How to Fix a Light Pull Switch

Written by darla ferrara | 13/05/2017
How to Fix a Light Pull Switch
It's time to replace the pull chains and get those lights back in service. (light image by Ewe Degiampietro from

When a pull chain breaks on a light fixture, many people give up on that light. The problem may seem overwhelming, but it's not. Replacing the pull switch on the light fixtures in your home may be one of the easiest projects you tackle this year. Take a quick tour of your house and pull the chains on the fixtures in every room. Take account of ones with broken pull chains and head to the hardware store for replacements. It's time to get those lights back in service.

Go to the circuit-breaker box and locate the breaker for your light. Move the breaker to the "off" position. Return to the light fixture and make sure the power is off.

Remove the fixture from the ceiling or wall. You will need to expose the wires that supply power to your light.

Take the wires apart by removing the wire nuts.

Look closely at the switch on your light. The metal beads or pull chain, known as a knurl, feeds into the switch mechanism and through the light base. Pull the switch out of the light.

Feed the knurl from the new switch into the base of the light. Pull the knurl to insert the new switch tight into the base.

Reconnect the wires to the new switch and secure them with wire nuts.

Reattach the fixture to the wall or ceiling and turn the power back on at the circuit box. Pull the new chain to test your work.

Things you need

  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Replacement pull switch

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