Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Repair your own Sign.

If you have a little handy man or women, in you, it is quite possible you may be able to repair your own sign. I will share some of my sign service experience to help you solve your own lighted sign problem. Sorry sign company competitors’, but I know there are capable people, who can save themselves a lot of money, over the lifetime of their business sign.
When I first started working on electric signs, I did experience the power and pain of electricity, so first off, make sure you’re careful! If you have a neon sign, or lighted channel letters, these signs have the highest voltage, and will give you a good jolt. Make sure the power is off. I made the mistake of asking a customer to turn their sign off, and of course 15,000 volts numbed my arm. So make sure the power is off.
There are only a few things that could cause your sign not to light. The first one we already mentioned. Make sure you have power. It starts at the circuit breaker panel. The next thing could be the wall switch. Most signs are not wired this way, but you may have a neon window sign that plugs into a wall, which could be controlled by a switch. The most common type of control to automatically turn on your sign would be a time clock. This is a clock with trippers to turn on at night, and off during the day. I don’t know how many times I have had to charge a customer to service their sign, and find the time clock set wrong. Coming on during the day and turning off at night, there are directions to set the clock on the inside door of the time clock. Check here first.
The next thing to check would be the ends of the neon or light bulbs. The ends will be blackened if they are bad. Check the sockets if you have light bulbs. Inspect the wiring. If there are any shorted out wires, you will see them, and you can smell the burnt insulation. You will have to replace any damaged wires or sockets. The parts you need can be found at your local electrical supply or sign supply house. You also can search for the parts online. If you have bad neon, look for a local sign company who bends their own neon. Not all sign companies bend neon or service lighted signs. The do outsource, so you will pay more if you don’t find a company that does their own. We have migrated to LED lights and have a local wholesale neon company make are neon so we stay competitive.
The last thing that could be causing your sign not to light would be the transformer or light ballast. If all the above things check out, this would be the last thing to check, and of course, the most expensive. You can sometimes see the insulation of the transformer or ballast leaking out. It will be a black sticky tar like substance. If this leaks out the wiring of the transformer overheats and shorts out. Neon transformers only have 2 wires to hook up the lights. Sign Ballast’s have several wires, but are color coated for easy rewire. You can find the information printed on the transformer to get a replacement. Again just search it on the internet. If you get stumped I will gladly give some free advice, just shoot me an email.Also if you need online computer repair help, I found this site to be of help:Online Computer Repair