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How to Fix a Broken Air Hockey Table

Updated: May 13

If you've noticed issues with your air hockey table, stay calm!

The best solution is ongoing air hockey table maintenance. However, even premium-quality air hockey tables can break or experience standard wear and tear, and there is undoubtedly a solution to your particular issue.

When fixing a broken air hockey table, it's best to check your user's manual for a solution before troubleshooting on your own. The next step should be contacting the manufacturer or distributor — if the air hockey table is still under warranty — because tampering with it could void any remaining product warranty. 

However, if your air hockey table isn't working even after you've read your owner's manual and contacted the distributor or manufacturer, then this guide may help. We cover common air hockey table issues and how you might fix them.

Common Causes of a Broken Air Hockey Table, With Possible Fixes

Like all home recreation game tables, 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, which you can potentially fix yourself, include the following:

1. A Broken or Worn Puck

If your puck sticks 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 relatively new but still moves slowly, it might be too heavy for your style and size 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. 

However, if your puck keeps flying off the table, it's likely too small and light for the air hockey table and its airflow. Alternatively, a puck with a rough surface could catch on the table and become airborne.

The best solution for this problem is to get a replacement puck set, which is an affordable fix to make the air hockey table slide better. You can also try using sandpaper to grind down rough spots. You can also use sandpaper every once in a while as maintenance.

2. Damaged or Old Pushers or Goalies

There are two types of air hockey pushers or goalies — those with felt on the bottom and those without. Typically, commercial-size and high-end tables will use ones without felt, while many household air hockey tables use pushers with a thin layer of felt on their base.

The issue is that the felt pads can become worn and even tear. Over time, the felt also accumulates dirt if not properly cleaned. You can remove the old felt and purchase pieces of replacement felt, but ensure that it is the same kind of material or at least compatible with the surface of the air hockey table. 

Alternatively, those without felt can crack, scratch and chip, leading to the goalie catching on the table's surface and potentially damaging it.

Additionally, if you keep sending the puck flying off the table, it could mean that your pusher is too big and too heavy for the table. The best solution is to invest in a new pair of air hockey goalies to ensure optimal performance. 

3. A Faulty Electrical 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, it might be defective, or the outlet could be the issue.

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.

Finally, you might note that the plug is not connected properly, so before blaming either the outlet or the air hockey table, ensure the plug is connected and the outlet is turned on. If it is not the outlet, you might have an electrical issue with the table itself. In this case, hiring a qualified electrician to assess the table's wiring is best.

4. A Dirty Table Surface

If you want to know how to make your air hockey table slide better, keeping it clean certainly helps, as this 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. There are several aspects to cleaning air hockey tables, but they are simple enough to implement.

Individual air hockey tables may include precise care and maintenance instructions, and it is always best to adhere to these for the best results. However, you can usually use a small vacuum to clean out clogged air holes. Next, wipe your table with a damp cloth, and carefully polish the surface as part of your air hockey table maintenance.

5. A Worn out Air Hockey Table Motor

The motor has a fan that creates the airflow during gameplay. When the fan's blades 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.

6. 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 table's surface and feel for places without air flowing through. A dead spot is usually the result of a clog that is difficult to see. In these cases, you can use a small vacuum to suction out dirt or a toothpick to gently pick out any debris clogging the holes.

7. A Weak or Inoperable Air Hockey Table 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, the motor or blower system might have an electrical issue if it continues to turn weakly or fails to turn.

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.

8. A Dirty Filter or Air Hockey Table Motor

As part of your air hockey table maintenance, check for dirt or dust around the motor after cleaning your fan blades. A dirty filter or motor 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 and other components with a microfiber cloth.

9. 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 replacing.

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. In these instances, it is best to contact a certified electrician or a place that offers air hockey repair services.

10. 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.

11. Water Damage

Run your hand over your table's playing surface 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. 

We highly recommend contacting the distributor or manufacturer for a new playing surface rather than trying to save by opting for the DIY vinyl poly plastic board option. This is because the likelihood of replicating the original quality table surface is quite unlikely using this method.

12. A Dented Table

Rough play can cause tiny dents in the playing surface. The good news is you can usually fix it without replacing the table's surface. The smaller the dent, the easier it is to repair.

Fill the dent with clear epoxy until the area is level with the surface. Allow the epoxy to set before sanding the surface with sandpaper to get a smooth and level finish. Finally, re-drill any air holes you might have clogged using the correct size drill bit. Please work carefully and realize that an incorrect repair job could lead to needing a complete table surface replacement. 

Find a New Air Hockey Table with HB Home

Find a New Air Hockey Table With HB Home

The best way to avoid premature breaks and damage is to conduct proper air hockey table maintenance and cleaning. Now that you better understand how to fix a broken air hockey table, consider that it might be time to shop for a new one and select from several quality air hockey tables from HB Home. Our tables have a single air blower system and leg levelers for smooth play on uneven floors. 

The different designs and price offerings are sure to suit a range of home game rooms. We also provide free shipping on all products that meet our minimum purchase amount.

If you have any questions, contact us online about any of our products, and we will reply as soon as possible.


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