Friday, July 18, 2014

Small White Table Lamp with Plastic 3-Way Socket

This patient came in the other day complaining the socket wasn't working any more. It was a turn knob and the key would turn without making any contact inside the socket. Inspecting the lamp revealed it had some burns inside the socket. Might be from heat, over use, or too high wattage bulb. The socket interior needed to be replaced.

Notes: This is a 3-way socket: it can use a standard bulb or a 3-way bulb (high, medium, low). You can tell by looking at the inside of the socket and seeing the extra tongue. Single pole sockets only have one tongue making contact with the bulb.

This socket is called a bake-lite or phenolic socket (also called a plastic socket). They are easy to work on since the socket shell unscrews from the socket cap. After removing the shell from the cap we can see this socket interior is a quick connect type. We prefer the screw terminal type, so that is what we will replace it with.

We cut the wires from the bottom of the socket interior. The lamp cord is stripped about 3/8 inch on each cord, a UL knot is tied in the cord, and it is attached to the new socket interior. The ribbed wire connects to the silver screw and the smooth wire connects to the brass screw for polarity.

Pull the slack of the wire back through the lamp body so the socket interior sits firmly on the socket cap. Screw the socket shell back on the socket cap. This lamp is ready for a bulb and to be tested.

Easy peasy. Total Cost <$3.00 Total Time < 10 minutes