How to Troubleshoot Neon Signs

Understanding how to correctly identify common malfunctions and troubleshoot neon signs will keep your sign in proper working order for many years to come.

by Jantec Neon • July 07, 2020

How to Troubleshoot Neon Signs

Installing and caring for neon signs is a fairly simple process overall. However, as with any piece of electrical equipment, neon signs may experience minor complications every once in a while. Such complications are generally quite small and relatively easy to fix, so long as you can ascertain the underlying issue and maintain the proper safety precautions. A dim, flickering, or completely dark neon sign is generally indicative of underlying electrical issues. To troubleshoot your neon sign, you will likely need to first familiarize yourself with its internal wiring. From there you will be able to further home in on fixing the exact issue at hand.

If the lights are flickering

A blinking or flickering neon sign is often an indicator that it is receiving insufficient power. This may be due to a poor connection with the power source or due to fraying or broken wires. To troubleshoot this neon sign issue, start by assessing the connection between the power transformer and the neon sign itself. If necessary, you can check the voltage of the electrical locations with a multimeter tool. Be sure to completely unplug the neon sign before performing this step. If the lights continue to flicker after the connection has been reestablished, you may need to utilize a step-up transformer to ensure a high enough voltage is provided to the sign.

If the light appears dim

If your neon sign is fully lit but still appears dimmer than it should, this is likely a sign that there is a leak in the glass tubing. A crack or hole in the tubing will cause the neon gas to leak out of the sign and be replaced with air. As the tubing fills with air, it will become unable to create the necessary ions needed to produce its bright, colorful light. Assess the exterior of the neon sign for any noticeable signs of damage. Bear in mind that these cracks or holes may be very small and will likely be quite difficult to repair on your own. 

If the sign won’t turn on

Perhaps the worst-case scenario is a neon sign that won’t turn on at all. This is often caused by internal electrical problems, either in the form of broken or shorted wire or a defective section of tubing within the sign. If wires are broken or shorted, they will not be able to transfer any amount of voltage from the transformer to the sign. Additionally, a defected section of tubing will stop the transmission of power throughout the sign. Inspect and replace any damaged wires to get the sign back up and running again.

Jantec Sign Group offers a wide range of neon signs in a variety of different styles and images. Custom neon signs are also available online. Contact our team for more information.

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