How to Replace a Ceiling Fan Pull Switch

A ceiling fan pull switch will undergo a lot of wear and tear over the years. Sometimes, the switch will wear out prematurely, rendering the fan unusable. In this case, consider replacing the fan pull switch rather than trying to replace the entire fan. A replacement part should be less than $5, and you should be able to fix it in less than an hour with a few basic tools.

Before beginning this project, buy a ceiling fan pull switch. Be sure you are replacing the correct part: the fan pull switch to work the motor of the fan will be different than the pull switch used to operate the light.

  • Step 1: Turn off the circuit at the main circuit breaker that powers the ceiling fan. Make sure you got the right circuit by making sure the fan does not work when prompted.
  • Step 2: Detach the light fixture from the ceiling by removing the screws that hold it in place. Have a helper hold the ceiling fan in place while you detach the fixture wiring from the house wiring by unscrewing the wire nuts and disentangling the pairs of wires.
  • Step 3: Remove the cover from the ceiling fan that conceals the area where the fan pull switch is located.
  • Step 4: Remove the old pull switch by snipping the wires that are connected to the terminals of the switch with wire cutters. Cut as closely to the old pull switch as possible. Once the wires are detached, remove the old pull switch and discard.

TIP: In some cases, the pull switch is attached to the rest of the fan with wires secured with wire nuts. In this case, just remove the wire nuts to and then remove the old pull switch.

  • Step 5: Insert the pull switch into the cavity created by removing the old switch. Attach the chain to the pull switch, and use the ring to tighten the chain and pull the switch and secure the connection. Make sure that the chain is oriented in the correct direction, paying attention to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Step 6: Attach the ends of the wires of the replacement pull switch with the wires from the fan. Math the corresponding colors, using a wire nut to secure each pair of wires.
  • Step 7: Replace the cover on the ceiling fan, tucking any loose wires from the switch into the fan. Attach the fixture wires to the wires in the ceiling, using wire nuts to secure each connection. Screw the fan into place and restore electricity to that area of the house by flipping the circuit breaker.

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