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Amp Plug/Outlet Problem

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allergy
(@allergy)
Eminent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 24
Topic starter  

Havent been around in a long time. :? But I got some early morning craving
for some Guitar. So I go to plug in the amp, and it wont turn on. I cant figure out why.

Well About say 6months Ago I had my amp pluged in to the outlet above the kitchen bar and the amp is on the floor, so its sorta stretched out at this point. The Amp ended up getting tipped forward at one point and unplugged, at the same time bending the Plug's a little bit. It could still plug in but, they were bent. Everything was fine till tonight.

Well I kept tryn the to get the amp to work plugging it in an out, giving it a good wiggle in the outlet. Then it happened The Rounder outlet on the bottom of the plug Broke, inside the outlet. Now I was smart enough to not try and pull it out with my hand, which I had to kinda stop myself from doing. :( So Any idea how I can get this piece of Metal out of the outlet with out shocking my self to death. I thought of turning all the switchs on the curcuit breaker thing. But would that work? I really dont want to shock myself.

Plus is this something that can be fixed easy, by replaceing the wire? Or is it time I got a new amp, which I need anyway but dont have the money for.


   
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gnease
(@gnease)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5038
 

In the US the round -- or third -- prong on an electrical plug is a safety ground. See diagram of plug:


I I
o <= this pin is safety ground


It is not electrified under normal circumstances. The only reason for it to carry current is if your house wiring is incorrect (happens unfortunately) or the device (e.g., your amp) has an electrical fault.

You should not get shocked pulling out this pin. If that were the case, you would have been getting shocks from your guitar, as it's connected through your amp to your strings in a properly wired system. BUT, given the small chance that I have misunderstood which pin you are describing, either turn off the circuit breaker or use an insulated (rubber handled) pliers to pull it out.

BTW, anytime you need to touch something that might be a live circuit always 1. make sure you are not standing in socks or barefoot on a conductive surface -- including metal, pooled water, concrete. 2. stick one hand in your back pocket (seriously) 3. touch the object with the BACK of your other hand or fingers first. If the object is electrically hot, your fingers will curl away from the object, breaking your connection.

... and get the plug or entire power cord on your amp replaced -- the safety ground is there for a reason. It should not cost much for a repair shop to replace the plug.

-=tension & release=-


   
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allergy
(@allergy)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 24
Topic starter  

Thank's Yes that is the pin thats still in the outlet. Now may I ask why putting on hand in your back pocket would help you from not getting shocked? Or is that to go along with number 3?

I should have some rubber handled pliers around here Ill try doing that.


   
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gnease
(@gnease)
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(1) is to keep one from being solidly grounded, as this increases current flow through one's body.

(2) assumes one may get a shock, and helps keep the current from going through one's heart area ( via hand to chest to hand) and being fatal. If one hand is in pocket, it can't be touching a good earth or grounding point to complete a circuit.

Chances are you could just pull it out without incident -- but why take a chance if you don't have to?

-=tension & release=-


   
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quarterfront
(@quarterfront)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Now may I ask why putting on hand in your back pocket would help you from not getting shocked?

You put your hand in your pocket to keep it from wandering. When you're concentrating on something your free hand tends to just do whatever it needs to do to help you keep your balance. That often amounts to holding onto something. When you're working on things electrical your often in the vicinity of lots of well grounded pieces of conduit or pipe or whatever, and if your free hand wanders off and grabs a piece of pipe, should your working hand get a shock the electricity would travel to ground via your free hand, and that path goes right past your heart.

Better that it try to get to ground by way of your feet, through your sneakers and a concrete floor....


   
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allergy
(@allergy)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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Topic starter  

Well I got it out, but my amp is still busted. :(

I used some rubberhanded pliers and put my hand in my back pocket, I wasnt taking any chances.

Thank's for the help.


   
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bstguitarist
(@bstguitarist)
Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 353
 

I would imagine it would be like a defibulator on steroids? lol, 100 mA is lethal amperage, 15 mA is the "I can't let go!"... most houses can supply abt 20A pers circut breaker on average. thats a lot of power ( E/I = P ) 20 x 120 = 2,400 watts of power! Just my 2 cents and mabye a laugh... hand in the pocket is always a good idea to help incase you do get shocked!

73's
Bryce Salmi
KB1LQC


No matter what anyone says, these four men were the Innovators! of modern Rock & Roll!

