The Chain Is Stuck on My Ceiling Fan Light

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Replacing the pull switch on a ceiling fan is the easiest way to fix it.
Replacing the pull switch on a ceiling fan is the easiest way to fix it. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Ceiling fan lights are an attractive way to lower your cooling bill. Most of these fans are operated with pull switches to adjust the speed and light settings. Over time the chain attached to the switch can jam , keeping you from pulling it. When this happens, the easiest solution is to simply replace the entire switch assembly. Fan manufacturers have taken replacing the switch into account and have made the process as easy as possible.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Replacement switch
  • Wire caps (optional)

Turn off the power to the fan using the circuit breaker box.

Remove the screws holding the fan's outer cover in place. Remove the cover and set it and the screws aside.

Unscrew the nut holding the pull switch in place. Set it aside with the cover and screws.

Pull the switch out of the fan's housing and take a photo with a digital camera or camera phone. This photo will help you to make sure you reconnect the wires in the correct order.

Remove the wires from the switch. They should be wrapped around two screw terminals on the switch or twisted with wiring attached to the switch. Either way, you just have to untwist the wires.

Purchase a replacement pull switch. It should have the same size, wattage and speed settings as the old one.

Wire the new switch to the fan following the photo that you took. If the switch has wires that are twisted with the fan's wires, cap each set with a wire cap to prevent short circuits.

Set the switch into the fan's housing and screw the nut in place to secure it. Replace the fan's cover and screws.

Turn the power on and test the new switch.

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