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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1

    Question Puzzling table lamp

    I have a bedroom table lamp with a three step touch dimmer mounted in the metal base. It was working fine till it was unplugged while I was on vacation. When I came back, and plugged it in, it would not come on when touched. I tried another outlet, works fine. Anything else I plug into the usual outlet works fine. I used a tester on the outlet, and it showed all was good, including polarity.
    Since there was a secondary issue with the small plug on the lamp cord, I went ahead and rewired the lamp with a new plug, and internal wiring. I verified all good connections to the dimmer leads, and that proper polarity was observed.
    When I finished, I tested it on a GFI outlet and it worked fine.
    Tested it on several other outlets in the house, on different circuits, and it works fine. Went back to the bedroom, and no good. Same thing on another outlet on the same circuit, it won't work. To try to eliminate other variables, I reset the circuit breaker for the bedroom outlets. Lamp still does not work on its usual outlet, or the other wall outlet on the same circuit. The strange thing is I have a duplicate lamp on the other side of the bed on the same circuit (different outlet) that works fine.
    I am really stumped as to why this lamp works fine on ALL BUT ONE circuit in the house.
    Any suggestions are appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,436

    Default Re: Puzzling table lamp

    I suspect that you have a contact issue with this lamp in this receptacle - try replacing the plug with a new one and see what happens.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,418

    Default Re: Puzzling table lamp

    Try licking your finger and then touching the base of the lamp to see if that works. The circuitry can vary in sensitivity, in your case it is becoming less sensitive.

    The variable between different house circuits could be some resistance in the wires at the first outlet in the branch. For this, remove the first outlet, clean the wires and reattach them to the outlet. Be sure to use the screw contacts, not the push contacts on the outlet.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    203

    Smile Re: Puzzling table lamp

    It seems that you've already tested a lot of things. About the only "variable" left is the outlet itself. Just because a normal light works in it doesn't mean there isn't a problem. As stated above the touch sensor may not be seeing the outlet because of sensitivity issues. I would try replacing the outlet with a new one (they're cheap) and make sure that you use fine sandpaper or steel-wool to clean the wires before installing it. If it doesn't fix the problem then you can always return it, but I suspect part of your issue is oxidation inside the outlet.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    644

    Default Re: Puzzling table lamp

    Touch style switches may or may not work depending on a variety of reasons: carpet on floor, contact resistance of person touching, humidity in room, branch circuit ground, type of shoes being worn, manufacturing tolerances of the device, where the lamp is touched etc. etc.

    I once had to install a jumper from one part of a lamp to another part to make it work.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

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