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Old 11-07-2010, 06:15 PM   #1
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help with lamp wiring please

Hi, my aunt has an old lamp that needs a new cord. the insulation is dark brown with no markings or ribbing and had become so brittle it was falling off. the wire had also broken so it was impossible to even attempt to see which wire was hot and which neutral. this is s 2 wire lamp long before polarization. the house is just as old around 60 years give or take. I just stripped the end and attached a new cord figuring if I did it wrong(backwards) it just wouldn't work. I switched it on and it worked fine. no issues. so I capped the wires and taped it up thinking I lucked out. now I was doing some reading on old lamps and I read somewhere it will work either way, even if I wired it "wrong" but the wrong way will present some danger. now I can't tell which wire goes to the side of the fixture and which to the bottom. there is no way to tell. the fixture is enclosed in the metal case and the cord travels through the long neck. the lamp is about 6ft tall. my aunt would never part with the lamp. I was trying to save her some money instead of having to bring the lamp to a repair show for what I thought was a simple procedure. of course I don't want to put her in any danger. so I'm asking does it really matter how I wired it and if it does is there any way to tell which is which. I mean how would the repair guy do it? I have a volt meter if that helps but I figured it wouldn't since I am obviously getting voltage. the way I understand it the voltage should be going in to the fixture from the contact on the side and out through the bottom. I would appreciate and advice on how to proceed. if it matters, this lamp is a 3 way light and plugs into a 120v outlet that is wired to a wall switch. so the turn switch on the lamp is always "on". thanks!


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Old 11-07-2010, 06:46 PM   #2
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The center of the socket is the 'live' wire the screw portion is the neutral---

Most lamp cords have ribbing on the neutral side--If you are using a very old socket,the screws are not usually color coded--You will want to figure out which screw sends power to the center of the socket.

I hope that helped--I was not sure exactly what you needed--Mike--


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