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I was trying to install a ceiling fan in my apartment and came across these connectors when removing the light. What is this and how do I take it off?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

It's a push-in wire connector, like these from Ideal.

enter image description here

The wire should come out without too much difficulty; grip the connector firmly in one hand, then pull the wire with the other.

The instructions for the Ideal connectors that I linked to say:

7. In order to remove a wire, pull and twist the wire back and forth.

Since you're installing a new light fixture, this is also relevant:

6. Connector is reusable on solid wires of the same wire gauge or larger. If reusing connector, cut and re-strip conductor.

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I tried pulling, didn't work. Do you have to pull really hard? – riotburn Dec 28 '12 at 20:43
It takes some force, as they wouldn't be much use if they came off too easily. See this question and this blog post for more information. – Niall C. Dec 28 '12 at 20:48
@AbdiasSoftware, except that will leave the connector unusable. (It's pretty hard to remove the wire when you have a relatively large area to tug on. If you remove that large area, it becomes pretty much impossible to remove the wire bits that remain in the connector.) – Martha Dec 29 '12 at 0:20
I hate spring connectors. Cut it off and use a good ol' reliable wire nut instead. Way more surface area making the actual connection has to be a good thing. – bcworkz Dec 29 '12 at 0:43
I cut off the wire from the light and then was able to twist and pull off the wire from the ceiling. Thanks again! – riotburn Dec 29 '12 at 21:34

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