Turning on your air hockey table to find out that it isn’t working correctly can be disheartening to say the least. Here at Game Tables Online, we want to make sure that your air hockey table keeps you and your friends entertained for years to come! We’ve put together this air hockey table troubleshooting guide for all of the common problems that you may experience.
In order to be able to fix your table, we recommend that you have a firm understanding of how air hockey tables work. This basic understanding will help you pin point the problem and get you back in action!
Fixing Your Air Hockey Table
1. Broken Outlet
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s make sure that the electrical outlet that your table is plugged into is working correctly. You can try plugging your table into another wall outlet or conduct a voltage test, whichever floats your boat. In the case that the outlet isn’t working, try resetting the circuit breaker at your electrical panel. Sometimes the large flow of electricity can trip the breaker especially if you have several large electrical devices in the same room.
2. Dirty Table
Didn’t your mother ever tell you to keep your table clean? A dirty table can create friction that will slow down the puck. Wipe down the entire table with a damp cloth. Once the initial layer of grime has been removed, lightly polish the surface of your air hockey table to optimize your playing field.
3. Clogged Holes
This may go hand in hand with #2. Clogged holes often occur when your air hockey table is left sitting for long periods of time or after being taken out of storage. Check all of the holes to make sure that there is nothing obstructing air flow. Try vacuuming the holes to dislodge any particles that are in the way. If that doesn’t work, grab a needle and poke the holes. Be careful when doing this because you don’t want to enlarge the size of the holes. This could adversely affect game play.
4. Worn Out/Dirty Motor
There’s only one moving component in your air hockey table and that’s the motor, otherwise known as the fan. You can remove the motor from the underside of your table. Most tables only require a small Philips screwdriver to remove 3-4 screws and it will pop loose. If the blades on the motor are dirty, it will reduce the amount of air the fan is able to push. Clean off the fan and reinstall. Sometimes the motor will automatically shut off as a safety feature. Check the underside of the motor for a reset button. If this reset button has been triggered, your air hockey table should power up just fine after you push the button and pop it in back in.
If you notice that the motor isn’t running or is very weak it may be time for a replacement. You can source a new motor by contacting the manufacturer of your table. This beats replacing the entire table for one small part!
5. Worn Out Puck
A little known fact about air hockey tables, the puck can actually go bad. After a certain period of time, the puck will lose its ability to float. If you’ve tried all of the above tips, it’s time to retire that trusty puck that may have awarded you many game winning shots. Sad to see it go but hey, you could frame it and hang it in your game room for old times’ sake! Head down to a local hobby shop or check online. They only cost a few bucks and could prove to be a real life-saver if you’ve already hit panic mode. Get some new pushers while you’re at it too!
6. Broken Scoreboard
The electronic scoreboard can be connected to the power supply of the actual table or some models feature scoreboards that are battery-powered. Depending on your setup, you’ll want to check all of the wiring to make sure that nothing has come loose. Replace the batteries if applicable. For scoring related issues, you need to adjust the sensors. Air hockey tables use infrared sensors that must be aligned correctly or else they will not function correctly. To fix this problem, adjust the sensors so that they are facing each other. Turn your air hockey table on and give it a test shot. That should do the trick!
Warning: Although you may have read some How-to articles on the internet that instruct you to replace your table top with a vinyl piece from a local hardware store, we strongly recommend avoiding this. As you can imagine, drilling hundreds of symmetrical holes an equal distance apart is nearly impossible. Manufacturers use machines to get this type of accuracy. Don’t try this at home.