Is it OK to keep an EM game in the garage?

(Topic ID: 159467)

Is it OK to keep an EM game in the garage?


By Silverstreak02

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 42 posts
  • 29 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by T7
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 2 years ago

    As hard as I try there just isn't any space in the house for a pinball machine. I can make some room in the garage, but our weather in Florida can be very hot and humid especially in the garage. What can I expect from the game as far as reliability and condition if I keep it out there?

    #2 2 years ago

    As long as you play it often, including playing multiple player games, they seem to keep ticking along.

    #3 2 years ago

    Backglass paint will flake/pull away with "fast" temperature changes...that's probably true for the rest of the paint as well. If you find an average condition EM and don't care about restoring it, it's probably fine. Mechanically it's going to be fine.

    #4 2 years ago
    Quoted from Silverstreak02:

    but our weather in Florida can be very hot and humid especially in the garage.

    Sounds like a lot of the arcades I visited while on vacation in the summer months - back when I was a wee little one.

    I wouldn't spend over $500 or $600 on your em to go in the garage. Look for one with a backglass with no flaking if possible. If it does have minor flaking seal it with Tripple Thick in a non-humid environment before you put it in the humid garage.

    Play it and have fun!

    #5 2 years ago

    Can you run a dehumidifier in your garage?

    #6 2 years ago

    Did it until recently. I found my garage door seal was bad and saw the glass turned to that humid color when I walked in one morning. Flaking was starting to happen faster I believe.

    Not anymore. Don't recommend. All in the basement now!

    #7 2 years ago

    The backglass will peel & flake, wood will plank, and metal will rust. Any extreme storage conditions (like Florida weather or salty sea air) will ruin pins mighty quickly.

    #8 2 years ago

    EMs in the garage? i wouldn't think of it!

    Surely there is other less worthwhile stuff that could be moved out there like china cabinets and hutches. Then you can keep your prized possessions in the house.

    #9 2 years ago

    this is a huge thing in australia..there are hundreds of collectors with custom built garages (or large sheds) full of games..insulate, though they do get a bit cold during the middle of winter.

    #10 2 years ago
    Quoted from illawarra92:

    this is a huge thing in australia..there are hundreds of collectors with custom built garages (or large sheds) full of games..insulate, though they do get a bit cold during the middle of winter.

    There's a bloke down Illawarra way with a pretty nice setup

    #11 2 years ago

    Never can figure out what I like best about Australians, "G'day" "bloke" or "mate."

    Leaving a game in a garage in the Florida climate will not end well. It will take a bit of time, but it's not going to end well.

    #12 2 years ago

    I live in a part of the country that can get all four seasons in a week's time. Years and years ago, I kept my Gottlieb '2001' in my unheated, barely insulated attached garage for 2 or 3 years after I had fixed it. The game never skipped a beat. It played perfectly, no matter the situation. Miraculously, even the backglass maintained perfect order.

    Now, I'm not condoning keeping games in your garage, as I feel I was pretty lucky with my experience, but it can certainly be done with little to no ill effects. Just seal the backglass and you'll be good.

    #13 2 years ago
    Quoted from EMsInKC:

    Leaving a game in a garage in the Florida climate will not end well. It will take a bit of time, but it's not going to end well

    Not sure how it'd be much different than leaving a game in Florida in general. The temp changes in "winter" may flake the paint but the rest of the climate is in the house as well.

    Buy a beater and go for it!

    #14 2 years ago

    Depends on where you live and how you seal your garage.

    In Texas its not a problem if you take some preemptive measures

    #15 2 years ago

    Get rid of something useless in the house like the China cabinet, which stores a bunch of crap that comes out maybe twice a year. Humidity and temperature swings are your worst enemy. Salt in the air on shorelines is like EM Cancer.

    #16 2 years ago
    Quoted from Wickerman2:

    Not sure how it'd be much different than leaving a game in Florida in general. The temp changes in "winter" may flake the paint but the rest of the climate is in the house as well.
    Buy a beater and go for it!

    How much time have you ever spent in Florida? The heat and humidity are not going to do good things to an EM's mechanicals.

    The climate isn't in the house. The a/c keeps the humidity well below what is outside. It's the same for KC. It's very hot and humid here in the summer.

    #17 2 years ago

    I live in Florida and wouldn't even consider going into a humid, hot garage to play pinball during the summer.
    If your air handler is located in your garage, go out and buy a 4"x6" metal, not stamped, and install it into your supply plenum or you could run 1 or two drops from the garage ceiling. Seen that done a lot. Otherwise, install a mini split system. You'll also have to insulate the area above your garage.
    I'd think it would be better to stick the machine somewhere in the house.

    #18 2 years ago

    I work on my machines in the garage, as most of you probably do too.
    When they are finally up and running I keep them there for a while till I get the bugs out of them.
    For some odd reason my wife likes playing the machines in the garage, and wants me to keep one there all the time.
    I guess that's not a problem.

    I have an attached garage that shares the same climate as the house.

    #19 2 years ago

    I have 5 EMs in my garage in Washington state. Granted, it is finished with sheetrock walls, the ceiling above it is insulated, and we don't have temperature extremes here much (but lots of rain and humidity), but I've had no issues. I do play them every single day, and I take constant care of them, so I know that helps. If I ever move back to Texas I am not sure what I'll do but may have to still keep them in a garage and just continue to do my best to play/maintain them daily.

    #20 2 years ago
    Quoted from EMsInKC:

    How much time have you ever spent in Florida?

    As little as possible--no offense Floridians.

