Are you planning to buy a pool table? One of the most vital things you must consider is the quality of the pool table bumpers. The side rails of a top-quality pool table will last for a long time. How long do pool table bumpers last? Let us explore facts and find a convincing answer to this question.
What is the lifespan of a pool table bumper?
How long do pool table bumpers last? The average lifespan of a top-quality pool table bumper is around 25 years. If you maintain a bumper responsibly, it may last more than 30 to 40 years. So, you need to choose a reliable product that offers a perfect blend of quality and durability. Substandard pool table bumpers may get damaged or show symptoms of wear and tear within 5 years. You can expect them to last only around 5 to 10 years.
How to Identify Whether Your Pool Table Rails are Dead?
How to tell if it is a dead rail? It is a critical question that many people are searching for a convincing answer to. Loose rail bolts are a prominent reason for ineffective pool table rails. The pool table rails are bolted down to the three-piece slate play surface during the assembling process.
As you keep playing, these bolts may become loose because of the constant vibration. This situation leads to dead table rails. When the balls hit the rails, they do not bounce back with consistent speed. This issue can be solved with the tightening of rails on time.
Another reason for a dead rail is the incorrect installation of rail cushions or cloth. If the height of the cushion rubber stays low, you can find inconsistent hopping or rebound of balls. Improper installation methods always lead to dead rails.
Low-quality cushion rubber is a notable reason that makes you feel that the rails are dead. You must check the quality of the cushion rubber when buying a pool table. It is essential to ensure that you purchase cushion rubber from a responsible and reliable manufacturer with a guarantee on the rubber compound.
When to Replace a Pool Table Bumper?
Many people don’t know when to replace a table bumper. Are you one of them? You can perform a few tests, including the Hand Test and BCA Test, to know whether your bumpers are damaged.
The Hand Test refers to squeezing cushions every two to three inches using your fingers. This method gives you a fair idea about the condition of the bumper. If you apply pressure on a functional product, you won’t be able to press it no more than a quarter of an inch. Also, high-quality bumpers won’t allow you to squeeze them less than an eighth of an inch.
A highly functional bumper makes you feel that you are dealing with robust, bouncy rubber. If you get the feel of touching the wood surface, it is time to think about a replacement. Do not hesitate to replace a damaged cushion immediately. Worn-out ones will create an adverse impact on other cushions over time.
Another effective option to check whether a pool table bumper is damaged and needs replacement is called the Billiard Congress of America (BCA) test. The BCA test suggests that optimally functional bumpers allow you to shoot a cue ball from the head spot to the foot spot with optimal smoothness. It should be done with a firm stroke. You need to focus on keeping the ball centered. Check whether the ball travels the full length of the pool table 4 times. If it does not travel at least four times, you should consider a bumper replacement.
Check the Rails
Don’t forget to feel the rails before deciding on a bumper replacement. If you check the rails closely by running your fingers under and around the belts, you can identify whether they are worn out or not. It is also necessary to look for worn grooves and tracks to assess the existing condition of bumpers.
Proper Maintenance Optimizes the Longevity
As mentioned above, you must maintain your pool table bumpers responsibly to optimize longevity. Proper care prevents premature wear and tear. The best thing is to follow the instructions of the manufacturer. If you misuse your table bumpers, you cannot expect them to last for a long time.