How to Rewire a Hanging Lamp

How to Rewire a Hanging Lamp

Discard the old wire. Measure the old lamp socket and purchase a new one thats the same size.

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Identify the neutral wire. The neutral wire should be indicated by markings or by a raised ridge. You can feel the ridges with your fingers. Wrap this wire clockwise around the silver-colored screw in your socket. The other wire without markings is the hot wire; wrap it clockwise around the brass-colored screw. Gently tighten both screws to hold the wires in place. The socket will rest against the inside of the globe holder.

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Press the bare end of the neutral lamp wire to the bare end of the white wire in your ceiling. Screw them together with a wiring nut. Repeat with the hot wire and the black wire in the ceiling.

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Replace the bulb and globe and turn your circuit breaker back on or replace the fuse. Test the new lamp by turning on the wall switch.

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Take your hanging lamp apart. The designs of light fixtures vary depending on the age and style of the lamp, but a typical lamp will have a globe, a socket, a holder for the globe, tubing or chain to suspend the globe, and a canopy, which conceals the wires. At the end of the tubing or chain, you will most likely see a small, hollow piece of metal with threading inside. This is called a hickey and will hold the lamp to the ceiling. You should be able to take apart the entire lamp with a screwdriver. Keep track of all the parts and take photos of your progress if you think that you may have trouble putting it back together.

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Remove the current fixture. Again, the exact design of your fixture will vary somewhat. Remove the bulb and globe first, then unscrew the canopy. Unscrew the wire nuts to disconnect the wires between the old fixture and the ceiling. You may need someone to hold the current fixture, as its unsafe to let it hang from the wiring.

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Turn the overhead light where you will install the lamp off using the switch on the wall. Then turn off the electricity to the overhead light off by turning off your circuit breaker or removing a fuse, depending upon your situation. This is extremely important; you may injure yourself if there is any electricity running to the overhead light. Use a circuit tester to ensure that there are no live wires.

Thread the other end of the wire through your globe holder, chain or tubing and canopy, which will be attached to the ceiling. Screw the hickey onto the end of your chain or tubing, but dont thread the wire through it. Dont attach the globe yet. The canopy should be loose on the chain or tube.

Leggett, Rochelle. How to Rewire a Hanging Lamp.

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Strip about an inch of the casing material from both ends of an 18-gauge strand of lamp wire. Lamp wire is composed of two wires that are side-by-side: a neutral wire and a hot wire. Measure down several inches from where you stripped the wire on either end, then split the wire down the middle to this point on both ends. Leave the casing intact along the split.

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Attach the canopy to the ceiling. Typically, you will attach the canopy to the strap with screws or secure it in place by tightening a locknut that is located below the canopy.

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Leggett, Rochelle. (n.d.). How to Rewire a Hanging Lamp.

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Check with your local building codes to find out if there are any extra steps that you should take when rewiring a hanging lamp.

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Replacing a ceiling lamp or light fixture with an older lamp is a good way to instantly add a vintage or antique feel to a room. Older lamps often cost less than new ones, as well. Unfortunately, the wires in an older lamp can present a fire hazard. With a few tools, you can rewire a hanging lamp and install it yourself. For a simple single light, rewiring a lamp is not difficult, as long as you take all proper safety precautions.

A simple hanging lamp is not complex.

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Hang a Light Fixture When Fixture Wires Are Not Color Coded

Measure the entire length of your lamp, including any chain or tubing. Your wire must be at least six inches longer than this measurement. You can cut excess wire off when youre finished, but a wire that is too short will be difficult to work with.

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Unscrew a Socket From an Old Floor Lamp

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Examine the outlet box. There should be a metal strap across the box. This holds the fixture to the ceiling. Typically, you will see a threaded piece of metal protruding from the middle. Screw the hickey onto this piece. The socket, globe holder and rod or chain will be attached securely to the ceiling at this point.

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Leggett, Rochelle. How to Rewire a Hanging Lamp accessed May 25, 2018.

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