How to Replace a Ceiling Fan Light Socket

ceiling fan
What You'll Need
Screwdrivers (Phillips and flathead)
Wire strippers
Circuit tester
Safety goggles
Replacement socket

Over time, the light socket on your ceiling fan can become worn and inoperable. If you replace a burned-out bulb and the new bulb blows immediately when the switch is flipped on, the socket has a problem. At other times, the light won't come on at all. Replacing your ceiling fan light socket should require approximately 20 minutes of your time.

Step 1 - Turn Off Power

Safety is of the utmost importance. To avoid electric shock, ensure that you shut off the power to the circuit you will be working on. Finding the right circuit is important. Look at the diagram inside your fuse or circuit box. If a diagram of your circuitry is not available, you will have to shut off each circuit one at a time until you find the right one. To make sure that the circuit is off, use a circuit tester.

Step 2 - Remove the Ceiling Fan

man removing light cover off ceiling fan

Depending upon the size and weight of your fan, you will need a helper to assist you in detaching the fan from your ceiling. If your ceiling fan has multiple lights, mark the defective socket. Place two ladders on opposite sides of the ceiling fan and use a screwdriver to loosen the fan from its base.

Once you loosen the base, you will need to disconnect the wiring from the light fixture to the fan. While your helper holds the ceiling fan, you will unscrew the wire nuts that hold the wires together. After the wires are separated, you and your helper should carefully step down the ladders with the ceiling fan and place it on the floor.

Step 3 - Access the Globe and Bulb

The next step is getting to the socket itself. Whether you have a globe or an open fixture, you should find two to three screws that hold it in place. If your ceiling fan is outfitted with a globe, you will need to remove it and then unscrew the light bulb. If your ceiling fan is outfitted with an open fixture, remove the bulb first and then the fixture if the base of the fixture is smaller than the largest part of the light bulb.

Step 4 - Remove the Socket

Repairing a ceiling fan

Use your Phillips screwdriver to remove the socket from the ceiling fan. As you loosen the screw, be sure to hold the retaining nut on the back side of the socket.

Step 5 - Install the New Socket

Place the new socket into the old socket's position. Use the same screw and nut you removed previously. Once the socket is in place, tighten the screw. Ensure that the screw is not too tight to further damage your fan. Then install the light bulb.

Step 6- Reattach the Ceiling Fan to Ceiling

With your partner's help, you can now place the ceiling fan back on its mounting bracket in the ceiling. Connect the wires in the same manner in which you took them off. Ensure that you put the wire nuts back in position. Once this is done, tighten the fan to the ceiling. Restore power to the circuit and turn on your light.