My ceiling fan stopped working and I want to remove the light box from the fan so that I can replace an in-line fuse holder. In order to separate the light box from the fan rotation device, I need to unhook/disconnect/unsnap these wires from each other. I don't know what these are called otherwise I would have performed some more thought out searches online.

Does anyone have any idea how to separate these wires? It looks like there's a little snapping piece that locked them in, but before I start messing with it too much I thought I'd ask. Help.

Wire Connections

5 Answers 5


You should be able squeeze one of the connection heads and pull them apart. Some light kit also have a little tab on the side of the connector that have to be push in or pulled apart to release them.

  • 2
    After the breaker is off, of course...
    – Comintern
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 23:51
  • Or the switch. but good call on that one.
    – WarLoki
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 0:01
  • 6
    Do the breaker. Sometimes the switch has been miswired and the neutral is switched. And I always confirm wires are not hot with a non-contact tester even if I have turned off the breaker.
    – bib
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 11:24

I used a pair of needle nose pliers to be able to squeeze the tab on both sides at the same time in order to pull the harness apart.


I found a very simple answer. Buy a combination wire-cutter/wire-stripper/terminal-crimper. Use the section of the tool that crimps non-insulated terminals. Use the 16-14 crimper -- place it right at the base of the section you want to squeeze, with the nipple just below the slots in the female plug. Squeeze and remove the male part. I had the tool and thought I'd try it, and it works amazingly well.


Get a very small flat head screw driver and insert it into the gap at the side of the middle section. You may need to pull the wires apart but there should be a small horizontal gap towards the top of the connection. Push the screw driver into the gap and push up. In the picture above, you can see the gap below the blue wire.

The light connector I was working with had a much smaller gap, more of a slit when I pulled the two wires apart. I pushed the screw driver into the slit in the gap towards the top of the connection and pushed up.


I just grabbed both the small sides with pliers and pulled them apart.

  • 3
    You could have and might have permanently damaged the connectors by doing that. Perhaps you don't care, and this might have achieved your goal but it's not a good answer to the question you asked. The other answer is correct ... you need to separate the tab by pushing in on it or squeezing the barrel.
    – jay613
    Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 14:20

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