Flickering table lamp

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Old 02-04-14, 05:23 PM
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Flickering table lamp

Before I am allowed to touch the wifes prized table lamp I was wondering how invasive this repair would be for.

The stupid switch when jiggled causes flicker. If you twist the entire socket to to one side its not as bad and if you loose it to the other it gets worse...

so whats loose here?

Should I ask for permission to put it on the operating table and replace the entire bulb/socket assembly or can I do minor surgery and if so what?
 
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Old 02-04-14, 05:28 PM
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Most lamp sockets can be replaced in a matter of minutes. So long as the cord is in good shape I'd say go for the replacement socket.

JUST DON"T DROP IT! She'll have your head on a platter.
 
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Old 02-04-14, 06:02 PM
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You might find out that the only surgery needed is to clean up the terminations. Or maybe to put a new set of guts inside the existing shell of the socket. If the socket isn't dead steady, though, you may need to replace the shell too.
 
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Old 02-05-14, 05:42 AM
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So I was going to get a Leviton socket at the hardware store... but those are probably cheapos .... whats a quality brand, this is the wifes expensive lamp so I guess something of better quality is warranted...

the one in there now looks pretty heavy duty as it is.

Do you guys tin the stranded wire or just twist and hook?

JUST DON"T DROP IT! She'll have your head on a platter.
That's a nice way of saying I would have my balls in a sling.
 
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Old 02-05-14, 08:58 AM
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So I was going to get a Leviton socket at the hardware store... but those are probably cheapos .... whats a quality brand, this is the wifes expensive lamp so I guess something of better quality is warranted...
Leviton is fine.

the one in there now looks pretty heavy duty as it is.
You can't rely on the appearance of the shell. It's the guts that matter. OTOH, if the existing shell is attractive, I would keep it and put new guts in it - provided the old guts were part of the problem.

Do you guys tin the stranded wire or just twist and hook?
Just twist and loop. I also, often, tie an underwriters knot in the conductors before terminating them.
 
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Old 02-05-14, 12:58 PM
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Always check the cord. My wife had a old lamp from her grandfather that sat on the front picture table. One day we had to move the table for a party and I noticed some bare copper near the base of the lamp. I followed the cord in to the wall and found about 5 or 6 more other spots where the insulation was completely worn off and copper was visible. I unplugged and cut the cord until I could repair it. Could have been really bad if one of the kids would have gotten to it before I had.
 
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Old 02-05-14, 01:46 PM
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I just replaced the socket, cheap enough. The Leviton one I used is pretty flimsy though.

My only concern was the cardboard shell is in contact with the screws?

I put some electrical tape on the cardboard shell so the screws are touching the tape rather than the cardboard....

unless I missed something obvious? (first time replacing a light socket, call me an idiot if you will).
 
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Old 02-05-14, 09:22 PM
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My only concern was the cardboard shell is in contact with the screws?

I put some electrical tape on the cardboard shell so the screws are touching the tape rather than the cardboard....

unless I missed something obvious? (first time replacing a light socket, call me an idiot if you will).
OK, you're an idiot.

The cardboard sleeve is an insulator. It's there to keep the threaded part of the socket, which should be connected to grounded (neutral) potential, but isn't always, and the terminals from contacting the outer shell. In most lamp sockets there's also a cardboard doughnut in the base to insulate that part from the terminals.

If those cardboard pieces didn't serve an important, useful and required purpose, you can bet the manufacturers wouldn't invest the time and money needed to include them. And if a replacement socket didn't meet every applicable requirement, you can also bet it wouldn't be U.L. listed as ready to use.

Tape isn't needed. In fact, most electrical tape is not that great an insulator and isn't very resistant to damage. Finding it in a socket, like finding it in a device box. is usually a trigger for suspicion and a closer examination, because it's seen as an indication that the last person who worked on that was an amateur.

</rant>

Seriously, Rards, it sounds like you did a skillful and thoughtful job that should keep your wife's prized table lamp working well for years to come. Well done.
 
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Old 02-06-14, 09:54 AM
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Well call me an idiot and then an amateur but how is it cardboard can touch a live screw terminal, under up to a 150 W load, and not burn?
 
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Old 02-06-14, 10:12 AM
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Minimal resistance, minimal heat. If the screw gets hot enough to burn paper (400+) then you have more serious problems.
 
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Old 02-06-14, 10:22 AM
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Minimal resistance, minimal heat. If the screw gets hot enough to burn paper (400+) then you have more serious problems.
What would burn first, the 10A rated lamp cord or the cardboard?


BTW: Im cooking a 23 W CFL in this bad boy.
 
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Old 02-06-14, 12:15 PM
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Well since the cord may not be rated for even 200F I'd guess the lamp cord.
 
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