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How to Rewire an Old Floor Lamp

You may have a favorite vintage floor lamp and cannot bare to part with it, but it doesn't work anymore. Taking the time to rewire an old floor lamp is easier than it may sound. With a few simple steps you can breathe new life into your old lamp. Here is how to rewire your old floor lamp.

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  1. Identify the wire setup and socket configuration. Take note if there are two lights or one and where the wire runs for them. This information will be critical when you get to the home improvement store. Also measure the length of the wire. Make sure you have enough extra length for the plug end.

  2. Draw a picture of your setup and take your measurements and drawing to your local home center store. Most Home Depot and Lowe's stores have a lighting expert that can help with your wire replacement selection.

  3. Select a whole new replacement wire setup for your lamp, including new sockets and switches. For an older lamp it is difficult to know exactly where the electrical problem might be, so it's better just to use the "skeleton" of the lamp for looks, but replace all of the electrical components. This will eliminate the possibility of needing to replace something else in the near future.

  4. Take the lamp apart. Most floor lamps are simply threaded pipe screwed together, so start by unscrewing the base and work your way up. If you need to, make a diagram so you know how things fit back together.

  5. Rewire your lamp by threading the new wire through the lamp to the socket, then attach the new socket with small wire nuts, making sure you match colors. The red wire goes to the hot and the black goes to neutral. Make sure no bare wire is showing when making those connections.

  6. Put the lamp back together. Use your diagram as reference if you made one.

  7. Try it out. Plug your lamp into a ground fault receptacle to test it. This will limit the hazard if you wired it wrong. If it still doesn't work, take it to an electrical shop and have them look at your rewire job. It's possible your connections are not secure.

  8. Warning

    Always unplug your floor lamp before trying to rewire it.

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Things You'll Need

  • New sockets
  • New lamp wire with plug
  • Small wire nuts

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