Pinball Machine Safety

 


PLEASE BE SAFE!!

These web pages are for information purposes only and include information about repairing pinball machines. Please do not attempt any of the procedures or attempt to open a pinball machine and work on the inside until you are familiar with all of the potential hazards. Also be aware that these hazards do exist and even if you are exercising caution, others around you, such as children, may not realize the possible risks and dangers.

Enjoy the pinball hobby safely!


Danger Electricity

There is high voltage electricity inside of the pinball machine. This includes full household power 120 VAC and other voltages such as 30-60 VAC and 6 VAC. Any of these voltages can cause electrocution which could harm you or even cause death under the right circumstances. You should always turn the power off and unplug the machine before working inside it. Some troubleshooting procedures do require that the power be on. Do not attempt these unless you are properly trained to work around high voltages.

Danger Heavy Lifting

 

Pinball machines can be very heavy and pose a lifting hazard. A pinball machine weighs 250 to 300 pounds, so any attempts to move one around or lift it should take this into consideration. When in doubt, get a helper.

Danger Poison

 

Many of the cleaning materials used to restore pinball machines are poisonous or caustic. Be especially sure that these are kept away from children and pets. This includes concentrated alcohol such as IPA, cleaning agents such as acids or anti-rust treatments, and other solvents such as naptha.

Danger Inhalation Hazard

 

Some of the restoration techniques use materials that pose a significant inhalation hazard, such as specialized clear coating materials. The use of these materials requires proper safety gear including respirators, gloves, etc.

Danger Hot Surface

 

The use of a soldering iron is common when working on a pinball machine, and since the soldering is a very hot surface it poses a burn danger, especially for bystanders who may no be aware that it is there. Be sure to unplug the soldering iron when the work is done.

Danger Explosion

There is even a possible explosion hazard when working on a pinball machine. Remember two important rules: Never use steel wool on any part of a pinball machine, and never spray WD-40 or any other similar type of lubricant on any part of a pinball machine. Be aware that pinball machines naturally generate high voltage arcs as they operate, and any explosive or flammable material nearby can easily ignite.