You could be having an old vintage neon sign that you think is beyond repair. You might have thought of taking it to a particular dealer to check it out for you. You can go through a troubleshooting process to find out what could be wrong with your vintage neon sign. If you find the right signs, you might figure out what is wrong with the neon sign.
The following troubleshooting ideas would help you to figure out what could be wrong with your neon sign.
Plug it on power
The first troubleshoot you should check whether it can transmit electricity. Sometimes, you would notice a flash when you plug it in. The flash would not be meaningful because neon signs work as a complete circuit. A blink from the neon sign would be shut out by the ground fault protector, which automatically shuts the neon sign when it attempts to blink.
Neon signs have a simple circuit comprising a secondary circuit that goes into one tube and another secondary line passing through another tube. All these tubes are connected. Any slight interruption in the neon sign circuit, whether it is a bad tube or the wiring between the tubes, the sign would not light.
Test the units individually
Testing the units would help to find out whether there is a problem with the tubes. You can choose to start on any side, but it is recommended that you start the test from the top as you move downwards. The units will light on a small section if they do not have an issue.
If one of the units is not lighting, one of the tubes is probably discharged. Otherwise, there could be a crack somewhere on the tube, and it might have leaked. The messed tube would need to be repaired.
Check the status of the transformer
Regardless of the blinking notice on the units, there could be possibilities that the transformer is in bad shape. The transformer could be very old, especially if the tubes are dying.
How do you clean neon signs?
Neon signs collect dust and dirt over time, and you may need to clean them occasionally. The ideal way to clean the neon sign is by dipping a cleaning cloth in plain water and wringing it well to remove excess water. Afterward, you may wipe the neon sign to remove the dirt and dust. This way, you would remove the dirt and dust without messing with the neon rods.
What happens if neon lights break?
Nothing much would happen to you, as much as there would be gas leakages out of the neon tubes. When the tubes break, the first thing that happens is circuit breaking. That means the chances for electrocution would become minimal.
On the other hand, neon signs are neither dangerous because neon and argon gases are inert thus not harmful. For the standard fluorescent tubes, elements of mercury might not be safe for humans. Meaning they should be wiped off immediately.