How to Replace a Faulty Chandelier Socket.



Once upon a time in a land far, far away, a girl named Karen had a lightbulb moment. What would life be like if she owned a sparkly chandelier?  The chandelier of her dreams?  Would she be happier?  And smarter?  And would money and math and maybe even monkeys come more easily to her?  If there was even a chance, she had to give it a shot.

She spent months scouring the most common places to find a sparkly chandelier; antique stalls, flea markets, newspaper ads and hotel lobbies.  But they were either too expensive, too dilapidated or too difficult to get at without the use of scaffolding and a stun gun.

Then one day, on a whim, she sat down on her couch (which she often accidentally spells as coach) and started searching the local for sale ads on her computer.  BANG.  Right out of the gates there was not only a sparkly chandelier, but it was the chandelier of her dreams AND it was only $100.  She bought it immediately and started dreaming of the life that would soon be hers.  Sitting on her pile of money, calculating complex math problems in her head while watching herds of monkeys ramble into her house to behold the beauty of the sparkly chandelier.

She spent days putting it together and cleaning and hanging it in the exact right spot.  She lovingly screwed bulbs into most of the sockets (not all of them, because there were like, 700 sockets in this sucker and she wasn’t trying to land planes here, just add some pretty mood lighting) and in a moment of ceremony flicked the switch.

At which point there was a big bang and all the lights in the room went out.  Peering over at her dimmer switch it appeared to be  gently smoking.  And not in a good, after sex, I’m so satisfied way.


Yup.  That $100 deal of a chandelier I got off of Kijiji this fall was a bit faulty.  Go figure.  After crying and banging my fists on my head, cartoon-style, I took a look at the chandelier I found it wasn’t a huge problem.    Sure it tripped the breaker, sure it completely blew out my dimmer switch and sure I still couldn’t do math, but … it was an easy fix.

What happened was one of the chandelier arm sockets was blown out.  It seemed to have some metal from the bottom of an old light bulb burned and melted into it.  Which in turn alarmed the sensitive and attractive chandelier when I turned it on forcing it to self destruct before my entire house burned down.

So actually, it was quite a thoughtful chandelier.

The fix?  Replace the socket.

Total cost?  About $5.  Total time to fix?  About 5 minutes.





  1. Turn the power off to the light if it’s wired up.
  2. Remove the plastic candle looking cover.
  3. Remove the cardboard insulator. (both of these things just slide off)


4.  Grab your new chandelier socket.  They come in 2 sizes so make sure you get the right size. I bought mine at a local hardware store so they’re not hard to find but you can also order them on Amazon.



5.  Take a photo of the socket BEFORE you start undoing any wiring.  You think you’ll remember where everything goes but you might not.  Taking a quick photo is the easiest way to avoid mistakes.


6.  There are only two wires. A black and a white that attach to the top of the socket.



7. Using a screwdriver loosen the screws the wires are wound around and remove the wires from the old socket.


8. Remove the old socket.  It simply unscrews.  You might need to use some pliers to hold the base so you’re only unscrewing the socket not the entire rod it’s threaded onto.



9.  Ta da.  Naked wires.  Time for the new socket.


10.  Like I said the sockets are adjustable. They just slide up and down. You can see the old socket on the left and the new socket (which hasn’t been adjusted to the right height yet) on the right.



11.  Screw the new socket into place with the wires coming into the middle of the socket.



12.  Reattach the wires to their appropriate screws.  In this case the black wire goes to the brass screw (remember black to brass) and the white wire goes to the silver screw.



Socket wiring

Black to BRASS screw

White to SILVER screw


13.  Slide the cardboard insulator and plastic cover on again.

14.  Turn the power back on.



15.  Buy monkey food.


  1. Gopesh K Sharma says:

    I can’t unscrew the old socket and it also has only one side arm going down. The electrical wires appear to soldered not around any screw. Please advice me hoe to get this socket out and replace it.

  2. Pat says:

    The wires on my socket are the same color the screw on one side is red and the other screw is silver. What kind I do. Thanks

    • Karen says:

      Hi Pat. Try to run your fingernail on the wire. If one of them has slight ridges, that one goes to the silver screw which is neutral. The other, smooth wire, goes to the red (hot). If both are exactly the same (especially if it has a plug on it and both prongs are the same size) that means the chandelier is unpolarized and it doesn’t matter which wire goes to which screw.

  3. rebecca haegele says:

    My cover does not slide off. It is way too tight. :(

  4. Jerry Heiss says:

    These seem to work easily on a simple chandelier but I have a Waterford with the socket removal not being so obvious. Does anyone know how to remove that socket?

  5. Nancy Eggert says:

    Shortly after I got married in 1985, we moved into a house that was built around 1910, and it had almost the exact same sparkly chandelier in the dining room (the chandelier was already vintage). My dad re-wired it so it wouldn’t blow a circuit breaker every time I turned it on. Your sparkly chandelier was a very popular style – people had them in their entry ways, dining rooms, hallways, and I remember some friends of my parents had one in their bedroom. Not to be outdone, my mother had to have the mack daddy of crystal chandeliers in her dining room, three tiers of prisms and candelabra bulbs. It was so big it could have eaten my chandelier for lunch. Sparkly chandeliers rule – may they never go out of style!

  6. Linda B says:

    Karen, You forgot between to mention between steps 10 and 11 to go and do a nail polish touch up. I’m sure that’s what you did there. ;)

    I got my pretty chandelier from ebay for $40 and added some crystals from etsy. I love bling.

    • Karen says:

      Ha! It looked so horrific in the one picture I photoshopped it, but didn’t with the rest. Such an idiot, lol. ~ karen!

  7. Karen, Isn’t it incredible; the feeling you get when you conquer the all powerful electricity!! I got the same rush when I learned how to rewire an outlet….awesome! Be proud of yourself. Not every girl can do what we can do!

  8. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    It looks gorgeous Karen…I could use some of those bulbs for a antique floor lamp here…I am like addicted to vintage and antique lamps…so much more stylish and fun!

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