How to repair a ceiling fan light pull cord

Written by dale yalanovsky
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How to repair a ceiling fan light pull cord
A broken ceiling fan light pull cord must be replaced. (Ceiling Fan image by AJ Sellas from

Any ceiling fan light pull cord that has broken must be replaced for proper function. Pull chains can have a coupling installed and extra links can be added, but a pull cord is essentially a thin piece of string. Certainly, if there is enough of the cord available, a crude knot can be used to fasten another piece of string to the cord. But if a ceiling fan light cord has broken near the switch, the only true repair option available is replacement.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Screwdriver(s)
  • Masking tape
  • Pen
  • Replacement switch

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  1. 1

    Flip the breaker that supplies electricity to the ceiling fan to the "off" position. Check to make sure the power is off by turning the fan on beforehand, then turning the breaker off. If the fan is not moving, the correct breaker has been flipped.

  2. 2

    Unscrew the holding screw that secures the light switch to the cover. It will be knurled and easy to turn with just your fingers. Once removed, place it off to the side.

  3. 3

    Remove the light switch cover on the ceiling fan with a screwdriver. The screws will be located around the edge of the cover, and all of them need to be removed before the cover will come off.

  4. 4

    Pull the light switch out carefully once the cover has been taken off. There will be several wires attached to the switch that will also need to be removed. These wires are held in by tiny clips that can be released by the insertion of a small screwdriver. Merely insert the screwdriver, push back onto the clip and the wire will easily pull straight out.

  5. 5

    Label each wire that comes out using a piece of masking tape and a pen. For example, wrap a small piece of tape around the first wire on the left and label it #1. Proceed left to right, and as each successive wire is removed, label it #2, #3, etc.

  6. 6

    Take the disconnected light switch to a hardware store and match it up. The best way to do this is to consult with a hardware professional. There are many different types of switches, so getting the correct replacement switch is crucial for proper light switch operation.

  7. 7

    Replace the new light switch in the exact order that it came out. Press the wires into position inside of the switch, and the clips will grab and hold the wires when pushed in properly. Remove the masking tape, screw on the light switch cover and replace the holding screw.

  8. 8

    Flip the breaker back to the "on" position.

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