Thursday, June 12, 2014

Floor Lamp with Busted Cluster Top

A great looking floor lamp came in the shop the other day with a loose cluster top and needed some updated wiring and insulators. This lamp has not been updated in years. It has an old lamp cord and lamp plug and old sockets. The parts used in this repair include a 12 foot brown lamp cord, 2 paper socket insulators, 1/4-27 flat head finial screw, plated steel locking washer, and a bamboo shaped shade riser. All of the other lamp parts will be reused.

First thing to do is unplug the lamp. There is a set screw in the cluster of some older lamps: remove the screw and pop open the cluster. The cluster top has a bad finial thread so we will use the flat finial screw and locking nut in the cluster cap.

After inspecting the lamp cord we notice there is a some visible wear on the cord and the plug is not polarized. Our new cord has a molded polarized plug. With the cluster cap off we remove the wire nuts, untie the knot, and pull the cord through the lamp body. Push the new cord through the lamp body. Tip: Lay the lamp on its side and go slow. A UL knot is tied in the cord and the ribbed wire connects to the black wires, the smooth wire connects to the white wires.

Next we remove the socket shells from the socket caps. Most socket shells are marked "Press Here" by the pull chain or push thru where a flat head screw driver can carefully pry loose the socket shell. All you need is to loosen one side and rock the shell back and forth until it comes off. Here we want to inspect the socket insulators. This lamps insulators are shot. One of them crumbles out and the other one is burnt.

The socket interiors are in good shape. They are porcelain and the pull chain mechanism is working well so we will leave them in the lamp. The socket shells get clipped in the socket caps. Tip: The pull chains should be on opposite sides of the cluster and facing out. We tuck the wires in the cluster body and replace the cluster cap.
Add some bulbs and plug it in. The lamp is ready for many more years of service.
Total cost: <$17.00 Total Time: < 30 minutes

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