If the socket goes out on your halogen lamp, don’t despair. There are several reasons for a halogen socket to malfunction. One may be that the light bulb you were using was too high of a wattage. Sockets may also get dirty or corroded and be unable to establish a proper connection with the bulb. It also might have come defective from the manufacturer. Or, sockets will simply get old and wear out over time. Regardless of what the problem is, a replacement is a quick and easy fix. Not to mention, replacement sockets are available from a variety of distributors and usually aren’t very costly.
Tip: Always try easy solutions before making a full replacement. If your socket is corroded, you may be able to simply clean it with a scraper. Make sure it is unplugged before you do this. If it has come loose, on the other hand, try tightening it first before you decide whether you need to replace the thing. Sometimes the wiring will come loose as well, so to see if this is the case, remove the socket and try plugging the wiring back in. Put it back together and try to turn it on again. In the end, if basic solutions do not work, proceed to replacing it.
Step 1 - Finding a Replacement Socket
There are several different types of halogen lamp sockets, so you will need to first identify which is the correct one for your lamp. When using halogen bulbs, one thing to take into consideration is the voltage of the socket. Using a socket with too low of a voltage can result in power failures, surges, and electrical fires. You will need at least a 250-volt socket for a 100-watt light bulb.
Some common types of halogen lamp sockets include double-ended, wedge base, and bi-pin. You may need to remove the bulb to find out which kind your lamp uses. Double-ended sockets are easy to identify because they are made up of two components attached with a metal strip. Wedge base sockets are generally rectangular with a single, rectangle-shaped hole in the center. Bi-pin sockets may be round or box-like with two holes.
Sockets can be found in most hardware and electrical supply stores. They are also available for purchase from internet distributers. They range in price depending on the type and manufacturer, but most are pretty inexpensive.
Step 2 - Removing the Socket
It should be fairly simple to remove the socket. Make sure that the lamp is unplugged or the switch is turned off, and then remove the bulb. Take out any screws and remove the socket from its base, unplugging any wires attached to it.
Remember how you took the socket out, especially the wiring, because you will need to install the new one the same way. Either note on a pad of paper where the wires were attached or take a second before you remove the wires to snap a picture on your phone to give yourself a visual guide for reinstalling it later.
Step 3 – Installing the New Socket
Consult your notes or your picture to attach the wiring in the new one just as the old one was configured. Some sockets are more involved than others so it is important to know exactly how it was disassembled so you can put it back together the same way. If the replacement needs rewiring, it shouldn’t be too complicated either, as long as you make sure to connect the wires in the same manner as they were. If you’re still unsure as to how your wiring should be done, a good rule of thumb is to attach corresponding colors to one another (i.e., white to white, black to black).