Repair a Broken Lamp for Less Than $4

Remember when Grace and I hosted foster kitty, Lola Cat? She was super cute, high energy, and rough on lamps.

Lola's best "who, me?"
Lola’s best “who, me?”

Here is some of LC’s handiwork.

That part broke
That part broke

I was about to toss the lamp when I turned it over and saw ©UTTERMOST stamped on the bottom. Um, not trash. I bought this lamp at a consignment shop and probably paid around $20, but when I saw that this was a quality piece, I had to at least try to save it. So off to Lowe’s I went.

I found an adult working at Lowe’s and showed him pictures of what Lola did, and he showed me what I needed and walked me through what to do. Turns out all I needed was a switch. Woot woot!

ON/OFF TURN KNOB $3.80!
ON/OFF TURN KNOB $3.80!

The first thing was to separate the new piece into it’s three components. Well, actually, the first thing was to unplug the lamp from the outlet. Sounds like a no-brainer, but when you’re ready-to-roll and want to jump right in, you can forget. Bzzt!

Take the new ON/OFF KNOB apart, but don't forget how it goes back together!
Take the new ON/OFF KNOB apart, but don’t forget how it goes back together!

Then I used a pair of pliers to remove the broken switch base from the rod that resides in the body of the lamp. I stripped the wires so that I would have enough wire to wrap around the screws.

 

Stripped wires, ready to be attached to screws
Stripped wires, ready to be attached to screws

I attached the split wire to the two screws on the new switch. Even though the adult at Lowe’s told me it doesn’t matter, 5 minutes of research told me that it does matter which wire goes to which screw. The neutral wire, which is usually ribbed, connects to the silver screw. The other wire, or hot wire, connects to the gold screw. The lamp will work either way, but it is a matter of safety to have them connected properly. The moral of this story? Always do your own research.

It matters which wire goes to which screw
It matters which wire goes to which screw

Once the wiring was finished, I set the switch into the base, threaded on the cap, and voila! Ready for lightbulb and shade.

Brand new and ready for a bulb
Brand new and ready for a bulb

I have to sing it just once: I’ve got the power! It’s gettin’ it’s gettin’ it’s gettin’ kinda hectic…

TaDaaa!
TaDaaa!

I surprised myself again–like when I reupholstered the sofa. Remember that craziness? Another pet-related incident. Hmm. Anywho, you won’t know what you can do until you give it a try!

Cheers!
Kelly