Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Porcelain Urn Lamp with Roses and Broken Socket

A customer brought in this porcelain lamp the other day and said they wanted it fixed. The socket had come loose and was hanging from the lamp. The customer said the lamp was special and wanted to update the socket with a solid brass turn knob socket.

Cue theme song: Welcome to Antique Lamp Supply. These are real lamps with real issues. What you are about to witness is not a miracle but simple, pragmatic lamp and lighting repair. With the right tips and techniques, you can and should try this at home.

Cut back to the lamp: First thing, we need to do for any lamp repair is a simple inspection and make a list of all the lamp parts needed for the repair. In addition to the new socket, we will also need a new cord set with a molded polarized lamp plug.

This lamp is partially disassembled. Knowing we are not going to reuse the cord or socket, the cord is cut just below the socket and pulled out the lamp body.

Pulling the cord out of the lamp we find a threaded neck. This is the piece that came loose from the bottom of the socket. It is a decent choice considering

  1.  we are working with porcelain and do not want to tighten the threaded rod with a mechanical tool (wrench), 
  2.  it has a wide surface area at the top so the pressure is disbursed on the porcelain.

With the lamp completely disassembled and the cord removed we start to put things back in order. First, we push the lamp cord up the lamp in the same path it came out. Remember the threaded neck!

Next, we prepare the socket cap and harp base. Since nothing is wrong with the neck or threaded rod, we will reuse them.

Using a premium socket and screw collar cap and shell, remember the collar goes below the socket cap.

Tighten the neck below, inside the lamp, on the threaded rod. Pull the lamp cord up the socket. Attach the socket interior to the lamp cord by tying a UL Knot in the cord. The smooth wire connects to the brass screw and the ribbed wire connects to the nickel screw for polarity.

The socket shell slips over the socket interior and the screw collar secures the socket close.

A bulb is added and the lamp is tested.

Back to great. Total cost <$30 Total time <20 minutes

End scene. Roll credits.

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