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. 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?

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. Darla says:

    Love your chandelier and duly impressed again with your skills.
    We moved to a new house three years ago and the first thing I did was add a chandelier to the entry. The minute I walked in it was screaming for one.

  7. Mary W says:

    Karen, did you cover the connected wires with tape? The wires have to have the covering removed in order to make the connection but since they are exposed, I’m so afraid of fire that I would want to tape everything. What about the wires tucked into the middle together. What if they bump each other on the ends? As I come from a long line of ostriches (Mother’s side) I can think of a hundred ways to die if I let my inner father’s side try anything electrical. The light bulbs are GORGEOUS! Hope you can find the names so we can get some like it. Changing bulbs I can do. (Carefully in case one breaks as I unscrew it.)

    • Jennifer Lee says:

      If you check the photo, you’ll see that the wires attach on opposite sides of the socket, so as long as you don’t leave needlessly-long extra wire sticking out, there’s no way they could touch each other. (My Dad was an electrician. He was a wonderful dad, and taught me how to do stuff like that. I miss him.)

    • Peter says:

      You can just cut those extra long wire ends off at the screws. But, if you think about it, there is a length of insulation, equal to the length of the exposed wire, hanging off the end of both those wires, so no danger of anything shorting out.

      Nice job, Karen. There shouldn’t be anything terrifying about doing your own wiring if you take your time and get good advice. Good on you for stepping outside your comfort zone and taking on a new skill

      • Karen says:

        Thanks Peter! But it’s not really outside my comfort zone. My whole blog is dedicated to this sort of thing. ;) My job is pretty much to take other people out of their comfort zones with this sort of thing, lol. ~ karen!

  8. Paula says:

    Be still, my beating heart. Breathtakingly beautiful.

  9. Alena says:

    When I lived in Prague, there was a store at the corner of the Old Town Square and Parisien St. that sold nothing but crystal chandeliers. All kinds of sizes, from smallish ones to mega-monstrous ones consisting of several tiers. Each morning, before the store opened, there was usually a queue of salivating tourists (a lot of them from the US) who were dying to get their hands on Bohemian crystals and hang them in their abodes.
    At that time, I thought all these people were nuts because why would anyone want a crystal chandelier? It was so old-fashioned, so …. pedestrian.
    It was not until some good 10 or more years later (in Canada) when I suddenly decided that crystal chandeliers are beautiful and that I should have one. And did buy one, but it’s fairly decent lucite version from Home Depot. I was obsessed with that particular look (somewhat different from Karen’s) and I just had to have it. Well aware of the fleeting character of my love for anything interior design related (I will buy a vase and I may suddenly decide to complete change my living room to go with it) I didn’t want the real thing. Well, I still have the replica and even thought I have an itch to replace it, I find it difficult to decide what I should go for because my house has fairly low ceilings so none of the pendants, so popular these days, are on option.

    I am surprised that you didn’t get yours in Prague!

  10. Ellen says:

    I have the chandeliere of my dreams sitting in the basement. I bought it from a client for $50 and have been waiting to get it rewired. I need an extention on it so I can adjust where it hangs when I turn and I extend my dining table. In my dreams, it will always be centred. This is the year I will get this project completed. …I hope. Thanks for inspiration, yet again.

    • Mark says:

      Ellen, you can do it yourself! Karen has posted excellent instructions here on replacing the sockets… A chandelier is usually just hanging from a chain so you just need to get a matchingone.

  11. Maura says:

    Beautiful chandelier!
    My chandelier is not so sparkly. I find cleaning it such a long and tedious job I haven’t done it in 2 years. I keep telling myself it doesn’t really show but I know it is a lie! Karen do you have a quick and easy way to bring back the sparkle?

