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Why should plasma TV's not be turned from upright?

by golfinjud / July 1, 2010 4:26 AM PDT

I just bought a plasma tv last weekend. I only have a small car, and I didn't want to pay for shipping. The store people told me that when you turn it on its back, the gases inside turn to liquid, which is fine, but you have to wait 24 hours for it to turn back into a gas.

As an engineer, it made me curious, so I did a little research. According to Wiki, the gases used inside it are noble gasses, all of which won't turn to liquid at room temperature. Xenon's critical point (which is the highest) is at about 60 deg F and 910 psi (atmospheric pressure is 14.7 psi). So I don't see any way that it turns to liquid.

So to my question- Scientifically why is it bad for a plasma to not be upright? And why is 24 hours the magic number for it to return to normal?

P.s. I did transport it on its back and waited the 24 hours. Nothing went wrong, picture is great - I love it.

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My thought is the mechanics.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 1, 2010 4:31 AM PDT

In the upright position any jolt is going to flex the glass panels. Flat you worry about the support of the panel and if it flexes.

Sorry, that's all I got.

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Danger to the Glass
by golfinjud / July 1, 2010 4:49 AM PDT

I totally understand that its not designed to be on its back or face. That makes sense to me - you might break the glass because the glass could flex or whatever. But that doesn't explain why you would need to have 24 hours for it to be safe again. As soon as you get it upright, problem solved, no more danger to the glass.

(thats not a challenge to you, R. Proffitt. Thanks for bringing this up; I should have explained that they told me also that it was dangerous for the glass)

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 1, 2010 4:51 AM PDT
In reply to: Danger to the Glass

I typo'd that last reply. As to the 24 hours, that's a mystery but we are dealing with product dispensers and not much more.

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Let's proof this salesperson is all wet;
by ahtoi / July 1, 2010 10:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Danger to the Glass

Let's turn the TV upside down and fire it up. I bet you we will still have a beautiful picture. I'll bet my life on it, hehe.

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Good idea
by richteral / July 2, 2010 7:09 PM PDT

Yes, this would be worth a try. Also standing on one?s head whilst watching it would be bags of fun. Should anything go wrong, what the heck - plasmas come cheap these days. About the same as the cost of having the lot delivered by professionals, which is why one would rather transport it folded in a small car. These stupid salesmen just want to rip you off, no matter what.

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Your right it is the glass not the gas
by givemeaname / July 1, 2010 5:00 AM PDT

Some of those sales people are full of bull%^#*

You can rent a truck for $24 & move it that way, just bring lots of padding & some rope to tie it down with.

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by technut81 / July 1, 2010 3:16 PM PDT

Actually the salespeople were correct to a point. There is no liquid inside the plasma that converts to a gas so they were wrong there. Plasma displays use a combination of Xenon, Neon, and helium gasses that are sandwiched between two glass panes. An electrical current is introduced which turns the gasses into plasma.

By laying the tv incorrectly it is possible that you can damage the cells containing the gas. Also, it is interesting to note that plasma tvs will not work at high altitudes.

The sales people were just trying to cover their backsides in case your tv malfunctioned. I don't know where the magic 24 hour number came from though - probably just more CYA.

Information courtesy of:

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Salesman full of BS
by mjd420nova / July 2, 2010 10:14 AM PDT

This is the biggest bunch of BS I've ever heard. I think this salesman sells too many refrigerators and not plasma TV's. The gas in a plasma TV will never turn to liquid, not in use or mounted in any position. I would be wise to transport the unit in the vertical position to provide the maximum protection for the display element. The manufacturer ships them this way and the shipping cartons are marked that way. The only reason not to lay it flat is because the display element would not have any support and could fracture, destroying the element.

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Plasma TV's transported off vertical
by jfordorl / July 2, 2010 2:29 PM PDT
In reply to: Salesman full of BS

This may not be a problem now (I don't know), but 6 years ago it was for real. I work at Sam's Club and sold a perfectly workin demo plasma tv to a gentleman who transported it home laying face down. He returned it the next day (same serial number - no switcheroo here) with graininess blotches over most pixel cells. We took it back and refunded him. We kept it for a month and the graininess faded a bit, but never went away and we were forced to trash it as the manufacturer refused to honor it's warranty because it had been transported off vertical. Another club in our area experienced the same problem but with the set new in the box when sold. As I said this was 6 years ago, so may be overcome now? BTW, all gas is a liquid, but not as we commonly think of a liquid (wet).

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by technut81 / July 3, 2010 11:15 AM PDT

Not sure which physics class you attended but gas is not a liquid in any state and plasma is not a gas. Gas is a whole seperate entity, but thats another topic.

