How to Replace the Pull Chain on a Light Switch

Written by kathleen bona
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How to Replace the Pull Chain on a Light Switch
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Through repeated use, pull chains used as switches on light fixtures inevitably break, leaving the light in either the "on" or "off" position. Rather than attempting to fix the pull chain itself, it is actually easier to replace the entire unit. As with any home wiring project involving electricity, safety is the most important factor. Take extra precautions to be sure the power is off to the light fixture before replacing the switch.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Pull chain light switch unit
  • Voltage tester
  • Screwdriver
  • Masking tape
  • Needle-nose pliers

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Turn off the power to to the light fixture at the fuse box or circuit breaker. Test the socket with a voltage tester to be sure the power is deactivated.

  2. 2

    Remove the mounting screws to the pull chain light switch fixture with a screwdriver.

  3. 3

    Pull the fixture out about three inches. Identify each wire by labelling with pieces of masking tape to indicate which wire attaches to which screw.

  4. 4

    Remove the light fixture from the wires with needle-nose pliers. If the ends of the wires are corroded, strip off about 3/4 inch of sheathing with the pliers and bend up the ends of the wires.

  5. 5

    Attach the wires to the new pull chain light switch fixture according to the masking-tape labels you made.

  6. 6

    Push the new light fixture into the box or onto the wall; attach it with the mounting screws.

  7. 7

    Attach the new pull string to the chain with the help of needle-nose pliers.

  8. 8

    Screw a light bulb into the fixture. Turn the power on at the fuse box or circuit breaker.

  9. 9

    Check to be sure the light works properly by pulling on the string.

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