How to Install a Neon Power Supply

How to Install a Neon Power Supply

Like any electronics, a neon power supply will eventually fail. However with some care, a neon power supply can easily be replaced on a bar sign. Installing a neon power supply may seem difficult at first, which is why we have provided below a step-to-step guide for its installation. Follow the steps as explained and you will again have a glowing neon sign.

Safety first!

Always be careful when working with electrical equipment. While installing a neon power supply, make sure that the sign is disconnected from any power generating source to avoid possible shocks. Always keep installation in conformity with all local electric codes.(NEC, CSA, Ect.) 
  1. The first step involves placing the neon sign on a safe surface and locating the power supply and the location of the GTO wires coming from the power supply. Follow the wires to where they connect to the neon glass. Make a note of the route, as we will want to install the wires of the new power supply in the same location. 
  2. This is where things can go wrong. Neon tubes are fragile and the glass can end up broken, so be very gentle when handling. Carefully detach the rubber end caps from the neon tube exposing the tube’s electrodes and wiring. If the end caps do not want to come off, use a X-acto knife to split it open and peel away. The caps can be replaced with new ones.
  3. Untwist the wires of the electrodes and GTO wire. Careful!  in old signs the wires can be brittle.
  4. If there is a plastic backing, free the GTO wires coming out of the power supply by running them through the holes in the plastic. Never run the GTO leads across the power supply.
  5. Find the screws holding the power supply to the sign backing, unscrew and remove. Save the screws to attach the new power supply.
  6. Now with the screws, fit the neon power supply on the backing. We assume you are replacing with the same make and model. If using a different model you may need to make new holes for the screws. When using multiple power supplies on one sign, be sure to keep at least 3 inches between each unit. Make sure the power supply is secure.
  7. Pass the two separate GTO wires coming out of the power supply though the holes in the sign backing. Turn over the sign to its front. You should be able to see the two wires out of the open holes.
  8. Take one wire and thread it back to the first electrode, following the route of the old wire.  Route the wire so it will not touch the glass or cross the other lead wire. Always keep a minimum of 1 inch between GTO leads and any metallic surfaces.  Align the electrode and GTO and determine the length of the GTO needed.  Keep the leads as equal in length as possible. This step is a bit tricky, so check and double check before cutting. Trim off the excess wire with wire cutters. 
  9. Strip the protective covering off the GTO wire about a inch from the end. Take the wire tips of the GTO and electrode in your hand and twist them together to join. Do this several times for a stronger grip and then bend the wires back to keep them in place.
  10. Slide the rubber end cap back over the new wire splice covering it completely. The end caps not only hold the wires together, but also guard from possible electrical shocks. If you had to cut the old end cap off, buy a new cap to replace it.
  11. Repeat Step 8 and 9 for the second GTO lead. 
  12. Lastly, plug in the electrical cord of the power supply to a  power plug and light up your neon sign.

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