Many things can go wrong with an air hockey table blower fan. Sometimes manufacturers put a lower-powered fan in their tables to save on expenses. Other times it’s because gunk got into the air holes and damaged the fans inside. Replacing them can be expensive but doing it isn’t very difficult.
Step 1: How to Buy the Right Fan For Your Table
The first thing you have to do is decide which fan you are going to buy. Different tables have different fans. Air hockey tables that they typically keep in bars and in arcade are very large tables. Tables people keep in their homes are usually smaller and don’t require fans with as much power.
The larger more expensive tables at arcades usually have two very large vans underneath the playing surface. The cheaper tables people keep in their homes have a bunch of smaller fans that plug into the motors. The smaller fans can range from $50-$150 each and depending on how good you want the air pressure to be you’re going to need to purchase quite a few.
The kind of fan you buy really depends on what your table will allow. Sometimes the bottom of the table is divided by boards that only allow for smaller fans to fit. You’re most likely going to have to buy fans the same size of the fans that are already in the table. You can order the same kind or order fans that have more power.
Step 2: Take Apart Your Air Hockey Table
To figure out what kind of fans you can fit underneath the surface of your table you’re going to have to take it apart. Many very cheaply made tables don’t even have covers on the bottom of the table so all you have to do is flip the table over.
For larger tables the first thing you need to do is remove the screws around the edges of the surface in order to take your playing surface off. This should give you direct access to the fans underneath. I recommend you ask a professional about how to do this for your specific type of table but it shouldn’t be too different than just removing the screws.
Step 3: How to Replace the Fan on Your Air Hockey Table
This shouldn’t be too hard to do. Make sure to unplug the table before starting. Before installing your new fans that you bought based on how many your table originally had and what kind, you need to remove the old ones. To do this, unplug the fans first and then it should be just a matter of unscrewing them to the bottom of the table.
To make sure the fans are in the most efficient spot it’s safer to put the new fans in the same spot the old fans where in. The table manufacturers probably know the best places to put them but if you think it needs revising then put them where you think they’ll work the best.
After everything is in place all you have left to do is to screw in the new fans and plug them in. Long wires could potentially cause problems if just left hanging around inside the table so if there is a lot of extra give to the wires make sure to bundle them up. You can even attach them better by taping them to the underside of the table.
After everything is in place, all that is left is to put your table back in order the same way you took it apart.
Step 4: Take Care of Your Fan
To avoid having to replace the fans in the first place, it’s good to regularly clean them. Dust and other harmful materials can get stuck in the blades and the motor causing harm to the blades and the motor to lag.
Make sure to unplug the table and take off the playing surface the same way we did when replacing the fans. Using compressed air to blow out the gunk and debris from the motor and the blades helps to keep your fans in shape. Microfiber cloth can be used to get the extra dirt off as well.
Some of the newer fan models have filters you can attach to the fans to keep dust out. To clean the filters just use compressed air like you use to clean everything else. If the filter is still pretty dirty after cleaning it you can take your fan to a hardware store and get it measured for a new one.
How to Make Your Puck Slide Better:
Because the puck isn’t really supposed to touch the surface of the hockey table, the main thing you can do is to make sure you fan is cleaned and doesn’t need to be replaced by a higher-powered fan. The air holes of your table could also be plugged up by debris. Taking a toothpick to the holes should clear them out.
Sometimes, especially if your table has a laminated surface there will be raised areas that cause friction between the puck and the table. Air bubbles sometimes form which you can pop and air out. If the table top is too scratched you can always replace it.
Making the top of your table more slick can help as well. You need to be careful about what you put on your air hockey table because of what could get stuck in the air holes. Lubricants specifically designed for air hockey tables can be used in very small amounts.
Common Mistakes Made in Air Hockey:
Air hockey seems like a pretty self-explanatory sport but if you want to go by the official guidelines made by the US Air Hockey Association you’ve probably broken a few rules. Of course you don’t need to follow these rules but this is what you have to follow in official tournaments.
The rules that I noticed I break all of the time is what they call “topping” a puck. This is when a player stops the puck by placing their mallet on top of it. It’s illegal to remove your puck from the surface of the table. You can’t stop the puck with anything else either because you’re only allowed to use the mallet.
For the pettiest of players, making a point while their opponents are distracted is a common occurrence. However, this is illegal because it’s playing dirty and you must score using skill. If you have something that requires your immediate attention you are allowed to call timeout.