Neon signs help capture the attention of passersby with their bright and colorful designs. The unique effect produced by neon signs is created through gases that are trapped within a glass tube. Should the glass tube become broken or malfunction in any way, the sign will cease to light up.
Neon sign repair can be a tricky process. Avoiding the following mistakes during the repair process will help ensure you are able to fix your neon tubes effectively in the future.
1. Failing to create a template before attempting a repair.
The glass tubes that make up neon signs are extremely delicate. There is always the risk that you will break or shatter a tube while making repairs. If a tube is damaged beyond repair, an entirely new tube will need to be manufactured to make the neon sign functional once again.
It's important that you take the time to create a template of your sign by tracing the glass tubes onto a piece of tracing paper. This creates an outline of the sign that can be utilized in creating new tubes that will blend seamlessly into your existing neon sign.
2. Forgetting to clean the tubes prior to repair.
Another mistake that you should avoid when repairing your neon sign is forgetting to clean the exterior of the tube prior to beginning repairs. Dirt and debris can accumulate on the exterior glass surface of your neon tubes.
Once you open up the tube to make repairs, this dirt and debris can find its way into the tube and interfere with the heating of gases that produces neon lighting. Wipe down the entire surface of your sign before you make any repairs to avoid potential contamination.
3. Failing to check the tube for evacuation.
Many neon tubes are filled with a powder coating that helps add to the colorful nature of the lights produced by the sign. This coating is held in place because the inside of a neon tube is a vacuum environment. Unless the break you are fixing is an obvious one, you need to check the tube for evacuation before you begin repairs.
A tube tester can be used to forcibly light up the tube. If light is produced using the tube tester, the tube is still a vacuum environment. You will need to replace the tube rather than repair it. If the tube has been evacuated you can proceed with repairs, but you will need to replace the powder coating to achieve the proper lighting color.