Rewiring a Lamp

Intro

If the socket and the plug are ruled out as the cause of a lamp malfunction, then wiring must be the culprit. No matter what shape or size the lamp, the wiring is essentially the same: A cord runs from the plug to the socket. A multisocket lamp contains a sort of junction box, where the main cord is spliced to shorter cords that lead to individual sockets.

It is rarely a good idea to replace only part of a cord: The splice is unsightly, and the cord could be damaged elsewhere in the lamp. It's usually not much more work to replace the entire lamp cord.

Checklist

Time
About 1 hour to rewire a simple lamp

Tools
Continuity tester, lineman's pliers, strippers, screwdriver

Skills
Stripping wires and connecting them to terminals

Prep
Unplug lamp, remove bulb, and place lamp on a work surface.

Materials
Lamp cord with molded plug or a rewire kit containing a cord, electrician's tape

Lamp Rewire Kit

For little more than the cost of a cord, buy an entire rewire kit designed for your type of lamp. Besides a new socket, the kit contains small parts to replace those that might have deteriorated with age.

Rewiring Table or Floor Lamp: Step 1

Test wires for breaks in continuity. Attach a tester clip to the stripped end of the neutral (ribbed) wire and touch the probe to the wide prong of the plug at the other end. Repeat for the narrow prong and the hot (smooth) wire. If the tester does not glow for both, replace the cord.

Rewiring Table or Floor Lamp: Step 2

To replace the defective cord, begin by cutting the old cord. Strip about 1 inch off the ends of the old and new cord wires. Form hooks on all four wire ends and splice the old to the new in a splice that is thin enough to slide through the lamp. Wrap tightly and smoothly with electrician's tape.

Rewiring Table or Floor Lamp: Step 3

Feed the new cord into the base of the lamp while pulling the old cord through the top. Keep pulling until the new cord emerges. If rewiring a floor lamp, have a helper feed the cord into the base. Separate the cords and discard the old one. Attach the new cord to the socket.


Comments (3)
7513863501
nlblithe wrote:

I woke up this morning and my night table lamp's cord is loose (the lamp won't stand due to the cord, bulb, and shade leaning over) How do I tighten everything to keep it "together".

7/26/2012 07:49:46 AM Report Abuse
lfebo wrote:

I bought an older lamp that was re-wired but when u put it on it sometimes goes off and sometimes wont go on.I took it apart and the cord is new. What should I be looking for?

8/17/2010 09:50:46 AM Report Abuse
tmgriff249 wrote:

I need on that shows a ground wire for outside use.

6/26/2010 05:35:11 PM Report Abuse
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