How to Bypass Pull Chain on Ceiling Fan | A Step by Step Guide


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If you have an old ceiling fan and can’t find a pull switch to replace it, or if you want to bypass the pull chain for some reason, this article will help you complete your project. Let’s learn how to bypass pull chain on ceiling fan.

Paddle Ceiling Fan Pull Chain Switch Replacement

How To Bypass Pull Chain On Ceiling Fan
  • For most pull chain fan switches, you will need to replace the switch, but you can reattach the chain on some models. To replace the switch, you must know whether it controls the fan or the light. If the switch goes to the fan, you will need to know the number of fan speeds. Here’s how:
  • Start by turning off the fan circuit breaker.
  • Next, remove the fan cover or light ball cover to gain access to the switch and unscrew the nut on the outside of the switch that holds it in place.
  • Pull the switch out of the housing from the inside and leave the wires connected.
  • Check the switch to see if the chain can be reconnected.
  • If not, carefully note the colors of the wires and terminals to which each is connected (take a picture with a digital camera or cell phone, or draw a circuit diagram).
  • Weigh the wires and bring the switch along with the fan model and brand to the visitor center, where you will replace it. Make sure it matches the number of gears, switch size, and power.
  • To install a new switch if the wires are connected directly to the terminals, bend each wire around the appropriate terminal clockwise and tighten the screws.
  • If the switch has wires connected with screw connectors (commonly called wire nuts), remove 1/2 “to 3/4” insulation from each wire, wrap it together clockwise, and rotate the connector clockwise to keep it safe and bare wire is covered.
  • Insert the switch from the inside into the hole of the fan cover and tighten the nut from the outside.
  • Attach the case cover or light ball.
  • Turn on the circuit breaker again and test the switch to see if it works.

How to Bypass Dimmer Switch?

How To Bypass Pull Chain On Ceiling Fan
  • Turn off the dimmer power at the main service panel. 
  • Remove the screws from the dimmer cover plate with a screwdriver and remove the cover plate from the wall. Once you notice that the board is stuck to the wall, carefully remove it with a screwdriver. 
  • Remove the screws from the top and bottom of the dimmer with a screwdriver and pull the switch out of the electrical outlet. Make sure the power is turned off with a multimeter. Turn on the dimmer and set the multimeter to 120 volts. Touch the black (hot) and white (neutral) wire meter probes together. The meter should read 0 at all times.
  • Disconnect the two black wires and the two white wires on each dimmer side with a screwdriver. Remove the bare (ground) wire from the bottom of the switch with a screwdriver.
  • Insert the ends of the two black wires into the collet nut and rotate the nut with your fingers until it fits. Attach the cable tie to the wires by wrapping it in electrical tape. Repeat with both white threads. Connect the bare ground wire disconnected from the dimmer to the bare ground wire of the main circuit cable in the electrical outlet (switchboard) using a wire nut. Cover it with insulating tape. Insert the taped wires into the electrical outlet and reattach the cover plate. 

How to Bypass Pull Chain on Ceiling Fan?

How to Bypass Pull Chain on Ceiling Fan

To bypass the pull switch, you’ll need to understand the wiring. After a few years, the pull chain switches usually wear out. If the pull string stops working or you get tired, the light and fan can be bypassed and controlled using the wall switch.

The wall switch is the most reliable way to control the ceiling fan and lighting. 

Turn off the power.

First, turn off the circuit breaker and switch in the room where you will be working. If you do not know which circuit breaker corresponds to the room, turn off the main switch for added safety.

Remove the bulbs.

  • Install a ladder or high chair to reach the ceiling. Ensure that the ladder is securely fastened and strong enough to support the weight.
  • Carefully unscrew the bulbs and place them on a nearby towel for later use. Remove any candlesticks or balls attached to the ceiling fan by removing the screws with a screwdriver.

Remove the light fixture from the room.

You will find several screws that hold the ceiling fan light or the main box where the wiring is hidden. Remove these screws with a screwdriver and remove the lamp to see the wiring and the switch. Place the screws and removable bracket safely until you are ready to replace them.

Remove the pull switch.

Remove the nut holding the switch on the jig side. You will find a small nut on the outside of the fixture exterior. Unscrew this nut completely to access the pull chain switch.

Remove the switch.

You must now remove the pull chain switch. Unclip the pull cord and proceed to the next step.

Run the wire.

If there is no wiring between the fan and the wall switch, you will need to run the wire first.

Select the switch location.

The first step is to determine where the switch will be installed. Once you decide, cut a large enough hole in the wall for a double electrical box.

Select the wire size.

The size of the wire should be determined by the size of the circuit breaker that protects the circuit. If the circuit breaker has 15 amps, 14 AWG wires can be used. If the circuit breaker is rated at 20 amps, use 12 AWG wires.

Select the switches.

Any single-pole switch can be used to turn the light on and off. The fan switch can also be pressurized. Install a fan control switch instead of a standard wall switch if you want to control the fan speed with a wall switch. At your local store or online, you can find a 3-speed fan control switch or a 3-speed fan control and lighting switch.


If the ceiling fan is currently connected without a wall switch, there should be three wiring harnesses in the box. An ungrounded black wire should be present. There should be an ungrounded black wire. It is a bundle of green ground wires is also included.

It connects to the ceiling.

First, connect two black wires, one from the wall switch and the ceiling. Then connect all the white wires coming from the wall switch and the ceiling fan box. Now, connect all bare/green wires on both sides. Then you find the red wire coming out of the wall switch and the black wire coming out of the fan, twist them together.

Connect the two blue wires from the ceiling fan to the wall switch at the end. The wiring on the ceiling side has been completed.

Connection to wall switches.

Connect the black wire to the two-line terminals of these switches using the pigtail connector. If necessary, connect the white wire to the switch using a wire connector.

The bare wire will be connected to the ground terminal of both switches. The red wire goes to the load terminal and the blue wire to the switch/light terminal. All wiring is done.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you bypass the ceiling fan pull switch?

To work around this, remove the two wires connected to the two terminals of the pull switch and connect them. Turn off the main power beforehand. There are wall switches designed for ceiling fans to control the fan speed and the light from the wall.

Can you pull the chain off the ceiling fan?

If the pull-out chain of your ceiling fan is broken because it has been pulled out of the switch, there is an easy way to fix it. Remove the broken chain from the ceiling fan switch and replace it with a longer one. Switch off the power supply before removing the ceiling fan.

How do you stop the ceiling fan when the chain breaks?

If there is even a small piece of the chain left, you can pull it out with needle pliers. If the fan is connected directly to the power supply (a wall switch does not control it), you will probably want to turn off the circuit breaker so that the fan stops when you do so (so that you do not lose your mind).

Are the ceiling fan pull chains universal?

The chain hanging on the ceiling fan activates the switch inside the fan. Replace both types of switches in the same way. The switches are not universal, so you will probably need to remove the faulty switch before looking for a replacement.

Is it possible to convert a pull chain switch to a wall switch?

Pull chain switches normally wear long before mounting. The light can be transformed to work from a wall switch, whether the cord has stopped working or you are tired of fighting in the dark. Install an easily accessible light switch to control the ceiling light for years of reliable service.


After all, wiring is completed, the fan blades and light set need to be refitted. You can then test by closing the circuit breaker and turning on the circuit breaker. If this does not work, call a professional to identify the problem. Hope you have learned how to bypass pull chain on ceiling fan.

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