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Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:34 AM

Regarding ceiling fans

Has anyone else ever had the pull chain mechanism refuse to turn off the light?

Two years ago an Amish contractor, while here to do other things, offered to hang the ceiling fan for me. Well, it wouldn't work but I knew there were other possible causes for the problem so I let the matter drop. TWO YEARS LATER I finally got somebody to do electrical work and they found the other guy had just crossed the wires.

After a couple ecstatic weeks, all of a sudden the problem already described reared its ugly head. Took several minutes to get the danged thing turned off, which I can't do at the wall switch because that also controls the fan blades which are needed badly. Twice since, I've forgotten and turned it back on which seems to work easily enough; the blasted chain just doesn't seem to want to work in reverse.

Would a squirt of WD-40 in the chain cavity on the motor work and/or be safe to the electrical work?

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Reply Regarding ceiling fans (Original post)
IrishAyes Dec 2014 OP
FBaggins Dec 2014 #1
NYC_SKP Dec 2014 #2
Warpy Dec 2014 #3
IrishAyes Dec 2014 #4

Response to IrishAyes (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 01:43 AM

1. It's probably a bad switch on the pull chain

They aren't hard to replace with basic DIY skills (and the switches are cheap).

Here's an example of one type. After watching it, if you're comfortable with the level of effort necessary, you might open it up and find that the switch is just loose. If it isn't, then you'll see the type to pick up as a replacement.

Don't forget to turn off the power before working on the wiring.

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Response to IrishAyes (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 02:02 AM

2. I've had this problem and it called for a new switch.


If you're feeling handy, you can disassemble it down to the switch, remove it and take it to the hardware store for an identical one.

WD40 won't help.

And do remember to turn off the breaker or pull the fuse to that circuit, and you will probably need two or three wire nuts to splice the switch back in to the wiring.

Take a picture with your phone or draw a diagram so that you put the wires back the correct way.

It's not that hard.

Good luck!

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Response to IrishAyes (Original post)

Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:55 AM

3. Unless you know what the problem is, don't squirt anything into it.

Are you certain the fan blades and light are wired separately? My ceiling fan in the kitchen is, the one in the bedroom isn't. I know because I installed both of them.

Your best bet is to bite the financial bullet and have a real electrician come out and look at it. I say this because they're heavy buggers to take down.

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Response to IrishAyes (Original post)

Tue Dec 2, 2014, 01:05 AM

4. Are you guys saying NOT EVERYTHING can be fixed with WD-40 and duct tape?

I'm shocked.

Well, the friend/handyman married to my best friend can certainly do that; if I alert him to the problem, he'll know when he can come and fix it. He can do anything in a house, really.

That also makes me think of the problem with my upstairs attic ventilation fan. It's supposed to have 2 speeds on it, and that worked fine several years. But last summer it would click on low, not on high. Maybe it's a similar problem.

Naturally I'd hoped to be able to fix it myself. But at least I've got sense enough to ask! Thank you again, everyone.

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