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If you own a lighting fixture, this page is for you!
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The single most neglected safety feature of lamps, and the most often cause of short circuits we see at The Lamp Repair Shop, is a burned up insulator (A). This carboard layer between a socket's interior thread (B) and its exterior shell (C) is vital to prevent injury or death to a lamp's user. Found in most vintage or antique lamps, these insulators are often deteriorated beyond functionality, and pose a serious fire or electrocution hazzard in the home or business.
How? Read on!
shorted socket
deteriorated insulator to electrical socket
short circuited socket
socket showing short circuit
These images show the results of deteriorated socket insulators. As you can clearly see, the resulting short circuit is hot enough to melt brass, a temperature in excess of 1,650ºF (900ºC)!
Please note: This often happens when someone is changing out a light bulb, and this damage occurs in a fraction of a second. It is very loud, very hot, and very dangerous!
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Another common issue with lighting brought into The Lamp Repair Shop is a cord that has been chewed on by a house pet. Most times people haven't even noticed the bare copper wires. They just see their lamp flickering and bring it in for repairs.
 
If you have house pets, take just a few minutes and run your hand along the cords of your lamps to check for rough spots.
 
While your at it, check the plugs very carefully if they are behind furniture!
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There is a reason
 The Lamp Repair Shop 
does not repair halogen lamps.
They are without a doubt the most dangerous lamps made today, and they have been banned in many public settings.
 
These pictures show just how hot halogen bulbs can burn; easily hot enough to melt aluminum, and in the case of the top right picture, hot enough to melt its own glass!
 
The only advice we offer about halogen lamps is to dispose of them.
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There will be more to post here in the future, but until then:
USE YOUR COMMON SENSE when dealing with electricity!
When in doubt, have it checked out.