Are the bells in your tower safe?
OUT OF SIGHT SHOULDN’T MEAN OUT OF MIND
Annual maintenance will often keep a bell ringing for decades before any repairs are needed. Unfortunately, bells are located high in towers and are generally difficult to access; maintenance is often out of mind since the bell is out of sight. Many churches do not realize their bell is in need of assistance until there is a crisis.
Notice these things?
- Bells difficult to ring? This might be a sign that the pulley blocks and/or wheel is loose, poorly aligned, damaged, or could indicate rope wear.
- Muffled or stuttering bell? This could be a sign that the clapper return springs are loose or broken.
- Feel a shock when ringing bell? This may be a sign that the bell is loose from its yoke connection and needs urgent service. Immediately stop using the bell, clear the area, and call for repair. The bell is at severe risk of falling.
- Support beams rotting, rusting out? Check for water damage and wood rot.
- Bell sound has changed? This may be a sign the bell clapper is loose. The strike point of the bell should be checked annually for the bell’s proper ring tone to stay constant.
- Bat and bird droppings? Animal droppings corrode bells and hardware. It’s very important to keep bats and birds out of the bell tower. If droppings are present, figure out where the animals are entering and take steps to screen them out.
- Can’t remember the last time your bells were serviced or evaluated? It’s probably time to schedule an onsite evaluation and service.
Keep your bells ringing
Often times it is not the bell but the hardware associated with it that has deteriorated. A cracked yoke, rusted clapper pin, or rusted bolts that hold the bell to the yoke impair ringing and pose serious safety hazards. Rusty bolts are usually the greatest hazard because the untrained eye does not easily see this condition.
One major place for wear that is especially difficult to assess is the head bolt that supports the weight of the bell. The head bolt passes through the bell head, where it can’t be seen unless the bell is taken down. Should this problem go unnoticed and unresolved, the bell could swing off its yoke while ringing, causing structural damage to the bell and tower, and injury to anyone nearby.
BELL RINGING EQUIPMENT
Each Verdin bell striker is custom-fit to a customer’s unique arrangement of bells. Verdin manufactures several types of strikers to meet the requirements of both stationary and swinging bells.
Verdin’s silent, precision-built swinging bell ringer is a custom engineered system that will ring any bell with the correct swing for maximum richness of tone. With Verdin’s swinging bell ringers, bells can be rung automatically or switch-controlled.
Verdin controllers are the preeminent controllers in the bell industry. Verdin’s digital bell controllers can be used with both swinging and stationary bells, as well as tower clocks. Many of our digital carillons can also operate the ringing of your cast bells and play genuine bell melodies from a comprehensive library.
When was the last time your bells were serviced and checked for safety?
Thousands of churches all over the country have old bells in their towers. While most cast bells last forever, the mechanical parts and supporting equipment becomes worn and fragile. Verdin can help you inspect, service, repair, and restore old bells in disrepair.
Includes evaluation report and appraisal of your bells
One church’s journey to restore their bells
HOLY CROSS-IMMACULATA, MOUNT ADAMS, OH
Holy Cross-Immaculata Church in Mt. Adams, Ohio, completed the restoration of their three cast bronze church bells that were in urgent need of repair. The 150-year-old bell tower was silenced because the equipment that houses and rings the bells had become dangerously fragile and in need of replacement.