Lamp Repair and Maintenance
We can rewire most table lamps, floor lamps, wall sconces, and chandeliers. Our most common repairs are: replacing the wire and socket on a table lamp; replacing the sockets, switches, and candle covers on a floor lamp; and replacing the wire, sockets, candle covers, chain, canopy, and supporting hardware on a chandelier.
The most common repair we perform is to replace a burned or defective socket. We will replace your aluminum shell socket with a solid brass shell socket and, in most cases, a Leviton socket interior. We have been using Leviton sockets for over 50 years and have found them to be the most reliable, longest lasting sockets on the market. We stock over 70 different types of sockets, and we have found that most Chinese brand imports are substantially inferior to Leviton sockets.
When we replace a socket, unless the wire (the lamp cord) is only a few years old, we recommend replacing the wire as well. We offer many different wire colors that can complement your furnishings. You do not have to live with a thick dark wire profiled against a light wall or floor covering.
For bedside lamps, or others, we can install a line switch that is at a convenient level to turn the light on and off. With a line switch, you do not have to reach up into the lamp to turn it on and off. For even more convenience, we can install a touch-sensitive device in most lamps that only requires you to touch the lamp to control the light level. Many floor lamps use an oversized bulb in the center socket. This mogul bulb can be hard to find, but we keep them in stock. We can replace the mogul socket, the Edison sockets, switches, candle covers, and wires.
We can modify an existing chandelier to fit into a new room or a new home. We can add chain, electrical wire, and ground wire to the chandelier so that it meets electrical codes and will hang at the appropriate height over the table or in a walk-under area.
Rewiring foreign lamps
Besides regular rewiring, we can convert foreign wiring to U.S. standards. Lamps that are manufactured for use in countries that use 220 volt electrical service may use small (20 or 22 AWG) gauge wire that is not safe to use in the United States. With 110 volt service (such as in the U.S.), the current must be twice as great for the same wattage, which means, the wire must be twice as thick. If you are not sure whether your foreign lamp has wire that is safe to use in the U.S., please bring it in and we will be happy to inspect it for you.
We make custom lamps. We can take your vase, wine bottle, or figurine and turn it into a lamp. We have also made custom lamps from cowboy boots, wallpaper rollers, oil well core samples, antique telephones, model airplanes, and many other items. Some of our more unusual creations have been lamps we made from a waffle maker, a film projector, an electric meter, and a cow thigh bone—to which we added a rawhide shade!
Beware of aluminum shell sockets
Most manufacturers use aluminum shell sockets on their lamps. The home centers and hardware stores sell the same type. They save a few pennies (literally) per unit over the cost of a solid brass socket shell. Aluminum shells are less expensive, but they can be dangerous. As the shell heats and cools, the aluminum gets loose and no longer holds the socket firmly in place. When the shell separates from cup, it exposes live wires which create an electrical shock hazard. This can be particularly dangerous for small children, the elderly, or anyone reaching to turn on the light in the middle of the night.
Don't tolerate flickering bulbs
If an incandescent bulb flickers or buzzes, the electrical arc jumping the gap between the bulb and the socket is damaging your socket. If the bulb is loose in the socket, tighten it. When you replace the socket, do not reuse the same bulb. It likely has a craggy bottom which will cause arcing and can damage a brand new socket.
Check your socket when you change the bulb
When you replace an incandescent or halogen light bulb, check the socket parts that contact the bulb. Look for burned contacts and replace the socket if the contacts are burned. An arcing halogen bulb can damage the dimming transformer—which is one of the most expensive components on your lamp. An arcing incandescent bulb will damage the bulb and the socket and reduce the useful life of both.
14602 Huebner Road, Suite 110, San Antonio, Texas 78230
Copyright © 2011, Electra Lamp Shop, Inc. dba Compton's Lamps & Shades