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 are individual figures that hold a bell clapper in each hand. The figures can be Santas, a marching band or both. When the Christmas marching bells are properly functioning, the music plays and the figures turn to strike a bell on the left or right side of them in time with the music. Depending on which Christmas marching bells you buy, 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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Step 1: Check the Wire Frame in Your Marching Band Bells

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

Step 2: Clear the Bells

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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Step 3: Check the Power Source

Check the outlet if you are using an adaptor 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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Step 4: Tighten the Screws

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. If your Christmas marching bell set has bells attached with screws, tighten with a small screwdriver. If your clapper is lost or broken, you can order a new one from the Mr. Christmas company. 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.

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Step 5: Move the Marching Bells Away From Obstructions

Move away any foreign objects or wires, if the figures 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.

Step 6: Replace the Batteries

Unplug or remove the battery from the marching bells for 15 seconds, then plug it back in or replace the battery. This gives the unit time to reset.

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Neutralize Corrosive Acid in the Battery Compartment

Open the marching band bells ornament's 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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Use an old toothbrush or a paper towel to loosen the battery corrosion debris inside the compartment. Shake out any excess.

Add a pinch or two of baking soda to about ½ teaspoon of warm water and mix well with a Q-tip until a paste forms. If it's too watery, add a little more baking soda.

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Saturate the Q-tip generously with the 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.

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. Allow the compartment to air dry.

Replace the old batteries with new ones and close up the compartment.

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