How to Repair a Touch Lamp Switch

Updated February 21, 2017

A touch lamp is controlled by an interior switch connected to the lamp wiring and the lamp body. You switch the lamp on and off by touching any metal on the lamp, completing the circuit with your hand. As with any lamp switch, the touch control can fail with frequent and continual use and often needs replacing, allowing your lamp to continue operating as intended. No prior electrical experience is necessary to repair a touch lamp switch.

Remove the lamp shade and the lamp harp from the touch lamp.

Move your touch lamp to a sturdy work surface and remove the bottom from the base of your lamp. Depending on who manufactured your touch lamp, the bottom connects to the base with screws or peels off like a plastic food-storage container lid.

Wrap a piece of black electrical tape around the lamp plug wire that connects to the touch control's black wire. Wrap an additional piece of black electrical tape around the lamp socket wire that connects to the touch control's grey or red wire. The black tape indicates these wires as black or hot wires. The colours of the touch control's wires vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. They are black, red, white and yellow or black, grey, white and yellow.

Untwist the three wire connectors holding the touch control and lamp wires together. Turn the locknut counterclockwise with pliers to remove it from the nipple. Remove the ring terminal from beneath the locknut. The ring terminal is attached to the yellow wire from the touch control. The nipple is a hollow tube with exterior threads. It is used to hold separate parts of lamp and lighting fixtures together while still providing a path for the wires to travel.

Install the new touch control into the base of your touch lamp. Twist an orange wire connector onto the black touch control wire connecting it with the lamp plug wire you wrapped with black electrical tape. Twist another orange wire connector to the grey or red wire from the touch control, connecting it to the lamp socket wire wrapped with black electrical tape.

Thread the ring terminal attached to the yellow wire from the touch control over the nipple. Replace the locknut onto the nipple that you removed in Step 4. Connect the remaining two lamp wires to the white touch control wire using an additional orange wire connector.

Replace the bottom to the base of your touch lamp. Put the lamp harp and the lamp shade on the touch lamp.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips or slotted screwdriver
  • Black electrical tape
  • Pliers
  • Touch control
  • Orange wire connectors
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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.