How to Repair Old Lamp Cord

How to Repair Old Lamp Cord


Replacing an old, worn out lamp cord can extend the life of a treasured lamp and make it safer to use. While rewiring a lamp is not difficult, it does require some basic skills and tools. In this guide, I will walk through the complete process of repairing an old lamp cord step-by-step.

Assess the Damage

Before beginning any repairs, I need to carefully examine the existing cord and determine why it needs to be replaced. Here are some common reasons lamp cords fail:

I'll inspect the length of the cord for all these potential issues. If I find any, I'll proceed with the rewiring steps below.

Gather Materials and Tools

Replacing a lamp cord is a simple project, but I'll need a few supplies:

I'll want to get a replacement cord that matches the gauge and length of the original. Lamp cord kits can be found at most hardware stores and come with detailed instructions.

Disconnect the Old Cord

Before installing the new cord, I need to disconnect and remove the old one:

  1. Unplug the lamp! This ensures no current is flowing during repairs.
  2. Use a screwdriver to detach the cord from the base of the lamp. There are usually just a couple short screws.
  3. Remove the old cord by pulling it out of the base. Make note of how it was threaded through for reassembly.
  4. Snip the cord near the lamp socket and pull it out completely.

With the old cord removed, I can now focus on installing the new replacement cord.

Prepare the New Cord

The new lamp cord will have three internal wires - a neutral, hot, and ground wire. Here are the steps to prepare the wires:

  1. Use wire strippers to remove 3/4" of insulation from the end of each wire.
  2. Use needle nose pliers to twist the wire strands tight. This ensures a good connection.
  3. Trim away any stray wire strands and insulate the ends with electrical tape. This prevents shorts.

Repeat these steps for both ends of the new cord.

Install the New Cord

It's now time to install the fresh cord through the base and reconnect everything:

  1. Feed the new cord through the lamp base as the old one was threaded. Leave plenty of slack.
  2. Reconnect the hot, neutral, and ground wires to the terminals on the lamp socket. Double check connections are tight.
  3. Secure the new cord with the screwdriver and screws at the base. Verify no bare wire is exposed.
  4. Use wire nuts to cap all connections with a final layer of electrical tape. This prevents any wires from touching.
  5. Restore power and test that the lamp works properly before reassembling the base.

Taking the time to properly connect and insulate all wires gives the lamp a safer and longer lasting repair.

Safety Tips

When working with electrical repairs, following basic safety measures is very important:

Taking simple precautions greatly improves electrical safety when repairing old lamps.


Replacing an outdated lamp cord is a straightforward process that can give an older lamp new life. By methodically assessing the damage, gathering the right materials, safely removing the old cord, prepping and connecting the new wires, and verifying proper function, I can complete this repair successfully. Paying close attention to each step results in a safely wired lamp that's ready to light up for years to come.