Morse Code... Music on it's own


   
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Ricochet
(@ricochet)
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Allergy, it can be fixed by replacing either the whole cord (which will require going inside the amp and doing some unsoldering and resoldering) or by just replacing the plug on the end of the cord you have (which will require some wire cutting, insulation stripping, and screw turning.) Either of those parts (cord with plug, or just the plug) will be readily available and cheap at places like Lowe's or Home Depot. I bought a new cord to replace the cracked old one in my Hammond organ a couple of weeks ago for something like $3.00. None of this is difficult to me, but if you've never done it before and don't have someone to show you how, it could be a bit tricky. Got any friends who work on electrical stuff and know what they're doing? It'd be a simple job for them. Otherwise, think about taking it to a pro. ($$)

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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gnease
(@gnease)
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Allergy, it can be fixed by replacing either the whole cord (which will require going inside the amp and doing some unsoldering and resoldering) or by just replacing the plug on the end of the cord you have (which will require some wire cutting, insulation stripping, and screw turning.) Either of those parts (cord with plug, or just the plug) will be readily available and cheap at places like Lowe's or Home Depot. I bought a new cord to replace the cracked old one in my Hammond organ a couple of weeks ago for something like $3.00. None of this is difficult to me, but if you've never done it before and don't have someone to show you how, it could be a bit tricky. Got any friends who work on electrical stuff and know what they're doing? It'd be a simple job for them. Otherwise, think about taking it to a pro. ($$)

A warning about friends who work on electrical stuff: Just because one's friend may be an electronics tech or engineer, doesn't (s)he will do it right. Building/appliance wiring follows different conventions than electronic wiring. Example: For US building and appliance cord wiring, black is "hot." Many EEs think of black as the ground. If building hot (black) and neutral (white) are swapped, many appliances still operate, but safety is compromised. Make sure whoever does the repair is actually familiar with building wiring conventions.

-=tension & release=-


   
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forrok_star
(@forrok_star)
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If you feel comfortable enough to replace the cord yourself and have the necessary tools, soldering gun, solder, wire cutters, screwdrivers, (optional) BFH, insurance (in case you mess up). You can pick replacement cords for cheap, you may even one just laying around, a Computer-Equipment AC Cord-Black Color 3 pin AC Plug - 6 foot Cable - to 3 Pin Computer Fem Plug, cut the 3 Pin Computer Fem Plug off, prepare the end to be soldered, remove the amp chassis, unsolder the old cord and replace with the new one.

If you don't think it's something you'd like to attempt, I would recommend taking to a repair facility.

Joe


   
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greybeard
(@greybeard)
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Also be aware that, if it's a tube amp, there are potentially lethal charges stored in there - enough to kick you into a low Earth orbit, if you're not careful. :shock: :shock: :shock:

If you're uncertain, take it to a pro amp tech and let his insurance worry.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
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Ricochet
(@ricochet)
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Tube amps usually have resistors bridging the power supply filter caps that'll bleed off the high voltage within a few minutes after turnoff. Never say "always," though!

Here's a page with good info on troubleshooting guitar amps, and good info on safety precautions to follow: http://geofex.com/gtramps.htm

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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stevedabear
(@stevedabear)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 117
 

If it was a british plug.. you'd be much better off :P , we have the best plugs in the world. Why the Americans still use 2 point plugs with failable earths i dont know.


   
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Ricochet
(@ricochet)
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I don't think any equipment like amps here comes with 2-prong plugs any more. They're 3-prong ones with a "hot" wire, a neutral wire that's more or less at ground (earth) potential, and a ground conductor. About the only things I see with 2-wire cords are lamps.

I did replace the 2-wire cord on the old Hammond organ a couple of weeks ago with a similar one, but the new one has a "polarized" plug that can only be inserted one way in the socket, and I made sure to install it with the hot wire going to the switch. I stuck with the 2-wire cord for simplicity and speed. There are several chassis in this thing that would all have to be wired together to use the third ground lead. The player doesn't have much opportunity to come in contact with anything inside the organ that accidentally became energized. So I just replaced the cracked cord with a new one. On an old guitar amp with a 2-wire cord I'd use a 3-wire with a positive chassis ground, because the guitar is grounded to the amp chassis at the jack. If it becomes "hot" due to a short between the power transformer's primary winding and ground, you've got a lot of potential to get shocked. (No pun intended on "potential," there.)

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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allergy
(@allergy)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 24
Topic starter  

Well I dont know anything about electrionics, so doing the repair myself is out of the question. None of my friends I would trust with the repair's as well. I still have a little mini fender amp that is a bit busted but works none the less.

I think Ill just go ahead and spring for a new amp, Ive been wanting to get one for the last couple of years. Now that the amp is broke it gives me motivation to buy a whole new one.


   
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