How to Fix Your Christmas Marching Bells

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You can fix your Christmas marching bells.
Image Credit: InnaVlasova/iStock/GettyImages

Christmas marching bells (A.KA. Santa's marching band musical bells) are individual figurines that hold a bell clapper in each hand. These Christmas ornaments can be Santa Claus, a marching band singing Christmas carols or both, which are hung on a Christmas tree for holiday decoration. When the Christmas Santa's marching band bells are properly functioning, the bell ringers turn to strike a bell on the left or right side of them in tune with the Christmas songs playing from the music box.

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Depending on which Christmas marching bells you buy for Christmas decorations, the set ranges from five to eight figures for a total of 10 to 16 different bell sounds. If your Christmas marching bells aren't working, troubleshoot some issues yourself before hiring someone to do the repairs for you.

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Things You'll Need

  • Old toothbrush

  • Screwdriver

  • Baking soda

  • Paper towel

The moving parts

1. Check the wireframe

Bend the wireframe that suspends the jingle bell, if the bell is not being hit by the bell clapper. Gently push the frame forward. Do not try to move the figure or clapper because this could break your Christmas marching bell set.

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2. Make room for movement

Move away any foreign objects or wires, if the figurines don't move. The figures must not have anything against them that will impede or hinder their movements when they turn to strike the bells. Also, check to make sure that no foreign objects are near the bells or touching the bells if the music tone sounds muffled.

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3. Tighten the clapper

Tighten the nut and bolt that hold the clapper in place, if the clapper is loose. The nut and bolt are found where the bell is attached to the hanger. Turn the bolt clockwise with your fingers to tighten it. Install the replacement bell clapper by removing the screw or nut and bolt. Take the old clapper off and install the new one, then tighten the screw or nut and bolt back in place. If your Christmas marching bell set has bells attached with screws, tighten them with a small screwdriver.

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Tip

If your clapper is lost or broken, you can order a new one from the Mr. Christmas holiday company. As always, before clicking the “buy it now” button, remember to read customer reviews and product details in order to get the best offer.

Power and batteries

1. Check the power source

Check the outlet if you are using an adapter to make sure that it is working if you don't hear music or see any motion. If your unit is running on batteries, check that they are installed properly. Push down on each battery so the "+" end has good contact with the battery holder on the "plus" side. Rotate the battery a half turn, while pushing down. Remove the old batteries and replace them with new ones.

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2. Check the battery compartment

Open the marching band bells' ornament battery compartment and remove the batteries. The battery contacts inside the ornament can become corroded with battery acid over time. This is usually because batteries have been left in the device for a long time, resulting in corrosion, or old batteries sometimes leak causing the same problem.

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3. Eliminate rust

Use an old toothbrush or paper towel to loosen the battery corrosion debris inside the battery compartment. Shake out any excess.

Warning

Corroded batteries are toxic. They can cause skin irritation, respiratory problems and a host of other health issues. Wear protective gloves and goggles when handling old batteries. Also, remember to wash your hands after the process.

Some final touches

1. Clean deeper

Add a pinch or two of baking soda to about 1/2 tsp. of warm water and mix well with a Q-tip until paste forms. If it's too watery, add a little more baking soda. Saturate the Q-tip generously with the baking soda paste and rub it all over the inside of the battery compartment, coating all surfaces well, especially on and around the contacts to clean them out. Wipe out all the debris inside.

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Tip

Dampen a paper towel with warm water and wipe out any remaining residue from the inside of the compartment. Dry the area with a clean paper towel and allow the compartment to air dry.

2. Replace the batteries

Unplug or remove the battery from the marching bells for 15 seconds, then plug it back in or replace the old batteries with new ones and close up the compartment.

Tip

Whether you’ve got a Mr. Christmas Santa's marching band with brass bells or a vintage Santa's marching band from an unpopular company, there’s only so much you can do to repair faulty Christmas marching bells or any other home decor for that matter. So, if these tips fail, those bells are probably faulty beyond repair. In this case, it’s better to get a replacement.

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