Thursday, March 30, 2017

Heavy Socket With Collar Repair

In this blog we have covered many socket repairs. The latest "technology" in lamp sockets is the screw collar style socket that connects the socket cap to the socket shell.

48243SB - 3-Way, Turned Brass Lamp Socket (E26)
48243SB - 3-Way, Turned Brass Lamp Socket (E26)

It is a good looking socket and can cost some real money to replace. We are all about being green and saving green so we will repair when it is an option. The other day a customer brought in this newer lamp with a screw collar type socket. They complained it stopped working and needed repair.

It looks good. No burns or worn places. The cord is polarized and in good shape. The only lamp part we can find wrong is the socket turn knob does not click. It just spins. Something inside the mechanical function of the socket has stopped working. We are going to fix this lamp, but only replace what is broken and not a penny more.

Most sockets snap together and have a PRESS marked on the socket shell to pry it from the socket cap. These sockets are a bit easier since they have a threaded collar connecting the cap and shell.

First, make sure the lamp is unplugged. Remove the harp from the harp base by pulling up the locking couplings and squeezing the tines together.

Then unscrew the collar on the socket. The collar hangs on the harp base while the socket shell is removed.

Pull the socket interior out from the socket cap. You might have to pull some slack from the cord or push extra cord up from the base. Unscrew the terminals holding the wire to the socket interior. (Some lamps might have a quick connect type socket interior. The wires on a quick connect should be cut close to the socket interior.) Remove the old worn socket interior.

Next, the new interior goes on the same way the old one came out. Simply revers the order of removal. The socket interior we are putting in this socket is a three-way socket to use with either 3-way bulbs or standard on/off bulbs.

Remember to properly connect the wires, the smooth wire connects to the brass screw and the ribbed wire connects to the nickel screw. If you pulled any slack up the socket for the interior, you will need to pull it back down the lamp. The harp is squeezed band clips back in the harp base.

Viola!! Complete repair in < 10 minutes  and costs < $

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

How to Cut or Trim a Candle Cover

Often we are asked about trimming down or cutting candle covers. Perhaps, you found a fixture at a yard sale and have some longer candle covers? Or maybe you ordered some online and they turn out to be too long for what you need. Cutting or trimming a candle cover is really easy to do.

Even though there are different materials of candle covers (plastic, paper, resin, etc) the process to trim them is really the same. I recommend using a hacksaw. The tiny teeth and firm grip give you the right balance for a smooth and even cut.

First, make sure your candle cover is not too brittle. Older candle covers can be really brittle from being baked next to a bulb for decades. Brittle candle covers will crack and not cut well.

Next, find an object to place in the candle cover to support the shape while you cut. We sometimes use a nut driver. Do not use your finger.

With support in place, you can start to hack. Remember to push and pull the saw and let the teeth do the cutting. Too much downward pressure will warp or smash the candle cover.

Now the candle cover is the right size, you will want to clean it up. Here you can use a knife, rag, bench grinder... whatever you prefer.

That is easy! You can use the same process for paper candle covers:

And resin candle covers:

It is just that easy.