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How Do I Repair a Touch-Sensitive Lamp?

Updated February 21, 2019

Touch-sensitive lamps respond to the touch of your fingertips. Touch any metal on the lamp and the lamp burns at a low, medium or highlight level. Continual use of the lamp can cause the touch control box wired inside the lamp to quit working. Without a physical exterior switch, the touch-sensitive lamp will get stuck in either the off or the on position. Replace the failed control box to repair a touch-sensitive lamp.

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  1. Unplug the lamp from the wall. Take the lamp shade and light bulb from the touch-sensitive lamp. Take the bottom off the lamp by either removing the screws or peeling the plastic bottom off the base. The way the bottom attaches depends upon the manufacturer.

  2. Mark the two hot wires on the touch-sensitive lamp with black electrical tape. One hot wire from the lamp plug connects to the black wire on the touch control box. The other hot wire connects to either the red or grey wire from the control box. The colour of the second wire on the control box depends on who manufactured it.

  3. Untwist the wire connectors holding three of the wires from the touch control box to the three lamp wires. Use pliers to remove the locknut holding the yellow wire to the pipe nipple. Set the wire connectors aside and discard the original touch control box.

  4. Install a new touch control box into your touch-sensitive lamp. Install the yellow wire onto the pipe nipple and replace the locknut to hold the yellow wire in place. Twist one of the wire connectors onto the white wire from the new touch control box, connecting it with the two wires from the lamp that are not marked with black electrical tape.

  5. Twist another wire connector onto the red or grey wire from the touch control box, connecting it with the lamp wire marked with black electrical tape running up the pipe nipple. Twist the remaining wire connector onto the black wire from the touch control box, connecting it with the remaining lamp wire marked with black electrical tape.

  6. Push the touch control box into the base of the touch-sensitive lamp and replace the bottom of the lamp. Reinstall the light bulb, the lamp shade and plug the lamp into the wall.

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Things You'll Need

  • Phillips or slotted screwdriver
  • Black electrical tape
  • Pliers
  • Replacement touch control box

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.

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