Fix a pull-chain light switch easily with this Letsfixit guide.
In many situations in the home, the traditional light fixture controlled by a switch on the wall isn’t necessary. Closets, basement stairwells and other confined areas are served just as well with a light that’s turned on and off with a simple tug of a pull chain. But, while a pull-chain switch can provide many years of trouble-free operation, repeated use can cause it to wear down to the point that the switch no longer turns the light off or on. Luckily, fixing a pull-chain light switch is inexpensive and relatively easy.
Turn off the power to the pull chain light fixture by toggling off the circuit breaker in the electrical panel that controls the light's circuit.
Pull the fixture away from the box carefully, press the button on the touch-type voltage tester and press the tip of the tester to each of the wires within the box. This is to make sure the circuit is off before you disconnect the wires. If the tester beeps, lights up or both, the circuit is still hot. Don't continue until you have the correct breaker off.
Connect the black wire from the wall box with one of the black wires from the pull-chain switch. It doesn't matter which one you choose. Use a wire connector to secure the connection and wrap it with electrical tape.
Install the light bulb and the cover (if applicable) and turn the circuit breaker back on. Tug on the pull chain to turn the light on and then again to make sure it goes off.