Lamp Socket Assembly

William Machin

Over time, the electrical contacts in light sockets on table and floor lamps can wear thin, and the light bulb may flicker or not illuminate at all. If the electrical cord and plug are in good shape, you can save the cost of a new lamp by assembling and installing a new light socket yourself.

For pull-chain sockets, detact the tip and feed the chain through the hole in the lamp.

A quick trip down the lighting aisle at your local hardware store or home center and you'll have your lamp working like new.

  1. Unplug the power cord for the lamp from the electrical outlet. Remove the lampshade and the light bulb. Unscrew and remove the light-switch knob at the side of the socket.

  2. Place the lamp on its side, and pry out the small rubber grommet where the cord goes into the base of the lamp, using a small screwdriver. String the cord out straight so it can rotate and slide when the socket is removed.

  3. Unscrew the light socket counterclockwise from the lamp and pull it out about 3 inches. Rotate it clockwise several times to untwist the cord. Unscrew and remove the small screws that attach the upper portion of the socket where the bulb installs to the lower portion. Pull the socket apart.

  4. Pry out the cardboard gasket that covers the electrical contacts in the lower portion of the socket. Loosen and remove two contact screws where each of the strands of the electrical cord attach inside. Grip the cord just below, and pull off the lower half of the light socket.

  5. Remove the light-switch knob from the new light socket. Remove the small screws that attach the upper end lower portions of the new light socket. Pry out the small cardboard gasket from the lower section of the socket, using the screwdriver. Save all of these.

  6. Feed the ends of the electrical cord though the hole in the bottom of the lower section, and attach each strand securely onto one of the contact screws. Fit the cardboard gasket firmly into place to cover the contacts.

  7. Fit the upper portion of the socket onto the lower portion, and align the holes in each where the screws were removed. Install and tighten the saved screws.

  8. Pull on the electrical cord near the base of the lamp until the lower end of the socket can be screwed into the lamp. Rotate the socket several turns counterclockwise, then screw it clockwise into the lamp. Tighten it so the hole for the light-switch knob aligns with the hole in the lamp where the old knob was removed. Screw in and tighten the light-switch knob.

  9. Untwist the power cord near the base of the lamp and fit the saved rubber grommet around the cord and into the base of the lamp. Screw a light bulb into the socket and reattach the lamp shade. Plug in the electrical cord at the outlet.

  10. Tip

    To install a socket that has a two-way switch that pushes from either side, fit one end into the hole in the lamp, push that end and fit the other end into the hole at the other side of the lamp.