Friday, December 30, 2011

Installed a New Pull Chain Light Fixture

Spent Yesterday Morning Replacing an Old Pull Chain Light Fixture

By Mark J. Donovan

With time off this week I’ve been making a few minor home repairs around the house. Yesterday morning’s project was installing a new pull chain light fixture in the basement. The light switch pull cord had snapped off at the base of the light fixture and there was virtually no way to reattach it. Consequently I found myself running off to the local home improvement center to find a replacement. The store had plastic ones for around $1 and porcelain ones for around $4. I went with the porcelain pull chain light fixture as it also had integrated into it an electrical outlet socket. I figured the socket could come in handy at some point.

Installing, or should I say replacing, a pull chain light fixture is very easy to do. Just make sure to turn off power at the main circuit panel before working on it. My pull chain light fixture broke in the ON position, so for a couple of weeks we simply rotated the bulb counterclockwise or clockwise to turn if OFF or ON. With the bulb screwed in and the light ON I simply had to confirm the bulb turned OFF when I threw the circuit breaker at the main panel to ensure there was no power feeding it.

I then loosened the two screws that held the light fixture to the electrical outlet box. Afterwards I pulled the fixture away from the outlet box and used a screwdriver to loosen the wires that were attached to it. There were two white wires attached to the silver screw and 2 gold wires attached to the gold screws. The bare ground wire was not attached.

I then wired in the new pull chain light fixture exactly as I had seen it with the old one. This one also had a green screw for the ground wire so I attached it as well. I then pushed the new light fixture in place and reattached the two mounting screws to hold it firmly up against the electrical outlet box. I then attached the pull string to the small chain that hung from the base of the unit.

Finally I screwed a light bulb into the socket and turned the circuit breaker back on. With one pull on the string my new pull chain light fixture was operational.

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