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#207545 - 11/05/12 03:01 PM Neon Sign install-Better off with sign installer?
HappyElectrician Offline
Member

Registered: 12/27/11
Posts: 31
Loc: Penn USA
As part of a package of work that a customer wants me to do in his store he also wants me to move an existing neon sign from the back of the store to the front (inside installation and existing). My question is basically, do electricians normally do this type of work or is it usually done by the neon sign guy? I just don't want to sound like I am inexperienced to my customer but have my hesitation on doing this part of the job. I am concerned that if I tell him I don't want to do this part of the job I may loss the rest of the work to another electrician. I would think that this type of work is best performed by someone specializing in this. I know you have to use special transformers etc. But after reading some neon sign makers websites they make it sound so simple that you take your shipped sign out of the box and hang it up. But this sign is ganged with others. I also know that these signs are expensive and just one mistake and I could loss the money I make on the rest of the job but if I tell him an electrician normally does not do this type of work and he has to call a sign job I don't want him telling me that he had an electrician hook up the other ones.

What is usally the story with neon signs? Is it usally part of an electricians pocket of tricks depending on his experience or other?

Any advise would be very welcomed. I need to quote him on the rest of the job within a few days.

Thanks

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#207547 - 11/05/12 03:15 PM Re: Neon Sign install-Better off with sign installer? [Re: HappyElectrician]
sparkyinak Offline
Member

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1297
Loc: Alaska
It varies area to area. What are you willing to risk? Got the know how and creds if required by ahj if required?
_________________________
"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa

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#207548 - 11/05/12 03:22 PM Re: Neon Sign install-Better off with sign installer? [Re: HappyElectrician]
HappyElectrician Offline
Member

Registered: 12/27/11
Posts: 31
Loc: Penn USA
sparkyinak: Thanks for the quick reply. I figure this type of install would be like an instal for a central air for a residence. I would bring the power to the point of hook-up and then the guy installing the AC would do his hook-up and install.

As far as our Authority Having Jurisdiction and my credentials; I have not run it by the director of codes here in town who I know pretty well. I know he has been very busy with the storm - Sandy - we just had in Penn; it went right over our heads.

Personal Note: I have always wanted to go to Alaska; it seems that it would be a wonderful experience.

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#207549 - 11/05/12 03:30 PM Re: Neon Sign install-Better off with sign installer? [Re: HappyElectrician]
mbhydro Offline
Member

Registered: 02/21/03
Posts: 344
Loc: Winnipeg MB Canada
Sub it out to a sign contractor?

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#207550 - 11/05/12 08:33 PM Re: Neon Sign install-Better off with sign installer? [Re: HappyElectrician]
HappyElectrician Offline
Member

Registered: 12/27/11
Posts: 31
Loc: Penn USA
mbhydro: Thanks for your suggestion; I believe subbing is what I will do.

Thanks

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#207551 - 11/05/12 10:02 PM Re: Neon Sign install-Better off with sign installer? [Re: HappyElectrician]
sparkyinak Offline
Member

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1297
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: AFJES
Personal Note: I have always wanted to go to Alaska; it seems that it would be a wonderful experience.


To add to your side note, I always tell anyone with a real ambition to visit Alaska is don't wait. You will kick yourself in the butt once you get here for waiting. Hock the kids if you need to grin
_________________________
"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa

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#207552 - 11/06/12 01:07 AM Re: Neon Sign install-Better off with sign installer? [Re: HappyElectrician]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
We had fun in Alaska about 7 years ago. Flew into Fairbanks, drove around for 3 weeks and flew out of Anchorage. I liked the Kenai the best Seward to Homer.
_________________________
Greg Fretwell

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#207553 - 11/06/12 02:55 AM Re: Neon Sign install-Better off with sign installer? [Re: HappyElectrician]
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
AFJES,
Bear in mind that you will be working with 2 entirely different hazards here.
The first being voltages of up to or in excess of 50kV, depending on the size of the sign.
I've worked on relatively small signs of 18' x 6' and they have used voltages in the area of 40-45kV.
This is not something you want to mess with, if you can avoid it.

The second hazard is that of the fragility of the neon tubes themselves, while they will be braced to a certain degree, during the moving of a lighting install like this, if a crane operator bangs the box against anything, it is usually "game over", the tubes after having been used before, become more fragile.

Personally, I would get a speciallised sign company to do this for you.
And let's get one thing straight here, it is NOT an admission of the fact that you can't do the work, in this situation, it is more like you need speciallised help to effect the desired result.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#207560 - 11/06/12 10:24 AM Re: Neon Sign install-Better off with sign installer? [Re: HappyElectrician]
HappyElectrician Offline
Member

Registered: 12/27/11
Posts: 31
Loc: Penn USA
Yup!! My mind is set. I'll leave it to the experts in that field. Sub-it-out.

Trumpy: Good advice (like others here) too much voltage for my liking and one tiny Boo-Boo and there goes anything I can make on the job and then some. Don't want the liability. Also thanks for your note: "And let's get one thing straight here, it is NOT an admission of the fact that you can't do the work, in this situation, it is more like you need speciallised help to effect the desired result." - I feel better now.

sparkyinak: I will make it there before I die for sure; just don't know when yet. I have done quite a bit of traveling in my life: Hong Kong, China, Philip's, Korea, Japan, most every state in the US (except Alaska) and have lived in the Rockies. Have seen wonderful sites. I flew over the Alaskan Tundra on a flight from Chicago to Japan;; unbelievable clear day and it was great seeing it from 30k feet. I had an invite to vacation in Autralia (never been there) and would only have had to pay for flight but turned it down at the time; Yes, I want to kick myself in the butt for not taking the trip.

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#207575 - 11/07/12 11:41 AM Re: Neon Sign install-Better off with sign installer? [Re: HappyElectrician]
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6805
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
120 volt, 20 amp circuit by electrician, connected to a disco (SP switch) & rest is a neon guy. I have done neon as part of a service contract with a natl chain, and unless you have access to a neon shop, and a sign supply house...don't get involved. Break a neon skeletal tube...where to get it repaired or replaced?? Hence the need for a neon shop.

Most (key word) are limited to 15KV xfr output here (UL).

IMHO leave it to a sign guy, you probably don't need the liability.
_________________________
John

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