Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bridge Floor Lamp Cord Replacement

A customer brought in this patient the other day and said they are the new and proud owner of the lamp. They wanted to make sure it was safe to use since it had some age. We wanted to do an inspection and replace any parts that might cause some concern.

This is a bridge arm floor lamp with a fixed shade mounted just below the swivel. Most bridge arm lamps have UNO threaded socket shells and an UNO fitter shade, but there is nothing wrong with this style either. The owner liked the shade, so we were not going to change it.

The inspection of this lamp is mostly visual. We look at the cord and socket. Then we pull the chain on the socket and feel for the resistance and listen for the proper clicking sound. The socket sounds and feels good. The cord is not polarized so it will need to be changed. When changing the cord, we will get a better look at the socket interior. The only lamp part we need so far is a new polarized lamp cord. For this lamp we will use a 12 foot black cord set.

First thing we do is lay this lamp on the work bench. Next we remove the socket shell from the socket cap. Most sockets have a "PRESS" mark on the shell where you can use a flat head screw driver to carefully pry the shell from the cap.

Next we pull some cord slack up to the socket interior so the cord can be removed from the screw terminals on the socket interior.

With the socket interior removed, we can complete our inspection. Earlier we mentioned the socket felt good and sounded good. Now we have visually make sure the socket is in good working order. Things to look for would be loose parts near the pull chain; any burnt materials inside the socket would be cause for concern; if the center prong were black and crisp, we would not want to reuse the socket interior. This socket interior looks as good as it sounds. The next thing to look at with the socket disassembled is the socket insulator. These are cheap and sold separately. Thing to look for are chipping, discoloration, and brittleness. The insulator for this lamp is in good shape.

With the new cord in hand we are ready to put this lamp back together. Fortunately this lamp's body is solid. There are no columns, necks, breaks, or arms to feed the new cord through. There are only two wholes in the bridge arm then we feed the cord through the socket cap at the swivel.

Using our handy clamps, we pull the cord through the lamp socket cap.

Next a UL knot is tied in the cord.

The stripped wire is placed on the screw terminals of the socket interior. The smooth wire goes on the brass screw and the ribbed wire goes on the nickel screw. Using the clamps, we make sure the wire is tightly placed around the screw in a clockwise direction before the screw is tightened.

The cord slack is pulled back up through the socket cap so the socket interior is seated close to the socket cap. The socket shell is snapped back in place.

The cord slack from the socket is pulled back through the lamp's bridge arm.

A bulb is added, and this lamp is tested.

Meow this lamp is purrrfect. Total Cost < $5.00 Total Time < 30 minutes

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