Monday, June 23, 2014

Floor Lamp Cord Replacement with Swivel Arm and Mogul Socket

Lighting is a personal choice and often we are asked to "fix" something that is not technically broken. No problem. Changing out lamp parts is similar to fixing them so we will include these types of "repairs" in this blog too.

This patient was brought in for a minor cosmetic procedure: change the cord to a clear gold lamp cord. This floor lamp has several unique characteristics about it. It has a swivel arm and mogul socket. The only part we will need for the repair is the clear gold lamp cord.

floor lamp with mogul socket and swivel arm

We start by making sure the lamp is unplugged and disconnecting the mogul socket. There are two flat head screws holding the mogul socket to its base. Then two screws holding the wire to the socket body. Note: Mogul sockets and porcelain sockets have porcelain bodies and steel bases not caps and shells like other lamp sockets.


mogul socket connected to lamp cord

Next we remove the end caps of the swivel arm. This gives us access to the lamp cord as it threads through the arm.

Bottom of Mogul socket and swivel arm caps

Using our small clamps we remove the wire from each joint in the swivel arm.



The old cord is pulled completely out of the swivel arm and through the lamp body and floor lamp base. The new gold cord is placed in the lamp base. We tie a loose knot in the base. Keep it loose so it can be adjusted until the end of the project.

Like the old cord came out, the new cord has to be carefully and slowly laced through the swivel lamp arm. Some key things to keep in mind are to keep the cord flat and do not allow it to get twisted, take your time, at each arm elbow and cap hole, pull extra slack in case you need it.



With the new cord pulled through the mogul socket base, we strip the wires and attached the cord to the socket body. The stripped wire attaches to the silver screw and the smooth wire to the brass screw.

Using the slack from the bottom of the socket, pull the cord tight so the socket body is close to the socket base. Tip: Use the socket key to align the socket body in the right orientation before its attached to the socket base. With the flat head screws, reattach the socket body to the base.

The socket is in place so the slack needs to pulled out of each point in the swivel arm. Use a firm grip and soft touch with pliers to pull the slack out. Remember the cord should not be twisted. Continue pulling the cord through each joint in the arm and finally the lamp body and lamp base. Tighten the knot in the cord base.


Place a mogul bulb in the mogul socket (or the appropriate bulb for the right socket). Plug the lamp in and make sure it works.

Finished! Total cost: <$3.50 Total time: <30 minutes