Introduction: How to Dismantle a CRT Monitor

About: My favorite hobbies are learning how to do new and cool stuff from more experienced people and building DIY (Do It Yourself) projects. They involve your typical household items that are usually discarded and …

Have an old or useless CRT monitor or TV your considering to throw out?

Well, before doing that, you might want to consider salvaging the onboard components such as the transistors, heatsinks, resistors, capacitors and especially the flyback transformer for later cool projects.

The goal here is to keep the tubes out of the landfills because they contain large amounts of lead and phosphor, and stuff you really don't want to pollute the environment which may seep into the underground water supply.

Taking apart a TV or a monitor may sound easy, but it can be very dangerous if you don't practice safety procedures.

You can also see a slightly different tutorial on my website

In this instuctabe, I'll show you how I dismantled two CRT monitors.

Step 1: Materials

Taking apart the TV or monitor can be very dangerous. High voltage may remain stored inside the tube even after being unplugged for a few years. Be careful not to drop the CRT. You could get seriously injured or die if mishandled. I am NOT responsible for any injuries you may receive for failing to adhere to proper safety procedures.

Having said that, lets begin.

For this task, all I used were:

-  a pair of rubber gloves
-  two cutting pliers
-  a Phillips screwdriver, and
-  a Flathead screwdriver
-  a safety goggles


These are the tools you will need for your typical disassembly, but may vary according to the types of fasteners used. Wearing your safety goggles is important to prevent eye injury or blindness in case of an implosion of the tube.

Step 2: Remove the Screws Holding the Case Together

Remove the screws holding the back on.

You should also also check for plastic tabs usually located on the top in between the seam and at the sides or bottom.

The top tabs were particularly tricky to unhook, but were eventually popped opened.

Sometimes the screws can be truly hidden, and takes a while to find. Some may behind small plastic doors and others may be hidden behind stickers.

Step 3: Slide the Case Off

Once you have removed the all fasteners, you can slide the case off. At this stage, its best to place the tube on its face. It makes the disassembly process much easier.

Since the CRT may still hold a lethal charge, I recommend that you put on your insulated gloves for the next steps and don't touch high voltage components for safety purposes.

Step 4: Discharging the CRT

To do this, you will need to ground the wire that is under the suction cup that is on the side of the tube.

Connect the flat-head screwdriver to a piece of wire whether by wrapping it around the screwdriver or by a alligator clip and connect the other end to ground.

For example, a metal rod sticking from the ground provides a conducting path to the earth.

Gently insert the flat head screwdriver under the suction cup.

Continue inserting it until it touches the metal conductor and you should hear a ZAP! if the tube still contain a charge. At this point the CRT is discharged.

Continue to pry of the connector until it is removed.

Now that the connector is removed, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 5: Cut the Ground Wires From the Tube

In order to separate the circuit board from the tube and the casing, you need to cut off all the ground wires from the around the tube. Here is an example shown above.

You should also remove the springs attached to the wire which may come in handy for later use.

Step 6: Remove the Main Circuit Board

On this monitor, to remove the circuit board, two tabs under the bottom must be first be unlatched before the metal base with the circuit board can be removed.

With the tabs released, the circuit board can now be moved freely.

Unplug any electrical connectors that are connected to the main circuit board.

Once the main circuit board is free to move from the main assembly, the rest of the connectors are revealed.

Unplug the quick connectors and cut the remaining soldered wires close to the circuit board so that the wires are more useful later.

The last set of wires are attached the the smaller circuit board, so cut them off from that end.

Once all the wires are removed, the main circuit board can be removed.

Take special care not to damage the circuit board because you will desolder the onboard components later.

Step 7: Remove the Smaller Circuit Board

The next step is to remove the small circuit board attached to the tube. It is normally held on by a strong adhesive at the base of the CRT connector.

Just take a flat head screwdriver and pry in between the seam of the tube connector and the tube until it comes apart.

The glue was the only thing holding the circuit board fixed to the glass tube's base.

Step 8: Stripping the Neck

Since I intend to strip out everything from the monitor leaving only the tube and the casing, that meant I had to remove the stuff from the tube's neck as well.

You should prevent from breaking the tube because sometimes breaking the tube, means it can't be recycled once your done.

So take care when handling this part of the disassembly.

To begin taking the stuff off, there is usually one or two clamps that must be loosened first. Loosen the clamps and carefully remove the spacers from around the neck. These are all the spacers removed from the neck of the tube and one of the two metal clamps.

Once the spacers and other obstructions are moved out of the way, the steering coils can come off.

To do so, first pry off the four insulated cushions at the base of the coils and then the coils should be free to slip off.

Step 9: Putting the Case Back Together

At this stage, the casing is put back together. The tube was not removed from the casing because it's a lot safer and prevents the neck from accidentally breaking off.

Now you can take the CRT to a recycling facility. Keeping the CRT out of the landfill is the objective here.

As mentioned before, you don't want the toxic substances such as lead to seep into the earth which may contaminate underground water supplies.

If you followed all the steps closely, then you will have a similar compilation of parts shown above.

Please note that I also spared the monitor's swivel base that may be of great use on a later project.

Of coarse, your final compilation will vary depending on make and model and whether it is a TV or computer monitor.

I hope you have found this tutorial useful.

Here are some links to my other instructables:

How to make a Utility Bill Organizer

Reviving an Electric Shear

Fragrant Flowers Vase

Fine Mist Spray Bottle

Pencil Holder


Case Safe