How to Replace a Broken Plastic Lamp Holder

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Most electrical work that is carried out in the home may require a certified electrician. Replacing a broken lamp holder is a relatively simple task that requires very little experience, but you need to be competent in carrying out this task. The only tools that you need are a pair of pliers, a screwdriver and a mains voltage tester. By carrying out this simple DIY repair for a few pennies it will save you pounds on calling in an electrician.

Follow these simple steps for a safe guide to repairing a broken light fitting.

Identify and Isolate

Before you begin the repairs you must ensue you identify the correct fuse/ circuit breaker that supplies the light that you want to work on.

All the circuits should have been identified when they were installed. If they are not, simply turn off the circuit breakers one at a time until you locate the correct one (i.e the light turns off). If you have a fuse instead of a circuit breaker simply withdraw the fuses until you identify the correct fuse. See our Safe Isolation Procedures article for steps on this.

  1. Turn off the circuit breaker and lock it off, if you have an old fuse board remove the fuse from its holder and keep it in your pocket.
  2. Try turning on the light to see if it comes on.
  3. Remove the light bulb (and lampshade if one is fitted).
  4. Carefully unscrew the back of the lamp holder to expose the cable terminations.
  5. At this stage, you may confirm once again that the mains voltage is off by using your mains voltage tester.

    Fixing a broken light fitting
  6. Put the voltage tester across the terminals of the blue and brown cables
  7. If there is no mains voltage present, there will be no lights Illuminated.
  8. Remove the flex (cable) from the lamp holder, by unscrewing from the terminals.
  9. Reconnect the lamp holder by screwing the cables back into the terminals.
  10. Beware that if the lamp holder is a screw type, the brown cable needs to go into the centre terminal.

Note: you can use the same technique for table lamps and floor standing lamps.

  1. Just unplug the lamps from the wall sockets to disconnect them from the mains voltage.
  2. Beware that if a metal lamp holder / stand is fitted it must be earthed (green & yellow cable) to be connected to the earth terminal.
  3. Just like above if a screw type lamp holder is fitted the brown cable must be connected to the centre terminal.

Remember electricity can cause SERIOUS harm to you and others