It is common for people to collect antiques and vintage lamps. The issue with a lot of older lamps is that you need to rewire them to work again. To restore a lamp you will have to first inspect it to be sure that all the parts that are need are attached and in working order. When doing so, be sure to double check the sheathing (the jacket over the wires) for any cracks, frays or exposures. Also look at the prongs of the plugs for any disuse or corrosion.
Before you begin to rewire a lamp, make sure the lamp is unplugged. You might have to take the lamp to a hardware store to find the best type of cord and plug that fits the lamp. A flat cord will take a clamp-style flat-cord plug; a round cord will require a two-prong round-cord plug.
In order to rewire a lamp, you will need a screwdriver, wire stripper and a wrench. You also will need a new cord, plug and a socket.
Steps to rewire a lamp
- Remove the base of the lamp to reveal the nut holding the pipe through which the cord passes from the socket to the plug. Pull the pipe partway out the top of the lamp, in order to unscrew and remove old socket.
- Cut off old plug; attach new cord to old cord and pull all the way up through pipe; snip off old cord and discard.
- Split top two inches of cord jacket off new cord; strip ½-inch of insulation off wire ends; form exposed wire ends into loops. One wire end is “hot”; the other, which is ridged, is considered “neutral.”
- Screw in new socket; tie Underwriter’s knot between socket and cap; hook hot wire around brass terminal and neutral one around silver terminal; tighten screws; slip insulating sleeve and outer metal shell over socket and switch.
- Tighten nut around pipe at base; re-attach base. (Cover with a new piece of felt, if desired, to prevent lamp from scratching floor.)
These are basic steps in how to rewire a lamp. Always be careful with working with electrical cords. Lastly, plug in your new rewired lamp and enjoy!