    #21 2 years ago

    humidity over time is going to corrode the electronics.
    Keep the doors closed and run a large dehumidifier 24/7 and you may be ok

    #22 2 years ago
    Quoted from Electrocute:

    I live in Florida and wouldn't even consider going into a humid, hot garage to play pinball during the summer.
    If your air handler is located in your garage, go out and buy a 4"x6" metal, not stamped, and install it into your supply plenum or you could run 1 or two drops from the garage ceiling. Seen that done a lot. Otherwise, install a mini split system. You'll also have to insulate the area above your garage.
    I'd think it would be better to stick the machine somewhere in the house.

    Best answer yet!

    #23 2 years ago

    I admit the garage idea was one of desperation. I'd like to put it somewhere in the house, but all the bedrooms are taken and even walking into the formal living and dining room is asking for trouble. I have to try rearranging my office. Thanks for all the responses. I assume fixing the machine in the garage will be OK for a short time.

    #24 2 years ago

    Seal the backglass in a dry environment and put large desiccant packs inside the cabinet. Run a dehumidifier 24x7, and keep the garage as air tight as possible. Try to control rapid fluctuations in temperature and humidity. That's the killer. As long as the environment is relatively stable and not overly humid, it should fare reasonably well.

    #25 2 years ago

    If you can, move to Phoenix with our 10% humidity. Its a dry heat, just like a microwave.

    I have 40 pins in the garage with 20 of those EMs. Put in the 3 ton split ac/heat pump system when you need it, and you can be clam happy. Great view! Life is good. Oh sooo good.

    #26 2 years ago

    If your garage is like this, Pins will be just fine.
    cars_1_3437266bFancyGarage_(resized).jpg

    If your garage is like this, Pin friendly, not so much.

    imagesOldGarage_(resized).jpg

    #27 2 years ago

    I've had my machines up in my attic and somedays it can get pretty hot up there. Out of the 6 years I've had my machines up there, environmental conditions haven't effected any of the games at all. I have EM's and early solid states to modern solid states and they work as good as ever! As long as you play em every almost everyday and keep them away from water, they should be just fine!

    #28 2 years ago

    Get an Elgato Eve and keep an eye on it daily. I use mine non stop to keep an eye on temp and humidity even with my PTAC unit setup to run the fan non stop and the temp control setup at 75 degrees. My garage is fully insulated and it still has pretty wide swings...

    #29 2 years ago

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    #30 2 years ago

    You could put a window air conditioner in the garage and run it 24/7 to keep the temps steady and remove humidity.

    Make sure the garage door seals completely to keep out those snails that eat the stucco and wood houses from eating your pin.

    florida_snail_(resized).jpg

    #31 2 years ago

    Edit- never mind.

    #32 2 years ago
    Quoted from Pinball-DOOD:

    I've had my machines up in my attic

    That must be one awful climb up the ladder

    (Sorry for the mini-bump. )

    #33 2 years ago

    I helped a friend get a soda machine down from an attic room many years ago. Luckily there was an actual staircase, but it was steep and narrow. Before you was born, Otaku!

    #34 2 years ago

    Biggest problem with em's in an unstable temp environment is the swelling/shrinking of the switch stacks causing erratic behavior.....

    #35 2 years ago

    Keeping an EM in a garage in an uncontrolled environment in Florida is just a real bad idea for many of the reasons already stated, it will basically take its toll on all the parts of the game in the near future and you will be left with a nice pile for the dumps.

    Just my 2 cents.

    #36 2 years ago
    Quoted from Otaku:

    That must be one awful climb up the ladder
    (Sorry for the mini-bump. )

    Haha! It's actually a stair case with a double door so it's pretty easy! It's almost not even an attic!

    #37 2 years ago
    Quoted from jrpinball:

    I helped a friend get a soda machine down from an attic room many years ago. Luckily there was an actual staircase, but it was steep and narrow. Before you was born, Otaku!

    Hahah. That's what we have. It's actually real tough to move the larger pins up there. Bride of Pinbot broke my back just about hahaha.

    #38 2 years ago
    Quoted from EM-PINMAN:

    Keeping an EM in a garage in an uncontrolled environment in Florida is just a real bad idea for many of the reasons already stated, it will basically take its toll on all the parts of the game in the near future and you will be left with a nice pile for the dumps.

    Termites gotta eat too, ya know!

    termite-eating-wood-cartoon-pestcemetery_(resized).jpg

    #39 2 years ago
    Quoted from Silverstreak02:

    I admit the garage idea was one of desperation. I'd like to put it somewhere in the house, but all the bedrooms are taken and even walking into the formal living and dining room is asking for trouble. I have to try rearranging my office. Thanks for all the responses. I assume fixing the machine in the garage will be OK for a short time.

    Keep fighting for the formal living and dinning area. I did and finnally won. Explain how silly it is to have a part of your house that almost never gets used.

    #40 2 years ago
    Quoted from EMsInKC:

    Leaving a game in a garage in the Florida climate will not end well. It will take a bit of time, but it's not going to end well.

    I live in Florida. I have 6 of them out in the garage, some of them for over 10 years now. They look and play as well as the day I got them.

    I don't live near a beach though. I believe a salt-air environment would contribute to an early demise.

    #41 2 years ago

    I've had machines in storage that have been in sub-freezing temperatures and +100F temperatures. The only problem I've had is with slight rust on the chrome items... But, you will be playing this machine in the garage, so I don't see a problem. You can always cover the machine with a tarp or blanket to give it some protection when it's not in use. The best advice of all - keep the machine away from direct sunlight...

    #42 2 years ago

    Heat and humidity - especially the humidity - will be bad for a pinball.
    Recommendation -> don't do it.

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