How To Replace A Pull Cord On The Light Fixture In 4 Steps

Pull cords on the light fixture are quite handy, as you won’t need a wall switch to control it. As they are simple to use, often cords snap off or break easily, and sometimes they even stop working overtime. On the other hand, pull cords are very easy to replace.

How To Replace A Pull Cord On The Light Fixture In 4 Steps
How To Replace A Pull Cord On The Light Fixture In 4 Steps

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You can replace the cord with a little bit of knowledge and the right tools in your home. So it is a do-it-yourself task – with keeping safety at number one priority. Here is how you can replace pull cords on the light fixture in four steps.

Preparation and Safety

The first step usually goes to get the necessary tools you will need to replace the pull cord. If you have a very old or broken cord, you might want to visit the hardware store first. Make sure you get the accurate size and model of your pull cord.

You can take pictures of the fixture and cord to get a clear idea of what you want. Take necessary measurements like the length and diameter of the cord. These steps will help to maintain aesthetics – and you will have better fit references for future repairs. 

Now turn off the power from the circuit breaker for safety. Find the circuit breaker and shut off the power supply of the room you are working in – if you need to test light bulbs, get a safe extension cord from another room. If you are not certain which switch is for the room and light fixture, turn off the main power.

You will need a tall stepping stool if the light fixture is in a high place. Make sure you don’t have to climb more than the highest second step. Keep all the necessary tools nearby, so you will be able to reach them safely.

Removing light fixture

First, remove light bulbs from the fixture to prevent any breakage.  Keep the light bulbs and screws on a towel – so you will be able to find them later easily. Remove the fixture from the electric box mounting plate.

Pull the fixture lower, so you get access to the wires. Don’t touch the wires immediately – check for the hot wires using a voltage tester. If the tester doesn’t glow up, you are safe to disconnect wires.

Find the cord switch and wires connecting to it. Unscrew the switch from the fixture and disconnect connecting wires. Examine the switch for any wire damage or if there is a need for replacing the switch.

You need to get a new switch from the hardware store. If there is no need to replace the switch, you can easily replace the pull cord.

Replacing the pull cord

Once you finish examining the switch, open the switch using a small screwdriver. Upon opening, you will see the cord and spring mechanism. Next, disconnect all the wires by pulling them out from the switch.

Make sure you keep parts of the switch aside so you won’t lose them. In some switches, the cord and spring are under a protective cover or plate. If you don’t see any cord and spring upon the opening switch, you will need to open the protective plate around it.

Remove everything you see from the switch that includes your broken cord, the disc attaching to it, and spring. Take out the broken cord from the disc using a screwdriver and discard it. Now you need to replace the new one on the spot of the old cord.

Fix the new cord into the disc using your fingers; it’s quite simple to do. Reassemble the switch by putting the cord and spring back into the switch. If there is a protective plate, fix it on using a screwdriver and take out the cord from the hole.

Next, pull the cord out of the switch from the hole beforehand, placing the parts together. Hold down the mechanism tightly, which attaches the two switch halves. Using a screwdriver, place the halves and make sure the wires are corresponding to the switch.

Putting back the fixture

Place back the switch inside of the fixture. Make sure you are placing the screws in the right place. Mind the wires related to the switch and reattach them correctly.

Now the switch is in the proper place; it’s time to place the fixture. Ask someone’s help to hold the fixture while you reattach the wires in the fixture.  Carefully pair the wires according to black on black same goes for white and ground wires.

Twist the black wires together using pliers, followed by white and ground wires. Now place the fixture by screwing it firmly back to spot. Don’t over tighten the screws, or it might break the fixture.

Now fixture in the right spot – twist the light bulbs into the dedicated places.  Make sure you have screwed all things back together securely. Now turn on the circuit breaker to check the lights.

The final step is to test the pull cord to see if it works. Pull the cord two or three times to ensure the fixture is holding tightly. Finally, pull the cord to see if the lights work – if the lights are on, you have successfully replaced the pull cord.

Replacing the pull cord is an easy job – there is no need for excessive tools and energy. You must do this work in favor of your safety. If you are not sure or in doubt about replacing the cord, you can easily avail the professional services.

Bonus: Check out our guide on putting out car fire!