Today I ran wiring from a pull chain light fixture to a new receptacle for my sister. It works great except the receptacle goes on and off with the pull chain light fixture. It is currently wired black to black (incoming power, pigtail to light, and wire to outlet) and white to white (same way). Only the pull chain light fixture does not have a ground. The pull chain light fixture has one each hot terminal and neutral terminal. There is nothing else that we can find that is on the same circuit that is affected the same way. FYI this house was built in 1957 and the wiring has not been upgraded. I'd really appreciate any insight on this that anyone has. Thanks.

  • Thanks. We'll give switching the pigtails around a try.
    – D Bowman
    May 31, 2017 at 20:16

2 Answers 2


This is a pull switch that's on the light fixture??? Somehow you spliced into the wrong side of the pull switch.

Move the hot wire to the other side of the pull switch, that should take care of it.

Or, well I don't know what stage of work you are at, but this might be a great time to install a proper light switch and dispense with the pull switch entirely.


It sounds more like a loose connection that's being jiggled when the chain is pulled or something else is fooling you.

There's a slim chance of there being a ground wire in the box. Back then some electricians would just cut it off with the sheathing (not knowing what to do with it) and some would wrap it around the clamp screw either inside or outside of the box.

  • Thanks. We checked it pretty carefully but we'll check it again just in case. Thanks.
    – D Bowman
    May 31, 2017 at 20:25
  • btw you are talking about a basement pullchain light right? sometimes they just have 2 screws to connect to and sometimes they have factory installed pigtails. Did you get the receptacle to stay on?
    – Rand
    Jun 1, 2017 at 21:19

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