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by givemeaname / July 3, 2010 3:36 PM PDT
In reply to: huh

maybe your the one that needs too go back to school...

Liquid nitrogen
Frozen nitrogen
Liquid Helium
Frozen Helium
Liquid methane
Frozen methane
Liquid Neon
Frozen Neon
Liquid oxygen
Frozen oxygen & so on for gases

Liquid plasma is found naturally on a sun
& plasma is a gas in earths atmosphere, one can see the affects of the gas in the Aurora Borealis....

+ some of the above gases can be naturally found frozen &/or liquid state in super deep waters on earth. ALL gases can be turned into a liquid or frozen state under certain circumstances (pressure & temperature)

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Are we going to talk about what plasma is or ...
by ahtoi / July 3, 2010 5:19 PM PDT
In reply to: umm

are we going to talk about whether the salesperson is correct or not? Since we are here on earth (so we can leave the sun and other galaxy out of the discussion here); What do we have inside of a plasma TV...liquid, gas, etc. what?

From what I get out of Google; plasma is the 4th states of matters. It's more like gas than liquid or solid. It's ionize gas, but when excited by an electric field, it then became plasma.

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apparently we do have to talk about plasma, gas, etc. ...
by porsche10x / July 14, 2010 5:56 AM PDT
In reply to: umm

@ givemeaname: yes, gases can be turned into a liquid or frozen state, but when they are, they stop being gases. Nitrogen isn't a gas simply because it's nitrogen. It's a gas because it's in a gaseous state in our atmosphere. Once it becomes liquid or solid, it stops being a gas. Same for every other substance you mentioned.

Plasma is simply ionized gas. It is thought of as a fourth state of matter, distinct from gases. I am very curious as to where you got the information that the sun or any stars are made of "liquid plasma".

@ jfordori (and technut81): I think what you might have meant is "all gas is a fluid...", not "all gas is a liquid...". Fluids will flow, readily change shape. Both liquids and gases are fluids. Gases will also expand to fill up a volume of space. Liquids will not; they have a fixed volume.

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Plasma transporting off vertical
by flrhcarr / July 3, 2010 7:34 AM PDT

You all have it right, more or less. It is to cover themselves. Taking that most of the public needs to have their hands held on nearly everything, here's the scenario.
After putting the tv in the vehicle, laying it flat, they go shopping. Having no space to put groceries, they lay them on the tv, thinking "it'll be safe in the box". Where they are pressing onto the screen (which it isn't made for). They rip open the box, hook the tv up, & the screen hasn't had time to "bounce" back, if it ever will be able to.
Now, miffed, they bring it back to the store, throwing a fit, & demanding to see the manager, God, & everyone else, because the store screwed up & sold them a defective tv. When in fact, they did it themselves & who wants to admit they screwed themselves, when you can throw a fit & get another one?
In doubt? Press the flat screen on computer, see all those neat colors?

The 24 hour period is two fold. Going back to refrigerators & laying them down. You had to wait for the freon to "set" itself.
Also, most things if not really broke, will come back after a day, as will most tempers of idiocy (well at least, one hopes).

Why do they print drowning warnings on buckets? Because someone will sue, claiming the company didn't warn them not to stick their head in a bucket of water.
Just my thought on the matter.

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Plasma TV on it's face/back
by Halo9X / July 11, 2010 4:19 PM PDT

When I bought the Vizio 32" Plasma I had to put it on its face. That's so i could attach the wall mount. However, you do have to be careful since the face is glass. I laid mine on our bed since I was mounting it in the bedroom.
Once I had the stand removed and the wall mount attached, I was then able to hang it on the wall portion of the mount. No problems and the set works great. So, it CAN be laid down on it's front or back. You just have to be careful so as to NOT break the glass screen.

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Gas or liquid
by mjd420nova / July 17, 2010 2:47 PM PDT

The reason you must allow a 24 hour settling period for refrigerators after transporting them in a horizontal position is because the freon pump that circulates the freon is located on the bottom of the loop and when laid flat, the freon will settle in the radiator on the back of the unit. Is the unit is powered on before the gas can settle back into the pump, the pump will burn up with nothing to pump. Now on a plasma TV, there is no problem as the gases are enclosed within a tiny element and doesn't move from there. In this universe, on this planet, at normal temperatures, a gas will remain a gas and a liquid a liquid. Many gases can be forced to change states to a liquid but only by applying extreme cold and pressure. Many liquids can be turned to gases but only by applying heat and changed to a solid by applying cold.

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Read Numeri and technical information of the screen
by arwkoppen / July 4, 2010 12:23 AM PDT

The Universe is build of strings and quantities of strings. Numbers do have meaning. Good Luck ♥ A.

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