    • Karen says:

      Nope. No quick and easy way, lol. If it’s easy enough to take apart, then washing them in the dishwasher is probably the best way to go. I’m going to try a product that you spray on the chandelier and then all the dirt drips off. I just have to find it first, but I know it exists! ~ karen

      • Deb J. says:

        The spray works really well to keep a chandelier clean. Kept mine sparkly for 20 years. Lay down a cloth (towel), spray thoroughly, let dry. Don’t even remove the bulbs.But if it’s really dirty you need to clean it first, then soray regularly. I do mine spring & fall. I bought the stuff at the lighting store where we got our fixtures so try a lighting store if you don’t find it at the usual suspects. Definitely worth it ‘cos polishing crystals ain’t gonna happen in my house :) And it won’t hurt your antique chandelier; mine is antique and is doing fine. Just let it dry out before you turn it on for dinner. Haven’t tried it but the liquid in the sockets might be dramatic.

      • Maura says:

        OK, I will look for that product you spray on!

  12. Rosie Walsh says:

    I’ve not seen bulbs that look like this. Please tell us what they are.

  13. Danni says:

    That is EFFIN” AWESOME!

  14. Ann says:

    I will be waiting for the funny post that comes about when you have to start keeping that thing dusted. Cause you are so not like me. Dusting is something that happens in a panic if I have someone new coming to the house that I don’t want to send running and screaming to the health department to turn us in. Anyone who knows me well enough, or has been to the house more than twice, or totally pulls off a surprise visit could write their name in some of my out of the way spots.

    Was laying in my bed the other day and looked up at the ceiling fan, oh my is all I can say.

    But in all honesty, I do try to keep things pretty simple, not nearly the nick nack stuff I used to have because dusting is never going to be my thing.

    And by the way, I hope you had a great holiday and we did miss you

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Ann! And I’m not what you’d call a champion duster, lol. But I’ve owned crystal chandeliers before. I had one in my kitchen over the sink before I redid my kitchen actually! My mother claims there’s some product you can just spray the chandelier with and all the dirt drips off of it so I might look for that. Otherwise, crystals usually get thrown into the dishwasher once a year and then stuck back on the chandelier in some sort of random order, lol. ~ karen!

  15. Shannon says:

    This was a super informative, and funny, post, as usual. Great job, Karen!

  16. Kathryn says:

    I don’t do plumbing (aside from toilet replacements) or electricity after “the incidents” but admire those skills in others.

  17. Sherry in Alaska says:

    Did I miss something or didn’t you have to replace your dimmer switch? But yes, it’s a great chandelier and you make it easy to understand. I’ve been fixing lamps for friends for years and they think I’m some sort of magic. I love to be magic. Don’t spoil it for me.
    And please what type bulbs are those? I don’t think I’ve seen any like them here and they sure look better than the LED ones I have in my chandelier over my table (which work with a dimmer but stutter a lot if not on full).

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sherry! Yes, I did replace the dimmer, that didn’t make it into the post. :) This was just on how to fix a broken socket. The bulbs are actually from Costco. They were on sale some time before Christmas for really cheap! And yes, they look WAY better than any LED bulbs I’ve seen for chandeliers. They don’t flicker on this dimmer, but they do tend to put on a bit of a light show in some of my other lamps that have plug in dimmers. :/ I can’t remember the name or brand of them but if I figure it out I’ll let you know. ~ karen!

      • Mary W says:

        I was amazed at the pretty lights myself but thought I would review the comments since I was sure others would ask. So glad she did, so if you do find out the names, please post it so we can all see.

      • Sherry in Alaska says:

        Thank you Karen! If you do remember please do let me know.

  18. Melissa says:

    Ooohhhh….Aahhhhh….pretty sparkly things! Must find one…..

    Good job ol girl, quite proud of you! A, you didn’t burn the house down, and B, you didn’t electrocute yourself. Quite a feat indeed!

  19. TucsonPatty says:

    I want one of these! Or something like it. Or sort of like it. Or something. But not a monkey. Because they poop, and I would have to clean that up. But a crystal chandelier – that I hace wanted ever since I watched Pollyana when I was wee. Maybe I just need some more crystals to hang about the house. Or in a window. Or I could go to bed now. Yeah. I’ll do that! Karen, that is a beautiful piece of work! And I like the fixture.

    • TucsonPatty says:

      Karen, seriously, I want some crystals. If I go to Amazon through your side bar, and keep clicking, does what I buy help you out? I would love to do that.

      • Karen says:

        It does indeed Patty. Anything bought through Amazon (if you get there from my site) gains me a small percentage of the cost of the item, at no cost to you) :) It isn’t a large amount 4-7% or so, but it adds up by the end of the month if enough people buy a few things. Thanks for thinking of me! ~ karen!

        • Jackie says:

          Wow – I didn’t know that. I get a lot of things from Amazon. How do I get to them through your page – because I can do that. Thanks for letting us know.

      • Jennifer Lee says:

        Shoot. Here I was, all set to tell you that you can buy real lead crystal, faceted sparklies CHEAP on eBay, and now I feel like I’ve kept Karen from benefiting. (Sorry, Karen. I’m compulsive about sharing bargain tips.) But, really, I bought a bunch of huge 40mm spherical ones with holes for hanging, and gave them to everybody at Christmas, a few years ago, because they cost me $2.50 apiece. On a sunny day, my place is Rainbow City!

        • Lymis says:

          What words would you search for on eBay?

        • Jennie Lee says:

          I just now looked under “lead crystal prisms”; there are over 900 listings. Mine might be 50mm, now that I think about it. I bought lots of 10 for $25. They were the biggest sperical ones available. Just one or two can really put on a show. Make sure, when you look at a post, to go down to the end, below it. Often, there is a row of other similar items you may want to check out. Good luck!

  20. Elaine says:

    Well done, Karen! You are SO smart and capable and I SO wish I could hire you for some of my jobs around here! The chandelier is beautiful!

  21. Donna Horne says:

    Good job, enjoy it !

  22. Tina says:

    Back in my married fancy-pants days, my ex worked for a couple of years in Prague. We took a week to go to the Slovak republic to explore. There we found a wonderful shop that made amazing chandeliers. WE looked at all of them but couldn’t decide which to buy. So the old man asked if I’d trust him to build one for me. He said the children could help, if they wanted. The outcome is an amazing, 3 tier structure of all hand cut crystals in whimsical styles! It is a piece of art! And sadly now sits in my basement. It needs a room, where you can gaze on it from afar. It needs a high ceiling, so you can stand under it and bask in its glory. Instead it’s in a box. Oh well.

    • ronda says:

      i have a room you can hang it in! i’m willing to help out as much as i can!

    • Ruth Vallejos says:

      I have this twisted idea: Hang it up in a really small room, like a walk-in closet or pantry. Yeah, it won’t be functional, but it would sure be funny! Imagine giving a tour of your house: “And here, we have the chandelier room!” Open the door, see a 5′ high chandelier in a 5’x5′ closet hanging off a 7’6″ ceiling. Close the door “And next is the monkey tickling chamber!”

  23. Teresa Chandler says:

    I have had monkeys but never a fancy chandelier- having had monkeys I can assure you it is probably better to have one or the other. I also fix all the lamps and other stuff around here BUT.. my hands NEVER look that decked-out good when they are wielding screwdrivers and pliers. I had a fleeting suspicion it was actually your Apple Watch in control. – it does seem to get a lot of air time – but then I remember it is KB and if the watch starts to act up you will just take the sucker apart and turn it into something else. ( of course I think crazy things! I used to have monkeys running loose in my house.)

  24. Sera says:

    It’s like you’re taunting me. In the next year (depending on our contractor) we will be installing a half bath on the main floor of our house. We’ve been planning on this bathroom for years but I think it might actually happen. But, I would love, need, a sparkly chandelier in there. I saw one in the powder room of this fancy house I visited a while back. The walls were black and the fixtures were authentic to the 1910 house and the chandelier was so big and sparkly!!! Now I just have to find one. One that I can afford, that doesn’t cost as much as building the whole new bathroom. Sigh. I’m jealous.

  25. Ardith says:

    And now you can have your “Heidi” monkey-on-the-chandelier-throwing-candles-moment anytime. OK, minus the candle throwing. Perhaps some nanny and butler slip-and-slide across the room moments instead.

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