Hard-to-pull pull chain
April 25, 2014 1:23 PM   Subscribe

We installed a new ceiling fan but the pull chain is hard to pull as it rubs against the grommet, and I'm concerned it may break if someone pulls too hard. How can I make the chain pull a little easier and smoother? Some type of lubricant that doesn't require frequent reapplication?
posted by davcoo to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
I'd try something that's not going to cause any problems with conductivity - maybe some Deoxit?
posted by stenseng at 1:38 PM on April 25, 2014

Call the fan manufacturer, they'll have a recommendation. A spritz of WD-40 might be something to try, but call the manufacturer first.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:43 PM on April 25, 2014

Graphite will work though it might discolor the grommet and the chain for the length of the pull.

I'd probably opt for a wax based lubricant - as oposed to oil or silicone based. They are really sophisticated these days.

Erm, WD-40 is great for a lot of things [most notably as a solvent actually] but it's really not a good lubricant.
posted by vapidave at 1:58 PM on April 25, 2014

A drop or two of Tri-Flow should deal with it pretty much permanently. Shake the bottle thoroughly before using it, because you want the PTFE powder inside in suspension in the oil, not sitting uselessly in the bottom of the bottle.
posted by flabdablet at 1:59 PM on April 25, 2014

Gah, I cannot remember the word for the thingy, but it's a thingy that goes into the grommet hole like a kind of liner, it's for this exact purpose as far as I know. The last place I rented that had fans had one and I was all oh, that's clever.

But you might could replicate it - if you have very steady hands - with a tiny paintbrush and a craft glue or paint meant to dry hard and shiny.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:14 PM on April 25, 2014

Adapt a remote?
posted by Freedomboy at 2:38 PM on April 25, 2014

Go back to the store and see if they have a floor model. If not talk to the manager - you should try the chain on another of the same model. If it's not that hard to pull (I suspect it will not be) you should take yours back for another. This doesn't sound right.
posted by brownrd at 3:06 PM on April 25, 2014

Is this the fan speed switch? Is it the one on the side of the bowl light fixture? Loosen the center knob and adjust the metal cap so that it's aligned with where the pull chain is oriented coming down from the switch housing. (They can get twisted.)

Also, there should be a plastic grommet that the pull chain runs through. Make sure it didn't fall out or get dislodged.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:11 PM on April 25, 2014

Can you thread the chain through a short length of clear flexible plastic tubing wide enough to let the chain slide through easily? Then slide the tube up into the grommet and glue?

I have a door with a pull chain lock that was always kinking and getting snagged. My friend threaded it through some clear tubing and there were no more snags or kinks again.
posted by NoraCharles at 5:21 PM on April 25, 2014

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