Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Floral Table Lamp Needs New Socket and Harp

A customer brought in this lamp the other day and asked us to wire a new socket and harp on the lamp. We noticed some odd things on the lamp and agree it could use some new parts.

Lesson 1: Know Your Lamp Anatomy

This lamp to the untrained eye might seem a little dated but otherwise completely functional. Here are some trouble spots: unused side outlet in socket cap and uni-body lamp harp.

Socket side outlets have a purpose: allow lamp cord to bypass the lamp body. Some bottle lamps or urn lamps might not have a hole through the lamp body to run a cord and need a side outlet socket. This lamp has a threaded rod from the base of the lamp for the cord, so the side outlet is strange.

Crimped harps to bases are common in older lamps. They never thought the shade would be replaced and a different harp size might be needed. Today's harps have a saddle on the bottom and the top of the harp can be changed easily depending on the harp size needed.

Lesson 2: Make a List

Nothing worse than finding out your morning run to the hardware store was wasted from an incomplete list, or your latest online order for parts need more items so you have to wait for delivery. Making a list helps eliminate the time wasting errors.

For this lamp, we will only need the following lamp parts: socket cap, brass plated harp, and a new lamp cord. We will reuse the socket interior, socket shell, neck, threaded rod, and the rest of the lamp.

40300 - Leviton Brand Socket Cap

12758 - 9" harp, brass plated, regular weight

46717 - Unfinished Brass Color Lamp Cord Set
Lesson 3: Remove Old Parts

With the lamp unplugged, you will want to pry the socket shell from the socket cap. Pull the socket shell off the socket interior and unwire the lamp cord from the screw terminals.

Untie the UL Knot and pull the lamp cord down through the base of the lamp.

Remove the old socket cap and the old harp base from the threaded rod.

 Lesson 5: Reassemble The Lamp

Going in reverse order from the disassembly, the new lamp parts go back on the lamp is similar order. First, the new harp saddle and socket cap go on the threaded rod. Make sure the harp saddle is oriented so the face of the lamp is in front.

Push the new lamp cord up through the threaded rod to the socket cap.

Tie a UL Knot in the lamp cord.

Attach the socket interior to the lamp cord. For polarity, the smooth wire connects to the brass screw and the nickel screw connects to the ribbed wire. Pull any cord slack from the lamp base and seat the socket interior on the socket cap.

Slide the socket shell over the socket interior and snap it into the socket cap. The socket shell should fit snugly in the cap and not have any wiggle room or movement.

Add a bulb and test the lamp.

Complete! Total time < 30 minutes Total Cost < $15

Friday, October 13, 2017

Adding a USB Charging Port To a Lamp

In a previous post, we rewired this Mid-Century table lamp. The job included new sockets, lamp cord, plug, and felt. After the job was complete the owner decided to add a USB charger to the lamp base. This allows you to charge a phone, tablet, camera with your lamp and not tie up another plug or have to use a long cord.

The only lamp part we need for this is the USB adapter itself.

48472 - Table Lamp USB Charger for Cell Phones, Tablets, Etc.
You are reading a blog on lamp repair so you can also consider re-purposing an old phone charger. This might involve some soldering and delicate wiring, but is an option. An important note to consider is this really only works for lamps with hollow bases or some cavity to hide a charger.

For this old table lamp we will turn  the lamp on its side and peel back the felt bottom. Pick a spot on the lamp base to add the USB outlet and mark accordingly.

Next, you will need to connect the wires from the adapter to the lamp wires. This lamp is a prime candidate with its large hollow base and the preexisting wire nut connection. The USB charger uses the same power source as the lamp sockets. The pigtails wire directly in the wire nut connection. For our lamp, the black wire from the adapter connects to the smooth lamp wires and the red cord connects to the ribbed wires.

Using a cutting tool like a Dremel, cut the hole in the lamp base. Connect the charging side of the USB adapter to the lamp. Tuck in the charger body and replace the felt bottom.

Plug in the lamp; plug in the electronics.

Viola! Since the charger is on the wall side of any switch, the charger works even when the lamp is not on.

Total Cost < $25.00 total time < 1 hour