How to repair a table lamp switch

Updated February 21, 2017

Table lamp switches are either located in the socket or on the lamp base. Repairing a table lamp switch by replacing it is the most inexpensive way to have your lamp operating again. Replacement lamp switches are a universal replacement part made of plastic. Some lamp switches are heavily used and wear out quickly. Knowing how to repair your table lamp switches allows you to extend the life of your lamp.

Remove the lamp shade and lamp harp from the lamp and unplug it from the wall.

Pull the socket sleeve off the lamp by grasping it in your hand and pull up with a slight side to side motion. Removing the sleeve exposes the interior socket/switch and the lamp wiring.

Wrap a piece a black electrical tape around the lamp wire attached to the brass screw on the socket/switch. Loosen both the silver and brass screws on the socket/switch and remove the wires from beneath them. Dispose of the old interior socket/switch.

Install a new socket/switch by wrapping the wire labelled with black electrical tape around the brass screw. Wrap the remaining lamp wire around the silver screw on the socket/switch and tighten both screws.

Push the socket sleeve back over the interior socket and push it into the socket base. Replace the lamp harp and shade and plug the lamp into the wall.

Unplug the lamp; remove the harp and lamp shade. Move the lamp to a sturdy work surface.

Remove the bottom of the lamp base. Depending on the manufacturer, the base could screw on or glue on. If the base is glued on, carefully peel it off the base to replace in a later step.

Untwist the switch retaining nut that surrounds the switch control on the exterior of the lamp base, holding it to the lamp. From the interior of the lamp base, pull the switch from the hole in the base. Remove the two wire connectors from the switch, releasing it from the base.

Insert the replacement switch into the lamp base and attach the retaining nut to the switch, securing it to the base. Connect one black wire from the switch to one of the lamp wires you disconnected in Step 3 using an orange wire connector. Repeat this connection for the remaining wire from the switch and lamp.

Replace the bottom onto the base of the lamp. If you had to peel the bottom off the base, glue the bottom to the base and allow the glue to dry. Replace the lamp harp and shade and plug the lamp into the wall.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips or slotted screwdriver
  • Orange wire connectors
  • Replacement lamp switch
  • Replacement socket/switch
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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.