How To Replace A Ceiling Fan Light Bulb Socket

Posted on: 12 April 2016

If you have a bulb that isn't working in your ceiling fan, it could be because of a bad socket. You shouldn't delay replacing burned bulb sockets because they pose a fire hazard. However, you don't have to replace the whole light fixture. Here are some tips to replace ceiling fan light bulb sockets. 

Prepare to Work 

For this project, you need: 

  • safety goggles

  • an assistant

  • two ladders

  • voltage tester

  • Philips screwdriver

  • wire strippers

  • replacement socket 

Shut off electricity to the fixture from the breaker box. If you aren't sure which breaker controls the ceiling fan, turn the fan on, keep testing breakers until you find the right one. After you find the right breaker, flip the ceiling fan switch off, and run a voltage meter over the breaker box to test for a current.   

Before you replace the socket, check the metal tab on the fixture. If the tab is pressed down, lift it up with a screwdriver, restore power, and test the bulb again. If it works, you don't have to replace the socket. 

Remove the Old Socket 

You may need assistance to help remove the fan. Place two ladders on each side of the fan. Climb a ladder, detach globe covering the bulb, and lay it aside.  

Remove the fan from its base by loosening the mounting screws. Have your assistant climb the other ladder, and help you hold the fan as you disconnect the wire nuts that secure the wires. Set the fan in a safe place. 

Climb the ladder, unscrew the bulb, and remove the mounting screws on the socket with the Philips Screwdriver. Don't discard the screws as you will use them later. Take a picture or label wire connections, and unhook the wires from the terminals. 

Check the wires for soldering. Soldered wires (permanently attached) can be cut, and replaced with screw terminals. Don't cut wiring until you find a suitable replacement. 

Attach the New Socket 

Check the amperage, voltage, and wattage ratings on the old socket to use as a guide for replacement. Strip about 1/4 inch of insulation from the wires on the fan for a fresh connection. Install the new socket securing it with the screws from the old socket. 

Don't make connections too tight, or you could damage the fan. Connect the wires to the new socket, attach the wire nuts, then screw the socket in place. Reinstall the bulb, globe, and ceiling fan. 

Restore power and test the light bulb. If it doesn't work, or you don't trust your skills, consider hiring an electrician.