How to Replace Ceiling Fan Pull Chains
Replacing the pull chains on a ceiling fan is a relatively simple DIY project that can update the look of your fan. The pull chains control the fan speed and light, so over time they can become worn out or break. Replacing them is an easy way to refresh your ceiling fan. In this comprehensive guide, I will walk through all the steps needed and things to consider when replacing ceiling fan pull chains.
Things to Consider Before Replacing the Pull Chains
Before replacing your ceiling fan pull chains, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Type of Replacement Chains
Metal or plastic - Pull chains come in metal finishes like bronze, brass, nickel, etc. or plastic in various colors. Choose the material and finish that best matches your fan.
Length - Measure the existing pull chain to determine the length you need. Chain lengths are commonly 4-5 inches.
Style - Choose a style like braided, beaded, or knotted depending on your taste.
Number of Pull Chains
Most ceiling fans have 2 pull chains - one to control the light and one for the fan speed.
Some fans have 3-4 pull chains for multiple lights and fan speeds.
Replace all of the pull chains at once for consistency.
Turn Off Power to the Fan
Before replacing the pull chains, be sure to turn off power to the fan at the breaker box. This prevents electric shock while handling the wiring.
Steps to Turn Off Power:
- Locate the breaker that controls the fan and switch it to the OFF position.
- Test the fan by pulling the chain - it should not turn on.
- Use a voltage tester on the wires to confirm power is off.
Remove the Existing Pull Chains
With the power off, you can now remove the old pull chains:
- Take off the pull chain pendant by unscrewing it from the bottom cap. Set aside.
- On the upper canopy, remove the screw and pull chain tensioner.
- Unwrap the bead chain from the tensioner and let it fall down.
- Detach the wire connector at the end of the chain and pull it off the fan.
Repeat this for each of the pull chains.
Install the New Pull Chains
Once the old chains are removed, you can install the new pull chain replacements:
Attach the New Bead Chain
- Start at the pendant end and connect the new bead chain with a connector.
- Wrap the chain through the tensioner in the canopy.
- Attach the wire connector at the upper end to the wiring for the light or fan speed.
- Adjust the chain tension by moving the tensioner. The chain should hang straight without sagging.
Re-Install Remaining Parts
- Screw the pull chain tensioner back into the canopy.
- Attach the pendant and screw the bottom cap back on tightly.
Follow these steps for installing each new ceiling fan pull chain.
Restore Power and Test the New Pull Chains
Once all the new chains are installed, you can turn the power back on and test them:
- Turn the breaker for the ceiling fan back to the ON position.
- Tug each pull chain gently and check that the fan or light responds appropriately.
- Make any adjustments to the pull chain tension if needed.
If the new pull chains operate the fan light and speeds correctly, the replacement was successful! Enjoy your updated ceiling fan.
Common Questions about Replacing Pull Chains
Here are some frequent questions about changing out ceiling fan pull chains:
Are replacement pull chains universal?
- Yes, most standard ceiling fan pull chains work universally across all brands. Just match the proper length.
Where can I buy replacement pull chains?
- Pull chains are readily available at hardware stores like Home Depot, online retailers like Amazon, or ceiling fan parts websites.
How do I pick the right length?
- Measure from the top of the pendant to the bottom cap on your existing chains. Standard sizes are 4, 5, or 6 inches.
What if my ceiling fan has 4 pull chains?
- Fans with 4 chains have 2 for the lights and 2 for the fan motor speed. Simply replace each chain the same way.
Replacing old, worn out ceiling fan pull chains is an inexpensive and easy DIY upgrade. By turning off power, removing old chains, installing new replacements properly, and restoring electricity, you can refresh the look of your ceiling fan in just a short time. Matching the style and length of your existing pull chains ensures proper operation.