How to Replace a Lamp Socket

Table lamp turned on
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-50
What You'll Need
Wire stripper
Electrical tape
New lamp socket
What You'll Need
Wire stripper
Electrical tape
New lamp socket

A lamp socket can fail over time, and that can be an annoyance. Do not throw away the lamp because it is an easy repair, and this article will show you how.

Step 1 - Safety and Preparation

The first thing you need to do is to unplug the lamp. Even if it is dead, trying to replace a lamp socket with it plugged in can still be dangerous. Remove the lamp shade and the light bulb from the lamp and the socket. At the base of the lamp will be a bundle of wires formed in a knot which you can untie.

Step 2 - Remove the Lamp Socket

You can now remove the harp (the rod the lamp shade sits on). Grip the socket shell and gently rock it as you pull upward. After a little effort it will pop off. You'll be able to see the wires screwed to the lamp socket. Use the screwdriver to loosen the screws (don't remove them) and remove the wires. Put the old socket off to the side. There will be a screw securing the base, which you have to remove, and then you can remove the socket base.

Step 3 - Install the Lamp Socket

Gold clamp light

Cut the wires from the lamp and strip away about an inch of the casing. Split the wires without damaging the casing. Slide the captive ring over the wires. Loosen the screws on the socket and wrap a wire around each screw and tighten. Wrap electrical tape around them.

Step 4 - Finish the Installation

Replace the socket shell and screw the new lamp socket into the ring. Tighten the screw lock. Tie the base wires, install the harp, bulb, and shade.

  • Step 2

    Remove the lampshade and harp (the rod the shade rests on).

  • Step 3

    Rock the socket shell covering back and forth to pull it off.

  • Step 4

    Loosen the screws to disconnect the wires from the old socket.

  • Step 5

    Loosen the screw that holds the base in place and remove the socket base from the lamp.

  • Step 6

    Snip off the end of the wire that goes through the lamp and strip three-quarters of an inch of insulation off the end. Split about two inches of the wire, taking care not to cut through the insulation, to have two ends, just as before.

  • Step 7

    Slide the captive ring over the wire before you install the new socket.

  • Step 8

    Loosen the screws on the new switch, and wrap one end of the wire around a screw and tighten, then the other. Wrap both with electrical tape.

  • Step 9

    Slide the socket shell back into place and screw the new socket into the captive ring, tightening the lock screw so that everything fits nice and tight.

  • Step 10

    Plug lamp in and test.

  • Step 11

    Tie a knot at the base of the lamp in the wire where it leaves the lamp.

  • Step 12

    Reattach the harp and lampshade.