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#1989679 - 11/22/12 05:57 AM Piano problem
KeironP Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/21/12
Posts: 2
Im pretty new to all this so please be gentle :p

I have always had an ambition to learn to play the piano. When I was younger I had a keyboard and started to learn myself but never pursued.
I was looking on a website recently and seen that someone was advertising a piano for free due to being unused and taking up space. I jumped at the chance and went and got it.
I took it home gave it a clean and put it in my conservatory only to find that when I press the keys they don't really work.

I lifted the top of the piano to see that when I press the keys and the hammers hit the strings, the hammers don't return to original position, they just stick which means I can only hit a key once. This is the same for every key apart from about 6 of them. It's really disappointing because I was so excited about getting it.
I phoned up a techy and he said that it could be that because it had been stored in a garage for some time the humidity had got into the pins and that's what's causing the problem and to leave it for about a month to see if its any better and if not then I'm looking at a cost of at least £300 which I would not be able to afford.

I just wanted some advice if there is anything else I can do as my partner is telling me to just forget it and call it a write off and get rid of it, but I am set on following my ambition!

Any help, tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance


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#1989695 - 11/22/12 07:28 AM Re: Piano problem [Re: KeironP]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 2280
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Put a 25W light inside to dry out the felt. Don't leave it in for more than a week.
Try moving the hammers by hand, back and forth, while gently twisting and pulling up and then down. This may work in the pin felt and loosen it up. If you want the problem fixed, hire a tech. They will do it right and there are probably other problems with your piano.
Mark Cerisano, RPT

#1989705 - 11/22/12 08:32 AM Re: Piano problem [Re: KeironP]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2481
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Bushings are swollen up and possibly some weak/broken/popped out springs. Get the piano dryed out a bit like Mark suggested. If you can have a dehumidifier working for you in the room that would also help. Give it a week or two. Sometimes a little CLP on the bushings is all it takes along with working the hammers back and forth. Worse case scenario is that the bushings will nead a bit of reaming to get it to work properly.
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

#1989715 - 11/22/12 09:18 AM Re: Piano problem [Re: KeironP]
Zeno Wood Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/20/07
Posts: 503
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Your ambition of playing the piano does not reside solely in this particular instrument. Give yourself half a chance, get rid of this thing, and then go out and get a piano that's not free.
Zeno Wood, Piano Technician
Brooklyn College

#1989772 - 11/22/12 12:48 PM Re: Piano problem [Re: KeironP]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
There are other free pianos out there that are much better. They actually play! (Did you not notice everything was seized when you looked at the piano?)
Be sure to play it before hauling it home.
Remember - pay a piano technician to check it out before you commit to any piano. It will be the best money you ever invested.
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

#1989783 - 11/22/12 01:07 PM Re: Piano problem [Re: KeironP]
That Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/11
Posts: 478
Loc: Lincoln, NE
To dry it out faster (assuming that's the problem) use a blow dryer with the heat on (high or low I'm not sure). Just move it back and forth pointing down at the hammers. If they start coming back in place you're in business. There's also a long spring on each hammer and sometimes a lot of those get out of place.

Edited by That Guy (11/22/12 01:07 PM)
Scott Kerns
"That Tuning Guy"
Lincoln, NE

#1989845 - 11/22/12 04:02 PM Re: Piano problem [Re: KeironP]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4263
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

I would say the excessive moisture finished it off. Leave this one for a month to dry out? Try 3-6 months and even then there is no guarantee of any improvement.

Look at the dirt on the damper felts and hammer heads. The strike points of the hammers show how much dirt there is inside.

The rest of the action will be in similar condition. I would think that dirt accumulations are significant enough to cause more than just the hammer flanges to be contaminated.

Free pianos are never really free. I would not dump $300.00 in repairs on this one. For a few hundred more you can get an instrument in much better condition.
Dan Silverwood
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

#1990335 - 11/24/12 01:39 PM Re: Piano problem [Re: KeironP]
KeironP Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/21/12
Posts: 2
Thank you very much for your replies.

I actually tried That Guy's idea of using a hair dryer. I kept it at a distance for 5 minutes at a time 5 times and it has actually made a huge difference. Only like 2 or 3 notes now stick and the rest return, some slower than others, but still they return.
I'm sure there is other problems with it but for now I'm pretty happy.

Thanks for the hints, tips and advice smile


#1990437 - 11/24/12 06:22 PM Re: Piano problem [Re: KeironP]
That Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/11
Posts: 478
Loc: Lincoln, NE
I'm glad to hear it worked!
Scott Kerns
"That Tuning Guy"
Lincoln, NE


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