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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Old pull chain light socket repair

    Our 100 year old farm house has ceiling lights that are suspended by their own wires. One of the pull chains has pulled out, and I can't figure out how to open the socket housing inorder to replace the chain. Advice on how to open the top cap would be most appreciated.
    Regards, LL

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,612

    Default Re: Old pull chain light socket repair

    Can you provide a picture of the fixture in question? The sockets that I'm familiar with basically "twist lock" together. The second image in this link shows what I'm referring to. http://www.hometips.com/content/lamps_ef.html

    Some ceramic fixtures are screwed together, there is a porcelain ring that screws down over the socket to hold it in place, simply unscrew the ring and you're in.

    Whatever you do DO NOT work on an energized circuit! Turn off the breaker (or remove the fuse ) then test the socket with a voltage tester to be certain it's deactivated.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Old pull chain light socket repair

    Thanks. I wish I could send a photo. The assembly I have suspends from the ceiling from a two piece ceramic mount. The lower half has electrical tabs that twist lock into electrical tabs in the upper half. So I'm disconnected from the power.
    Unlike the socket you showed, the socket housing I have has a smooth flange where cap fits over barrel. There is a stamping on the barrel that reads: 250W-250V
    GE Co. USA
    The socket is in good condition with only minor surface oxidation. I just can't seem to get the cap to twist or slide in any direction in order to reassemble the pull chain to the switch.
    Regards, LL

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,612

    Default Re: Old pull chain light socket repair

    I knew the image that I attached wasn't exact to your situation, it was to show the "twist lock" that I was referring to.

    I will leave further comment to the electrical pro's. Do let us know how things work out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: Old pull chain light socket repair

    I think any "electric pro" that could answer this question is either playing a harp or has his tail on fire.

    Maybe not.

    Are there any screws on the inside of the socket??

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Old pull chain light socket repair

    Thanks. There is a screw inside the lamp socket that is not associated with the electrical contacts. I think it may connect the inner socket to the rotary switch ass'bly. I say this because the two move together with a small amount of play inside the socket housing and cap.
    There is only one other screw head visible; inside the cord opening. It seems to be the center axis for the rotary switch, as I can feel the spring tension as I manually operate the switch with a screwdriver.
    You're probably right about the old guys. It'd sure be sweet if one of them is reading this forum.(from anywhere!)
    Later, LL

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: Old pull chain light socket repair

    Quote Originally Posted by lalightbody View Post
    Thanks... It'd sure be sweet if one of them is reading this forum.(from anywhere!)
    Later, LL
    Well, there is one member here who posts from the beyond........ I'll let it go at that, LOL!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Old pull chain light socket repair

    AN OLD GUY ME.
    COUPLE OF OPTIONS BOTH WILL HAVE VERTICAL ROTATION BY THE PULL. IF NOT IGNORE THE SUBSEQUENT.
    EITHER THE SWITCH IS MULTI FUNCTIONAL WITH INTEGRATED WHEEL AND AN EXTERNAL CHAIN GUIDE. OR PERHAPS THE WHOLE UNIT IS CAPTURED INSIDE A CERAMIC BODY.
    SEVERAL TYPES i HAVE SEEN.
    IN THE ONE CASE, THE WHOLE UNIT MUST BE DISCONNECTED AND THE BASE DETACHES AND THE SOCKET BODY WITH INTEGRATED PULL COMES AWAY FROM THE SOCKET OPENING.
    IN THE OTHER THE UNIT IS SCREWED FROM INSIDE THE SOCKET TO THE BODY OF THE CONTAINER.
    IF THERE IS A CARDBOARD/PHENOLIC-LIKE COVERING UNDER THE CENTER ELECTRICAL CONNECTION, THEN DONOT REMOVE THIS SCREW LEST YOU COMPLETELY DISASSEMBLE THE ROTARY PULL.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    644

    Default Re: Old pull chain light socket repair

    I'm still in my prime but suggest that you replace the socket with a new UL listed one.

    Chances are anything that old has high contact resistance, which burns houses down.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,620

    Default Re: Old pull chain light socket repair

    Amost all the porcelain fixtures I've seen have a porcelain retaining ring. The ring on some are very difficult to remove. If you can put some WD40 in so it coats the threads it may help. If you do have pictures you can e-mail them to me jackson_l_mcdaniel@yahoo.com Put "TOH PICS" in the subject line and include either your TOH user name or a link to the thread and I will post the pictures for you.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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