How to dismantle a CRT monitor

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Duration: 1 hour

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.

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 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.

For this tutorial, I'll show you how I dismantled this 17" monitor shown above that stopped working due to a malfunction.

Step 1

Remove the screws holding the case together

In this case, there were only two screws on the bottom holding the back on.

But here's the trick...

There are also two plastic tabs next the the screws and two tabs located on the top in between the seam.

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.

The plastic tabs are usually hidden in the seams at the corners, find them and unlatch them.

Step 2

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 3

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 4