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Thread: Table Lamp

  1. #1

    Default Table Lamp

    I have a table lamp that only works on the low setting. The bulb that is in it is a three way wattage type, any ideas what the problem could be? checked the bulb in another lamp and it works fine. I was wondering if maybe the switch is bad and at times if I touch it I will get a trickle charge of electric. It is unplugged now. THANKS!

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    Not all sockets are 3-way...it could just be an on-off switch.

    Most new lamps have a polarized plug...this puts the hot lead on the middle contact of the socket. Older ones, it's pot luck. If the insulation is worn or the wiring is frayed, or the socket is broken, you could have line voltage on the lamp body. If it isn't an expensive lamp, probably better to chuck it. If you want, you'll probably need to disassemble it and maybe rewire. Don't plug it in until you've checked it out - it could kill you.

    If you have a multimeter, you can check to see if you have continuity between either prong of the plug to the body of the lamp...if you do, fix it.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    North Carolina


    Quote Originally Posted by Fudog View Post
    if I touch it I will get a trickle charge of electric. It is unplugged now. THANKS!
    It is time for a new lamp.

  4. #4


    I'm in the 'it's not a 3-way socket' camp. Pull the bulb out and look inside the socket. If there's two connections, it's a 3-way. If there's one, it only takes a standard bulb.

    You can either install a standard bulb, or change the socket to a 3-way. It's easy to do... just make sure the part of the cord that has the ribs on it go to the silver screw.
    Just my 2 worth.


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