5 posts / 0 new
Last post
Anique tri light floor lamp

I have an antique tri light floor lamp. It has a separate single, large base bulb tri light at the top with it's own switch.Then there is a 3 bulb tri light canopy below with it's own switch.On the top light there is new 16g.lamp wire with a green wire that goes to the switch.The canopy tri light is my big problem. There is a green switch wire also 3 white wires and three black wires.One black wire and one white wire go to each of the three bulbs on the canopy.How do i put them together with the 16g.lamp wire. I am replacing the total lamp wire since the old one had bare copper wire showing in spots on the wire going to the plug.The lamp wire has a ribbed and smooth side.

Re: Anique tri light floor lamp

I just finished rewiring the same lamp on hour ago. you have to be careful to use the right size wire, too big and you can not get it fished through all the pieces of pipe too small and it won't handle thee load. I used two different sizes of lamp cord. the small one from the junction to an individual bulbs, the larger one for the main and the line going to the tri light 50-100-200 watts. the number of wire i do not know.

Re: Anique tri light floor lamp

The first rule of repair is to see how it was done originally. Especially when you don't have a lot of space to be working in. Seems you've got the 3-way bulb on top figured out OK. The bottom tri-lamp circuit is wired in parallel with all 3 hots tied together and all 3 neutrals tied together, then fed from the switch as if it were one bulb. The hot feed to that switch will have to be tapped into the line somewhere, the neutrals tie in the other side of the line permanently.

Capped (insulated) crimp connectors take up the least space for wiring make-ups like this and are very handy for working in tight spaces. I think small packs are available at big-box stores but if not any electrical supplier will have or can get them. Alternately get a few from an appliance repairman- they use these a lot too.

BTW, the ribbed, striped, or marked side of lamp cords is supposed to be the hot side. It usually doesn't matter with modern sockets which are isolated, but a lot of older lamp sockets weren't so always check for current between the exposed metal parts of the lamp and ground before putting it back in service. If it's hot, reverse the plug wiring at the plug if you don't feel like tearing it down again which should fix the polarity, and check again. If you're still hot on exposed metal something else is wrong and you will need to open it up and try again.


John freeman
Re: Anique tri light floor lamp

I have one correction to make. The ribbed wire on the power cord is for the neutral, not the hot. This actually is important because if it's wire backwards you can end up with the threads in the light socket being hot so that when you're unscrewing a bulb you might touch the base and if you're grounded get a shock.

#18 THHN or THWN wire is fine for rewiring a lamp. Home Depot may have it in stock or you can Google "AWG 18 THHN" to find a supplier. This wire will be thin and hold up to the heat in the fixture. #18 wires will handle 700 watts comfortably. Just add up the wattage of the lamps.

If you need wirenuts, (wire connectors), with the small wire you're using probably the small blue or gray wirenuts will work. Get a name brand like "Ideal" to hand the heat. Cheap wirenuts might become brittle when they're heated. If you are connecting several wires together then go with the orange wirenuts.

Remember, all electrical connections must be TIGHT!

Re: Anique tri light floor lamp

Dunno for sure about the 'ribbed' side, I usually look for a tinned (silver) wire neutral and a copper hot one, but so long as you maintain the pattern throughout right to the plug the socket exteriors will be connected to neutral as they should be.

I have rewired a number of lamps and I find the insulated crimp sleeves a whole heck of a lot easier to deal with in the usual small spaces where connections have to be made, and indeed most new fixtures are now done this way from the factory. Just be sure to get a high enough thermal rating and crimp them with the proper tool, not just any old pliers.


Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.