improving the effectiveness of signs for your business
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improving the effectiveness of signs for your business

Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs. With so many signs around, are the signs for your business even being seen? When you invest in the signs that you need to advertise for your business, you want to be sure that they are getting noticed, providing potential customers insight about what your company offers and that they will be durable enough to withstand the abuse that Mother Nature puts them through. My blog will provide you with tips and advice that can help you accomplish all of these things for your growing small business. Hopefully, what has been included is enough to prove profitable.

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improving the effectiveness of signs for your business

How To Replace A Defective Pull-Chain Switch On A Neon Sign

Iker Soler

If you own a neon sign that simply won't power on, it may be the switch is defective and needs replacing. Many neon signs, especially vintage and antique signs, use a simple pull-chain switch that serves to the turn the sign on and off. If you suspect the switch is broken, then don't fret; replacing the switch is a simple task for almost anyone who can use a screwdriver and pair of wire strippers. Below is more information on how you can remove the defective switch and replace it with a new one:

Tools and materials needed

  • Replacement pull-chain switch for your neon sign transformer
  • Screwdriver
  • Wire strippers
  • Wire cutters
  • Electrical tape
  • Wire nuts
  • Small cable ties

Step-by-step procedures

1. Confirm the cause of the problem - Pull-chain switches are mechanical, and should the inner components wear over time, they will quit operating. Fortunately, it is easy to diagnose if the problem is a failed switch. Simply pull the chain leading to the switch, and if you hear a clicking sound, then the switch is likely still in working order, and the problem may lie elsewhere. However, should there be no clicking sound, that is a clear sign of a broken switch; proceed with step 2 to replace the switch.

2. Disconnect the power supply - Neon sign transformers are dangerous to those who treat them with callous disregard and make contact with the electrical components. Transformers can emit current exceeding 15,000 kV, which is sufficient to cause painful and potentially lethal electrical shocks. That is why you must unplug the power cord leading to the transformer before performing any work on the sign. Wrap the prongs of the power cord in electrical tape to prevent someone from inadvertently plugging the sign back in during maintenance.

3. Remove the back cover to the transformer - After the sign has been removed from its power supply, lay it upside down to gain access to the transformer. Locate the screws holding the back cover of the transformer in place, then unscrew them and set them aside in a safe place. Be careful not to pinch the wires or damage the internal components.

4. Remove the defective pull-chain switch - Once the back cover is removed, locate the switch inside the transformer; it will be attached via two wires to the other components. Carefully snip the wires where they are connected to the switch to allow plenty of wire for the new connection. Next, locate the exterior nut that holds the switch in place to the transformer housing and unscrew this nut. Now, gently pull the switch from its mount and discard it in an appropriate receptacle.

5. Install the new pull-chain switch - After the old switch is out of the way, insert the threaded end of the new switch into the mounting hole on the transformer. Next, attach the mounting nut to hold the switch firmly in place. Hand tighten the nut, but don't use any tools in order to avoid cracking the switch housing.

Once the pull-chain switch has been mounted, you will need to make electrical connections with the interior transformer components. Strip one-half inch of insulation from each end of the wires leading to the transformer and the wires leading from the new switch. Next, hold the ends of a pair of wires together and slip a small wire nut over the pair. Twist the wire nut several times until it "grabs" the pair of wires and locks them together; you can tell this is accomplished when it becomes nearly impossible to twist the wire nut further. Repeat this process with the other pair of wires. Please note: It does not matter which pairs of wires are twisted together, as wire polarity is not an issue of concern for use with this type of connection.

6. Replace the back cover and test the transformer - After you have jointed the pairs of wires with wire nuts, tuck the wires neatly into the transformer and tie them down, if necessary, with small cable ties. Next, slip the back cover onto the housing, being careful not to pinch any protruding wires. Screw the cover back on to protect the internal parts and hold everything together.

Be sure to test the transformer switch by plugging the transformer back into an outlet and activate the switch several times to see if the unit illuminates. If not, double-check your wire connections to ensure none have come loose during your work. If the sign still doesn't work, it's time to contact a local sign repair company. Click to read more here about sign services in your area. 


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