Learning about pinball repair can be a bit confusing at first, but most repairs are simple if you know what you are doing. Here are some frequently asked questions about pinball repair and their answers.
Can you get electrocuted from a pinball machine?
Yes. It is important to remember that pinball machines are electric, and they can electrocute you if you are not careful. People often assume that once it is unplugged, it is safe, but this is not always the case. Even after being unplugged, some voltage remains in the pinball machine for a short period of time. Also, the wiring in a pinball machine is still capable of carrying electricity once unplugged. Make sure you are cautious of this while performing any repairs.
What routine maintainence should I perform?
If you want your pinball machine to keep running properly and maintain its market value, then you need to perform regular maintainence, even if nothing appears to be wrong. This regular maintainence includes cleaning the entire machine and replacing any parts that are beginning to wear. Many people do not think to replace their pinballs, but pinballs can get chipped and then wear down the rest of the machine. For this reason, it is important to replace your pinballs regularly.
When should I replace the batteries?
The batteries in your pinball machine should be replaced at least once a year, even if they are still working properly. If left in the machine too long, batteries can begin to leak, and this will mess up the machine's circuit board. The batteries are often replaced by opening the backbox of the machine. If the batteries are still good, you can use them in other electronics instead of throwing them out. It is a smart idea to somehow mark the date that the batteries were placed in the machine. That way you will know when it is time to replace them.
How should I replace the lightbulbs?
It is very easy to know when any lightbulbs need to be replaced as they will burn out. Make sure you are replacing the lightbulbs with the same type of bulbs. Also, always make sure to completely turn the power off on the machine before replacing any lightbulbs. If you leave the power on, you can destroy the circuitry of the machine. There are typically multiple types of lightbulbs in a machine, and some of these are in hard to reach places. If you are performing other routine maintainence in these hard to reach places, you may want to go ahead and replace those bulbs. That way, you do not have to mess with reaching these places more than once.
How do I lubricate stuck parts?
It is important that all parts of a machine are moving properly. If any parts, especially the flippers, get stuck, then it is usually obvious immediately, as it ruins the entire game. Luckily, it is very easy to lubricate these parts and get them working again. All you need to do is take apart that piece and clean it with 91% isopropyl alchohol. This will fix the majority of sticking parts that you experience. However, many parts also wear out. You may need to replace any metal springs occasionally, and flippers typically wear out pretty quickly in comparison to other parts.
There are a variety of repairs that may need to be made on pinball machines as they have a wide variety of parts. What is most important, however, is routine maintainence. As long as you maintain your pinball machine regularly, you will have to perform far fewer repairs, and you will help you pinball machine be worth more in the long run.