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How to Repair a Rain Lamp

Updated February 21, 2017

Rain lamps have few working parts, so very little goes wrong. Oil is pumped to the top canopy of the lamp and runs down the strands of fishing line, producing the effect of rain. Over time, the fishing line can become brittle and break, and will need to be replaced. The pump can be damaged by using scent additives to the oil and may need repair or replacing. The most common repair is replacing a burnt-out light bulb. The most complicated part of repairing a rain lamp is disassembling the lamp, which is easy.

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  1. Unplug the lamp to disassemble it for extensive repair or cleaning. Place plastic sheeting under your work area, cover with newspaper, and keep paper towels handy. Reach through the strands and remove the light bulb, statue, and foliage. Slide any decorative bands out of position to expose the screws. Unscrew the top canopy and remove it. Unscrew the cage section from the bottom canopy and remove it. Drain the oil from the bottom basin into a plastic milk jug or bottle if necessary.

  2. Unplug the lamp to change the light bulb. Use a paper towel to wipe down each strand of oily fishing line in the path to accessing the light bulb. Reach through the strands and unscrew the burnt-out bulb, taking care not to drop it when removing. Carefully pass the fresh light bulb through the fishing line strands and screw it into the light socket.

  3. Unplug the lamp to check the pump. Remove the panel found in the area where oil flows into the pump. Check to see if the pump blade wheel will move when you nudge it. If it moves, the pump is still good and just needs cleaning. If the blade wheel is frozen in place, the pump needs replacing. Check the outside of the pump for a manufacturer's name and model number. Search online for the brand and model of your pump, pump repairs, or a new one.

  4. Remove the old fishing line from the cage with scissors to replace it. Wipe off excess oil and clean the thread holes by inserting a needle and removing oil build-up. Tie a knot in the end of the fishing line large enough to secure it and thread the line through the first hole. Continue the pattern until the lamp is restrung. Tie the other end in a knot to secure the strands and keep them taut.

  5. Replace the foliage, statue and light bulb and screw the cage back into the bottom canopy. Screw on the top canopy and replace the decorative bands.

  6. Replace emptied oil. Oil is added to fill holes in the bottom collection pan below the foliage. With the lamp on, slowly add the first pt.of oil and wait five minutes and listen for a change in the sound of the pump. Add another 1/2 pt. of oil and wait a few minutes. Expect to pour at least 1 pt. of oil but no more than 3 pt. Stop adding oil when the raining effect looks normal. Do not use too much oil because it can overwhelm the pump.

  7. Tip

    Soak the foliage in hot, soapy water to clean it, rinse in cool water, and dry thoroughly. Sponge the statue with hot, soapy water, rinse, and dry thoroughly before putting it back in the lamp.


    Your rain lamp will use 1 to 3 pt. of rain lamp fluid or mineral oil depending on lamp size. Essential oils for fragrance can damage the pump.

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Things You'll Need

  • Plastic sheeting
  • Newspaper
  • Paper towels
  • Screwdriver
  • Light bulb
  • Empty milk jug or plastic bottle
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Fishing line (30- or 18.1kg. test weight)
  • 1 to 3 pts. rain lamp fluid or mineral oil

About the Author

Wendy Adams has been a Web designer, content writer and blogger since 1998. Her love for writing began in high school and continued with a life of personal writing, content writing, blogging, commentary and short articles. Her work appears on Demand Studios, Text Broker, Associated Content and on client websites and numerous social network sites.

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