(Topic ID: 172003)

How to clean old #44/47 Lamp Sockets?

By Arcane

2 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 16 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by xTheBlackKnightx
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders


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    ce317287-3b1a-445a-b54d-9872c99f7aa3_1000 (resized).jpg
    00clean-lamp-sockets (resized).jpg
    socket (resized).jpg
    dremel 932 (resized).jpg

    #1 2 years ago

    I was wondering how you can clean old #44 or #47 lamp sockets from early Solid state playfield. Replacing these numerous lamp sockets can be a very expensive proposition with sockets price going up to $2 each or more and I was wondering if anybody had experimented with some technique to restore them to good electrical contacts.

    I was thinking about three solutions:

    1) Tumbling them with corn or nuts, but that will entail a very deep and thorough cleaning afterwards, as the corn will remain stuck inside the socket. I also suspect that not much rubbing will occur inside.

    2) A bath in Evapo-rust.

    3) A tedious sanding inside and outside of each socket with abrasive stick and sanding paper.

    Any idea and recipe would be more than welcome.

    #2 2 years ago

    Here's what I do. I remove the single wire from the tab and solder it directly to the base nipple. I then solder the base directly to the mounting support. I use a Dremel with a small abrasive bit and clean out the inside (about 2-3 seconds). Do the same to my EMs and all are rock solid.

    dremel 932 (resized).jpg

    #3 2 years ago

    Pinball recourse sells,a very cool socket cleaning stick.
    Amongst other usefull tools.

    #4 2 years ago

    I like the vibration tumbler...

    #5 2 years ago
    Quoted from Milltown:

    Pinball recourse sells,a very cool socket cleaning stick.
    Amongst other usefull tools.

    +1. I also use the stick. If you hold the socket button from underside while you twist inside bottom it cleans it well. I then twist the stick in an oval pattern to clean sides. Every once and a while a socket gets loose and wont ground. A dab of solder at the base will fix that.

    #6 2 years ago

    I also have used PBR stick, but would like it if it had a larger diameter.

    Wonder if something like this would work (320 grit version)? amazon.com link »

    Or maybe this? amazon.com link »

    #7 2 years ago

    Wire brush attachment for your dremel.

    socket (resized).jpg

    #8 2 years ago
    Quoted from wayout440:

    This is all you need

    If you can get them small enough.

    #9 2 years ago

    I don't. I learned a long time ago it doesn't pay to try and save a few cents on sockets. Just replace them with brand new ones and a new bulb and you'll be fine.

    John P. Dayhuff
    Battle Creek, MI.

    #10 2 years ago

    Hi Arcane +
    do You want to clean the sockets "AAA": As You wash Your car - so they look good --- or do You want to clean the sockets "BBB": Because the lamp "does not / not always / only sometimes" lites up ?

    I only write to "BBB" - see the JPG - an area might be oxidated and I clean (only) this area I actually use a steelbrush, greetings Rolf.

    00clean-lamp-sockets (resized).jpg

    #11 2 years ago

    Thank you all for the very good information.

    To answer Rolf, ideally I would love to clean the sockets as I wash my car (double buckets, Orbital buffer, Meguiars 105/205, Collinite 845 Sealant) but let's be more realistic and BBB is probably plenty enough. I was trying to find a way in between AAA and BBB without having to buy a large number of expensive sockets.

    I currently use the PBR stick and it works most of the times, although the sockets do not look too good.
    I think the soldering of the base nipple is key to reliable working.


    #12 2 years ago

    Nifty LED sells both the brush attachment for a drill and the cleaning sticks.

    #13 2 years ago

    Rolf's diagram above clearly shows the continuity issue with virtually every problematic spring-loaded lamp socket I've ever encountered. The first impulse is to clean the INSIDE of the cavity -- it just seems like the right thing to do. So, OK, go ahead and do that if it makes you feel good. But then move on to solving the real problem of removing the corrosion on the bottom of the socket. Don't waste time or money replacing ANY sockets until you do this. Just my 2 cents. Weighing in a little late...

    #15 2 years ago

    I have had nice results without even removing lamp socket sometimes. You mentioned tumbling which I think would be silly. And some work to remove.
    If your removing the following is way easier but if they are easy insert lamps you can do without removale.
    First find a couple paint caps or other suitable container to dip the socket in. You need one with CLR.
    Dip for a minute with bulb in, dip another with bulb out. Repeat as needed but should be clean in two minutes tops. Then dip in a rinse a couple of times of water. Spray or dip in a final bath of isopropyl alcohol. Let dry and then I put a couple drops of deoxit on the spring and brass area, swipe the the inner base with a thin layer applied with a q tip. If it doesn't work perfectly after that just buy new.

    I had one machine with lots of oxides all over (sea side machine)? It worked very well for those sockets.

    #16 2 years ago

    Sanding pen for internal cleaning, if not severely corroded. Use in conjunction with dremel tool tips. Ensure vacuuming of any residue, metal, or fiberglass debris to avoid short circuits.

    Severe socket corrosion or loss of surface finish required total replacement, no other method.

    External cleaning via dremel wire extension tip, or wire brush.

    Caramelized or corroded GI braiding needs to be removed/repaired, if it interferes with electrical connectivity via continuity testing.

    ce317287-3b1a-445a-b54d-9872c99f7aa3_1000 (resized).jpg

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