How to Rewire a Two Socket Lamp

Updated February 21, 2017

Lighting is an important component to any household. Table and floor lamps offer lighting versatility. Table lamps are ideal for reading, while floor lamps can brighten up a dark corner. They can be placed virtually in any area of your home. Finding the right lamp for your decor may lead you through flea markets and antique stores. Do not turn away from the lamp that needs repairs. Knowing how to rewire a two-socket lamp, or any lamp, can turn trash into a family heirloom.

Remove the lamp from the wall outlet and move it to a large, sturdy work surface.

Remove the lamp harp by squeezing the sides toward each other and lifting it up and out of the lamp-harp base. Remove the bottom from the base of the lamp. Lamp bottoms are normally covered with heavy felt or paper and peel off the base.

Pull both of the socket covers off the sockets to expose the interior sockets and the wiring. Loosen the screws on the interior sockets and remove the wires from beneath the screws. Set the interior socket aside.

Disconnect the lamp wires located inside the base of the lamp. Remove the wire connectors holding them together and pull the wires apart.

Remove and install the new lamp cords. Locate the wiring where the sockets connected. Wrap electrical tape around the old and new lamp cord at one socket, connecting them together. Grasp the cord inside the base of the lamp and pull out the old cord with your hand. While pulling out the old cord, you are replacing it with new lamp cord. Leave at least four inches of lamp cord exposed at the socket and six inches at the base. Repeat this for the second lamp cord at the remaining socket.

Remove the base cord and plug from the bottom of the lamp. Grasp the plug end of the wire and pull it from the lamp base.

Install the new plug and base cord. Use a pre-wired base lamp cord with the plug already attached. This is just as cost effective as installing a plug on the lamp cord yourself and will save you some time. A pre-wired plug and base cord is already stripped of insulation and ready to install. Pull the new base cord into the lamp base through the hole in which you removed the original one.

Reinstall the interior lamp sockets. Use a utility knife and slice two inches of the membrane that connects the two wires of the lamp cord together. Use a wire cutter/stripper to strip one-half inch of insulation off the two lamp cords. Feel the lamp cord; one side feels smooth and one side feels ribbed. Wrap the smooth wire around the copper screw on the interior socket and tighten the screw. Wrap the ribbed wire around the silver screw. Repeat this for the remaining interior socket. Grasp the socket cord inside the base of the lamp and pull down on the cords, causing the interior sockets to set into the socket bases. Replace the socket covers onto the sockets.

Strip the wires inside the lamp base. Slice through the membranes of both sets of lamp cords about two inches. Strip one-half inch of insulation off all four lamp wires.

Connect the lamp wires together inside the base of the lamp. Connect all three smooth wires together by twisting an orange wire connector onto the wires. Connect all three ribbed wires together in the same fashion. Use electrical tape and wrap around the wire connectors and the wires to secure the wire connectors onto the wires. Replace your lamp base, replace the harp and shade on your lamp.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips or flathead screwdriver
  • Black electrical tape
  • Lamp cord
  • Pre-wired plug and base cord
  • Utility knife
  • Wire cutter/stripper
  • Orange wire connectors
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Cecilia Harsch has been writing professionally since 2009. She writes mainly home improvement, health and travel articles for various online publications. She has several years of experience in the home-improvement industry, focusing on gardening, and a background in group exercise instruction. Harsch received her Certified Nurses Assistant license in 2004. She attended Tarrant County College and studied English composition.