Strip off about 3/4-inch of insulation. Tightly twist the strands on each wire to make it into one wire.

6. Before attaching the wires to the socket, tie an Underwriter’s Knot. This prevents stress from pulling the connections loose.

7. Curl each wire in a clockwise fashion so that when the screws are tightened, the wire is pulled into the screw.

8. Be sure to include the insulating sleeve as you put the pieces back together and snap it in place securely.


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