Ceiling Fan Light Problem

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by m4p, Dec 2, 2018.

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  1. Dec 2, 2018 #1

    m4p

    m4p

    m4p

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    Hi All,

    We have a ceiling light with fan that had been working great. It has a chain pull to turn the lights on and off and also a chain pull for the fan.

    When I pull the chain for the light, the lights will go on, but they won't shut off because the chain does not release or go back into the housing. I am attaching a couple of pics here. In the first pic I unscrewed the metal that goes around the piece that the chain is supposed to release into. The second pic is with the metal on the plastic piece. Ceiling fan light chain 2.jpg Ceiling fan light chain 1.jpg Ceiling fan light chain 1.jpg

    Is there a way to fix this (somewhat easily) or do we need to get a new ceiling fan? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Dec 2, 2018 #2

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

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    0-commercial-electric-ceiling-fan-pull-chains-82335-64_1000.jpg The pull chain switch is very easy to replace. They are available at most hardware stores.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
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  3. Dec 3, 2018 #3

    m4p

    m4p

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    Thank you very much!

    I was wrong in my first post. The lights weren't working, it was just that the chain was stuck and wouldn't move.

    I finally got the light chain unstuck by spraying a little WD40 up through the hole where the chain goes in. I was so happy thinking I fixed the problem and it was just because the light chain wasn't moving, but none of the lights are going on. I don't think all 3 bulbs could be bad at once. So do you think it's the switch itself?

    I just found a youtube video and it doesn't look too awful a job I guess but wonder if it's really necessary to remove the globe fixtures like the guy in the video did: . Can't I just unscrew the 3 screws to take the plate off to get to the switch without having to take the glass globes off? The fan is pretty old and with my luck, everything would just fall apart if I have to mess with removing the globes.
     
  4. Dec 5, 2018 #4

    Sparky617

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    Taking the glass off makes it lighter and gets them out of your way and less likely to get broken.
     
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  5. Dec 6, 2018 #5

    m4p

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    Thanks, Sparky, I appreciate the reply. Good point, I definitely don't want to break those globes since they would be irreplaceable since the fan is so old. I think I'm going to run over to Home Depot this weekend and pick up the switch and maybe some better wire strippers.
     
  6. Dec 18, 2018 #6

    WyrTwister

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    Easy simple repair . Go for it .

    Do not get bit ! Or fall off the Ladder ! :-(

    Turn off the circuit breaker feeding the fan / lite .

    Wyr
    God bless
     
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  7. Dec 18, 2018 #7

    m4p

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    Thanks so much, Wyr, I appreciate it :) Well....my husband thinks I shouldn't do it and just wait until the next time we have an electrician out for something. The problem is my motto is "if there's a will, there's a way" while his motto is "if there's a way to mess it up, he will" (even though the house repair jobs he's done have been successful).

    I'm on vacation the week of Christmas and I think I may just give it a shot :) What could possibly go wrong? :D
     
  8. Dec 19, 2018 #8

    WyrTwister

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    YouTube can be a very valuable aid . I use it a lot when working in something for the first time . Like some car repairs .

    Wyr
    God bless
     
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  9. Dec 19, 2018 #9

    m4p

    m4p

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    Thanks, I definitely need to watch some Youtube videos to get my courage up. I wish they had Youtube back when I built my first computer (the second one I built was much easier because at least they had forums for help).

    Youtube was really helpful when I changed the faucet in the shower. I never would have been able to do something like that without Youtube.

    Then again, I wanted to change the bad cartridges in the bathroom sink and watched some videos. Didn't work so well though when I twisted up the water supply underneath and had to call a plumber. I need to learn what jobs I can realistically do and ones I can't. This fan switch seems like it wouldn't be too hard, and if I mess it up, it's an older fan anyway.

    Thanks again and happy holidays!
     
  10. Dec 21, 2018 #10

    EricK

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    You got this! I've replaced a few myself. It's not too difficult. Like it was said before, turn off the power at the breaker and be careful on the ladder. Remove those glass globes just to be safe. And here's a tip that may help you. Before you pull out the current pull chain switch take a picture of it with your phone. That way you'll remember what it looks like when you install the new one. Have fun!
     
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  11. Dec 21, 2018 #11

    WyrTwister

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    Transition 1 wire at a time from the old switch to the new switch . Unless it has just 2 wires to the switch . In that case it does not much matter .

    God bless
    Wyr
     
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  12. Dec 23, 2018 #12

    m4p

    m4p

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    Thanks, Eric, great idea to take a pic first. Which reminds me. We have an Intermatic outside timer. A couple years ago, one of the plastic gears broke, thus making it inoperable. I then googled it and found a video. I actually fixed it! But the hard part was putting it all back together after I fixed it and I should have taken a pic first. It would have made things much easier.
     
  13. Dec 23, 2018 #13

    m4p

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    Thanks, Wyr. Still trying to get my courage up. But I'm off work for a week so I need a project :) I only stripped a wire one time and it wasn't pretty. Maybe I need to get a better pair of wire strippers. Also, I've never used wire nuts before. I think I want to take the fan apart first so I can look at how the switch is connected and how many wires. It if looks easy, then I'll buy the switch. If it looks like an octopus, I'll wait for the next time we need an electrician for something.

    Thanks again, I really appreciate it.
     

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