Practical Solutions for Pool Table Owners

Owning a pool table can bring endless hours of entertainment and skill development. However, just like any other piece of equipment, a pool table can encounter its share of problems.

Today, we’re discussing fixing common pool table issues and offer practical do-it-yourself solutions to get your game back on track.

How to Fix Common Pool Table Issues

1. Torn Felt Edges

Problem: The felt on a pool table can tear or fray over time, especially along the edges. This can be due to rough play, poor quality felt, or accidental damage.

Solution: If the damage is minor, you can repair it with a special pool table felt adhesive.

Clean the area around the tear, apply the adhesive, and press the torn edges together. For more significant damage, re-felting the entire table might be necessary.

This task can be complex, so consider hiring a professional.

2. Malfunctioning Ball Returns

Problem: In tables with an automatic ball return system, sometimes balls get stuck or don’t return properly. This can be due to blockages, misalignment, or wear and tear of the system.

Solution: First, check for any visible blockages and remove them. If the problem persists, inspect the return system for any misaligned or damaged components.

Some issues can be fixed with basic adjustments or replacements, but more complicated problems might require professional assistance.

3. Uneven Playing Surface

Problem: An uneven pool table can ruin the game’s fairness and enjoyment. This can happen due to uneven flooring, poor initial setup, or structural issues with the table.

Solution: Use a carpenter’s level to check the evenness of the table. Most pool tables have adjustable feet, so you can level the table by adjusting these feet. If the problem is due to structural issues, a professional repair service may be needed.

4. Loose or Damaged Pockets

Problem: Over time, the pockets of a pool table can become loose or damaged. This affects not only the game’s playability but also the table’s aesthetics.

Solution: Tighten any loose screws or bolts holding the pockets. If the pockets are damaged, you may need to replace them. Pocket replacement kits are available and are relatively easy to install with basic tools.

5. Warped Cues

Problem: One of the most frustrating issues for any pool player is dealing with a warped cue. Warping can occur due to changes in humidity, temperature, or improper storage.

Solution: To prevent warping, always store cues in a cool, dry place, ideally in a cue rack.

If you already have a warped cue, it might be tricky to fix. You can try rolling the cue on a flat surface to identify the bend and gently applying pressure in the opposite direction, but success is not guaranteed.

Often, replacing the cue is the most effective solution.

6. Sticky Balls or Chalk Residue

Problem: Pool balls can become sticky and accumulate chalk residue, affecting their movement and your game’s precision.

Solution: Clean your pool balls regularly with a mild detergent and warm water. Wipe them dry with a soft cloth to prevent water spots. Avoid using abrasive cleaners that can damage the balls.


Maintaining a pool table might seem daunting, but with these practical solutions, you can easily handle common issues and ensure your table remains in top playing condition.

Remember, regular maintenance and careful usage can prevent many of these problems from arising in the first place.

All done? Chalk up, cue in hand, and enjoy your game!