Friday, June 13, 2014

Failed Keyed Socket on Antique Style Lamp

Early style lamps had burners, wicks, fonts, chimneys, shade holder rings and glass shade. In the early 20th century electricity was proving to be reliable, safe, and odorless. Many lamps were converted from oil or kerosene burners to electric burner/sockets.
A patient came in the office the other day and complained of a bad socket. This lamp is styled like an older lamp with a shade holder ring and gallery for holding a chimney. It is beautiful, but I don't think this lamp was ever an oil lamp Tip: The fonts of oil lamps holds oil and should be a solid structure. This lamp has a cord running through the font with a hole in the bottom.
Back to the repair. We spin the socket key clockwise and there is no resistance. The socket's switch mechanism has failed so we will need to replace the socket interior. The only lamp parts we need is the replacement keyed socket interior.
First we try to remove the socket key by turning the key counter clockwise. With no resistance, the key does not unscrew. Using a small clamp, we clamp the key shaft inside the gallery and unscrew the key.

The key unscrews and we remove the socket shell from the socket cap. For help on removing the socket shell, see Common Repair Tips. Turning the lamp on it side we can see the bottom and pull some cord slack through the base. This allows us to pull the socket interior up and get access to it.


We replace the socket interior making sure to keep the UL knot, wire the ribbed wire to the silver screw and the smooth wire to the brass screw. Pull the cord slack back through the base so the socket interior is firmly on the socket cap. We attach the socket key to the interior as a guide for the direction of the socket.
The socket shell is snapped back into place. A bulb is placed in the socket. The lamp is plugged in and we test it.
Success! Total cost: <$3.00 Total time: < 10 minutes