Table lamp switches are designed to withstand heavy use, however, at some point every switch will fail. Although many people simply discard nonfunctioning lamps and buy new ones, it is just as easy to fix broken table lamp switches. Since the switch is part of the light socket, the way to repair the broken switch is to replace the entire light socket.
Removing Broken Table Lamp Switches
Unplug the table lamp and set it on a flat work surface. Remove the lampshade from the lamp and unscrew the light bulb from the socket.
Grasp the base of the metal light socket just under the table lamp switch and press in. Pull upward to remove the socket shell from the lamp. If necessary, insert the flat edge of a screwdriver under the bottom edge of the shell and pry upward to remove it.
The wires of the lamp should now be exposed but still attached. Cut the wires extending out of the bottom of the shell using scissors and throw away the broken socket.
Hold the lamp with one hand, and grasp the base of the socket at the top of the lamp with the other. Turn the socket base counterclockwise to remove it. It may be necessary to grasp the socket base with one pair of pliers and the lamp base with another pair of pliers to detach them from each other.
Connect the Wiring on Table Lamp Switches
To connect the wiring on the new light socket to the base, locate the two wires sticking out of the top of the lamp base. Insert the wires through the bottom of a new socket base and turn the socket base clockwise to screw it onto the lamp.
Locate the neutral wire on the lamp, which is the wire on the same side as the larger prong on the lamp plug. Insert the wire once around the silver screw on the bottom of the socket. Turn the screw one to two turns clockwise to secure the wire using the screwdriver.
Wrap the remaining lamp wire once around the other screw on the socket base. Tighten the screw with the screwdriver.
Reassemble the Table Lamp
Now that the new socket is installed it’s time to reassemble the table lamp. Push the wires up into a new socket shell, and push the socket shell down onto the lamp until it clicks into place. Re-insert the light bulb, and replace the lampshade.
Repairing table lamp switches is an easy repair project for any homeowner to do on their own. Not only will replacing the lamp light switch save antique lamps from the trash, but it will save money as well.