Neon SIGN Transformer Replacement

Caution: Neon tubes are extremely fragile, and you must treat them as such.

1. Unplug your sign from the outlet or power source.
2. Gently pick up your neon sign by the frame and place it face up on a table or work bench. Make sure that your neon sign is on a flat, stable surface.
3. There are two GTO wires that come out of the transformer on the righthand side. Locate the bottom GTO wire where it connects to the neon tube.
4. On the end of the GTO wire and neon tube is a rubber boot.
5. To remove the rubber boot you will need to heat up the rubber boot with a heat gun or hair dryer until warm.

CAUTION: Be careful when removing the rubber boot!

6. With your thumb and forefinger, on one hand, hold the neon tube close to the boot, then with the other thumb and forefinger gently rotate the boot clockwise then counterclockwise, slowly. The rubber boot should come loose. When the rubber boot is loose, gently remove the boot exposing the electrode wire and GTO wire. If the boot does not loosen you may need to take a knife or box cutter and cut the rubber boot off.
7. Once the rubber boot is OFF, you will be able to see where the GTO wire is wrapped around the wires coming from the end of the electrode which connects to the neon tube. You simply need to untwist the wires. Now feed the GTO wire so that it is clear of any tube supports or neon tubes. Be extremely careful as to not break any neon tubes on your sign.
8. Once the bottom GTO wire from the transformer is disconnected from the neon tube, locate which neon tube the top GTO is connected to and repeat steps 4 thru 7.
9. Once both GTO wires that come out of the transformer on the right hand side are disconnected and clear of any neon tube, gently pick up the neon sign by the frame and gently place the frame on the table face down.
10. Locate the two nuts on the back of the sign that attach to the two mounting screws of the transformer and remove them.
11. Now gently pick up the neon sign by the frame and gently place the frame face up on the table.
12. Locate the two mounting screws for the transformer and remove them. Ensuring that all wires are disconnected and clear of neon sign, now gently remove the transformer from the neon sign.
13. You are ready to install your new transformer on your neon sign.
14. Place the new transformer in the mounting area that you removed the old transformer from. Install the two screws and tighten the screws. Temporarily secure the wires from the transformer so that they do not flop around and break a neon tube.
15. Next, gently pick up the neon sign by the frame and gently place the frame face down on the table. Install the two nuts on each mounting screw and tighten. When complete, gently pick up the neon sign by the frame and place the frame face up on the table.
16. Locate the bottom GTO wire on the right hand side of the transformer and the neon tube that you removed the bottom GTO wire from the old transformer. Feed the GTO wire in a path to the neon tube making sure that you have enough slack in the GTO wire so that you can make the connection with the neon tube electrode. (Fig 4) You do not want the GTO wire like a banjo string or put undue pressure on the neon tube.
17. Twist the GTO wire and the electrode wires together, then fold them back like in Figure 3.
18. To install the rubber boot. The boot will fit over the electrode and the GTO wire. Make sure the larger part of the boot is lined up to go over the electrode.
19. With your thumb and forefinger, on one hand, hold the neon tube close to the tube end of the electrode, then with your other hand’s thumb and forefinger gently push and rotate the boot clockwise then counterclockwise, slowly onto the electrode and wires.
20. Locate the top GTO wire on the right hand side of the transformer and the neon tube that you removed the top GTO wire from the old transformer. Feed the GTO wire in a path to the that neon tube making sure that you have enough slack in the GTO wire so that you can make the connection with the neon tube electrode. You do not want the GTO wire like a banjo string or put undue pressure on the neon tube.
21. To continue repeat Steps 17 thru 19.

Testing the sign
1. Make sure there are no wires exposed.
2. Plug the sign into an outlet.
3. Pull the chain to turn the sign on.
4. Look over the sign and see if all the neon tubes glow.
5. If they do the job is complete.

Mike M Written by: