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How to Repair a Ceiling Fan Pull Chain Switch

What to do When a Pull Chain Switch Stops Working – Pull chain switches for light fixtures and ceiling fans can become a problem, the first thing I would do…

What to do When a Pull Chain Switch Stops Working

Ceiling Fan Electrical Repair Question: My ceiling fan chain will not turn the light fixture back on after I pulled it to shut it off. The ceiling fan and pull chain work OK, but I can’t get the pull chain switch to work for the ceiling fan light. I have checked to make sure that the light switch is in the ON position. How can I fix this?

This home electrical repairs question came from: Anita, from , Rhode Island

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Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your Electrical Repair Question Anita

Ceiling Fan Pull Chain Switch

Repairing a Ceiling Fan Pull Chain

Pull chain switches for light fixtures and ceiling fans can become a problem over time due to internal worn out parts, a broken pull chain and in some cases the pull chain switch contacts may just wear out and stop working. The first thing I would do in a situation like this is to consider replacing the pull chain light switch. If the pull chain is jammed or stuck and it will not move either way then get some Non-Conductive lubricant spray such as the CRC brand and spray a small amount into the opening where the pull chain leads into the switch, because sometimes the switch mechanism binds up, so the Non-Conductive spray lubricant may do the trick. After spraying gently work the pull chain to try to get it to function On and OFF. If this does not work then the pull chain switch should be replaced with the identical switch.

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  1. Vincent says:

    I followed the exact instructions that Dave posted above. I used a little lubricant and sprayed it up there and the chain came loose. It works like new! Thanks a million Dave!

  2. Terry Schreder says:

    I have tried the electrical lubricant and it failed to loosen my stuck switch. How do I remove the switch. I have loosened the the four screws around the top of the cover which house the switches but I can’t remove the cover. What am I failing to loosen.

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Terry,
      Some ceiling fan light fixtures have a blank cover at the bottom that may be removed to gain access to the pull chain switch, it depends on the type of light fixture you have. I recently repaired a pull chain switch that had the same problem. I tried using some lubricant too, however I ended up taking the light fixture cover off to see what was wrong. I discovered that the housing of the switch had loosened up and pulled apart slightly, so I snapped the housing back together, wrapped it with electrical tape to reinforce it and it worked just fine. I will still get a replacement switch and change it out.
      I hope this helps you,


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