How to Rewire an Old Lamp

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How to Rewire an Old Lamp
Get an old lamp working again. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Find the perfect lamp at an old antique shop or car boot sale? If the owner says that it doesn't work any more, chances are it simply needs to be rewired. Learning to rewire an old lamp isn't difficult if you take the process step by step, and the end result is a beautiful addition to your home.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Old lamp
  • Wire cutters
  • Electrical tape
  • Wire strippers
  • Rewiring kit, including a new cord and quick clamp plug

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    Prepare the lamp

  1. 1

    Clean the lamp thoroughly. Dust and dirt can only get in your way when you are rewiring.

  2. 2

    Replace anything that is broken on the lamp. Broken pieces can cut your hands while you are working.

  3. 3

    Remove the light bulb and lampshade to avoid damaging them and to give you a clear view of the work you are doing.

  4. 4

    Pull the old wire out from one end, which will drag the new wire along with it so that it is in the correct path. If you find resistance, you may need to disassemble the lamp.

  5. 5

    Remove electrical tape and discard the old wire and any fixtures you have replaced.

  6. 6

    Split the ends of the new wire so that you have 7.5 to 12.5 cm (3 to 5 inches) of separate conductors with which to work.

  7. 7

    Strip about 2.5 cm (1 inch) of the insulator from the end of each wire using a wire stripper tool and twist the wires in each end together.


  1. 1

    Purchase a rewiring kit. It should come with the hardware you need as well as a new cord.

  2. 2

    Cut the old cord a 7.5 cm (3 inches) below the base of the lamp.

  3. 3

    Use electrical tape to attach the new cord to the stub end of the old cord.

  4. 4

    Loosen the socket's screws and terminal screws and replace hardware if necessary.

  5. 5

    Working in a clockwise pattern, loop the stripped wire under the corresponding terminal screw. Tighten the screws, which will pull the wire taut and clip any excess wire.

  6. 6

    Replace hardware as originally found on lamp and add a quick clamp plug to the other end of the wire if necessary.

Tips and warnings

  • Follow the directions found in your rewiring kit for the best results.
  • Unplug the lamp before beginning the rewiring.

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