How to Fix a Broken Air Hockey Table
Updated: Nov 17, 2022
If you've started noticing issues with your air hockey table, stay calm!
When it comes to fixing a broken air hockey table, it's best to check your user's manual before you attempt to troubleshoot on your own. However, if your air hockey table isn't working even after you've read your owner's manual, the below guide may be able to help.
Common Causes of a Broken Air Hockey Table
Like all game room furniture, your air hockey table has delicate mechanisms and requires occasional maintenance to keep it up and running. Possible causes of a broken air hockey table include the following issues:
1. A Broken Puck
If your puck is sticking to the board instead of floating, it might be worn from gameplay. Turn the puck over and examine the bottom for unevenness, which creates friction on the table's surface.
If your puck is fairly new but still moves slowly, it might be too heavy for your style of air hockey table. Some arcade-style pucks are suitable for competition tables or arcades with powerful blowers. A smaller table might require a smaller, lighter puck.
The best solution for this problem is to get a replacement puck, which is an affordable fix. You can also try using sandpaper to grind down rough spots. You can also use sandpaper every once in a while as maintenance.
2. A Faulty Outlet
As soon as it stops turning on, you ask, "Why is my air hockey table not working?" The cause might be something other than the table itself. Before you start troubleshooting, check to see if your outlet is the problem. If your table isn't turning on at all, it might be defective, or the outlet could be what's at fault.
Check any breakers connected to your game room, and reset the electrical panel. You can also perform a voltage test on the outlet to see if it's working correctly. See if plugging your table into a different outlet resolves the issue.
3. A Dirty Surface
Keeping your table clean prevents a layer of grime from gradually creating an uneven playing surface. Dust and debris can settle in the holes on a table, plugging them up and creating issues with airflow.
Use a small vacuum to clean out any clogged air holes. Next, wipe your table with a damp cloth, and carefully polish the surface.
4. A Worn Out Motor
The motor has a fan that creates the airflow during gameplay. When the blades of the fan are covered in dust, they turn less efficiently. If the fan becomes overburdened, the motor in many tables will automatically switch off as a safety precaution.
To troubleshoot this issue, use a screwdriver to remove the motor from the table's underside and check the blades. Wipe any dust or other particles from the fan's blades and reinstall the motor. If cleaning makes little difference in the performance, finding a replacement part is usually how to repair an air hockey table.
5. Dead Spots
A dead spot on the playing surface is an area where the airflow is interrupted or unable to work. This will cause the puck to stick on the table instead of continuing forward.
To check for dead areas, plug in the table and listen to see if the motor is running. Then run your hand over the surface of the table and feel for places where no air is coming through. A dead spot is usually the result of a clog that is difficult to see.
6. A Weak or Inoperable Fan
If the table looks clean but the motor keeps failing to turn on, try looking for a reset button. Otherwise, the motor itself might need to be replaced. After checking the fan for dust and reinserting it, if it continues to turn weakly or fails to turn, the motor or blower system might have an electrical issue.
Tables usually come with a centrifugal fan with angled blades, and it's best to contact the manufacturer for a replacement. As for the motor, make sure you buy the right kind if you're using a third-party source. Tables built and sold for home use often contain a smaller blower system than tournament-quality tables. A malfunctioning motor or fan could require professional replacement.
7. A Dirty Filter or Motor
After cleaning your fan blades, it's a good idea to check for dirt or dust around the motor. This can cause the fan to run slowly or the motor to become overheated and shut off.
The air from the table's fan passes through the motor, carrying dust. If your table has a filter, remove it and clean or replace it before the debris can clog up the table's air system. If your air system lacks the filter component, spray an air compressor into the motor to clean out the dust. Wipe off the motor with a microfiber cloth.
8. A Broken or Inaccurate Scoreboard
The air hockey table's electronic scoreboard is either battery-powered or connected to the main power supply. If the power source comes from an outlet, you will have to check the wiring to see if it needs to be replaced.
If the scoring system is too sensitive or is ignoring points, try adjusting the table's sensors so they directly face one another. The wiring could be causing an issue if the scoreboard is inoperable.
9. Broken Belts
If your table has belts, remove the motor from the table's covering and check to see if the belt is fully intact.
The only way to replace a broken belt is to contact the manufacturer or shop for one that fits the unit. A professional can replace it.
10. Water Damage
Run your hand over the playing surface of your table to see if it's level. If the table has gotten wet, it might be warped. Avoid resurfacing your table if this is the case.
The manufacturer can send you a new playing surface, or you can get a vinyl poly plastic board from a third party to use as a replacement. Measure the board to fit the size of your table and drill holes about the size of a pencil tip on each side of the board before installing.
11. A Dented Table
Rough play can cause a small dent in the playing surface. The good news is you can usually fix it without having to replace the table's surface. The smaller the dent, the easier it is to fix.
Use clear epoxy to fill the dent in until it's level. After the epoxy has set, use sandpaper to grind down the surface and carefully re-drill any clogged air holes.
Find a New Air Hockey Table With HB Home
Now that you have a better grasp on how to fix a broken air hockey table, shop for a new one with HB Home. Our tables are equipped with a single air blower system and leg levelers for smooth play on uneven floors.
If you have questions, contact us about any of our products online, and we will reply as soon as possible. You can also give us a call at 201-414-3323.