How to Maintain Church Bells
Church bells ring out to the faithful and bring joy to the hearts of all who hear them. They are also expensive and it is important to ensure that they are properly maintained in order that they will last many years of service. Bell installations can consist of chimes, ringing peals or carillons and each needs regular attention to ensure the best upkeep.
Keep a detailed history of the church bell(s).The church should maintain a log concerning the bell(s) that includes date of purchase, place of purchase, make, style (including photos in case of theft) and maintenance schedule.
Get bell maintenance staff.Depending on your church fund availability, you may choose to have someone employed part-time as part of the church staff or you may choose to bring in restoration and care contractors regularly.
Conduct regular inspections.There are some key things that an inspection should include and you should make sure that the person caring for the bells covers these elements:
- Visual overlook of the entire structure (bell, tower (steeple), wooden or steel supports etc. Any signs of cracks, aging or wear and tear should be noted and looked into.
- Bolts should be examined. Loose bolts should be tightened and rusting bolts should be replaced.
- Examine all pulley structures. If there is any sign of wear, stress or obstructed rotation, they may need replacement or adjustment.
- Check ropes for wear. Any ropes that are fraying or damaged should be replaced.
- Check out the clapper joints. These should be adequately lubricated. Adjustments may also be needed.
Keep detailed records after each maintenance session.Ask the person responsible to file a report of work performed and add your own observations as well.
Ensure regular cleaning of bells.Occasionally you may need to consider metal restoration coatings or other refinishing activities to ensure the continued upkeep of the bell(s). This will restore the shine and glory of your bells.
Be familiar with these signs of potential problems with bells:
- Hard to ring the bells. This might be a sign that the pulley blocks or wheel are loose, poorly aligned or damaged. Also look for signs of rope wear.
- Muffled or stuttering bell. This could be a sign that the clapper return springs are loose or broken.
- Shock comes down when ringing bell. This may be a sign that the bell is loose from its yoke connection. Immediately desist use, clear the area and call for repair. The bell is at severe risk of tumbling.
QuestionShould I leave my bells in the up position when not in use?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerI would suggest as a general rule, they are safer in the down position, unless you have strict control over who has access to them.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I install a church bell?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerI would suggest you get a professional company of bell hangers to do it. There is a lot to consider: the weight of the tower, proper framing, etc.Thanks!
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- Bells frequently consist of metal, aluminum, anodized metal, brass, copper, bronze, chrome, stainless steel, painted metal and steel. Knowing the construction of the bell will assist in ensuring its best maintenance.
- Ensure that only qualified persons work on bell maintenance. Keep the area clear of people during maintenance operations.
- Lack of maintenance destroys bells. Do not leave it too late.
- Bird droppings corrode bells. Clean bird droppings off any part of a bell structure and keep birds out of the bell tower at all costs.
- Always attend promptly to fraying ropes, loose bolts and other evident signs of wear and tear.
Video: The Manufacture Of Church Bells (1960)
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