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Help! Getting shocked while playing!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by drehoh177, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. drehoh177


    Jun 20, 2012
    So I recently got a new bass head and cab (Ampeg pf-350 and svr-212) and when I'm playing on a concrete floor without shoes I experience a shock. It's not when I touch my strings with my fingers though, only really on my forearm. It's enough of a shock though that it feels like pin pricks. I have my amp plugged into a power strip that has an LED ground light that is on. My bass has active pickups but I've never experienced this before. What is the problem here? Do I have a bad amp? :crying:
  2. Firesalt

    Firesalt Is good enough. Supporting Member

    May 18, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    It's probably a grounding issue. Take a multimeter and measure that the ground pin has continuity between it and the chassis, make sure the hot pins DO NOT. It also may be an outlet issue... but certainly a grounding issue it is.
  3. +1. And wear shoes until you fix the problem (PS- I like playing barefoot too).
  4. LowEZ

    LowEZ Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2011
    Central NJ
    Maybe that LED is a ground fault indicator?
  5. Maybe, but you'd think in that case the strip would shut down with a ground fault.
    OP: try bypassing the power strip, going directly to the outlet. Do NOT EVER use a three prong to two prong adapter.
    I hate to say it but if this just started happening, with a new amp, it's almost certainly the amp. And it may be very dangerous- be careful, and get it fixed.
  6. BbbyBld


    Oct 13, 2005
    Meridian, MS
    I've had that happen in my basement when playing a variety of amps barefoot. It's an older house, and someone replaced the outlets with the three prong type and there is no real ground. In that case, the outlet should be replaced with the GFCI type so there is no danger of electrocution (I think that's part of the standard residential electrical code, at least it is where I live). I recommend that you do that and stand on a rug with a rubber base to take away the "tickle" if you just have to play barefoot. Don't leave the rug on the concrete when you're not using it because it will absorb moisture and possibly not work as well.

    Electrical products have leakage current that can be caused by difference in potential between the chassis and earth ground, or it can be caused by certain types of radio interference filter circuits inside of the product. The safety ground helps to minimize this potential, but doesn't always get rid of it. Some products have more than others, but it's regulated and has to be below a certain limit. Any reputable product should have UL, CE, ETL, etc... and must comply with the leakage current limit.
  7. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    Does a GFCI work without proper ground wiring in the house? I always thought a ground wire had to be added.
  8. No comment other than to say *thank you* for not saying you got electrocuted. :D
  9. Yes. It does not rely on the presence of a ground. It measures the current leaving the Hot conductor and returning to the Neutral conductor. If the outgoing and returning currents do not match, it will trip.
  10. Yes, there must be a ground.
  11. No, there does not.
  12. Do some research. Ground is not part of the equation. Some appliances, such as my girlfriend's new hair dryer, have two-prong plugs yet they incorporate a GFCI into the cord.
  13. Ok, thanks for the correction. But, I’d think I rather have a properly wired and grounded AC outlet.
  14. Absolutely. It is remotely possible that the GFCI, being a somewhat complex device, could fail. A proper ground will always save your butt.
  15. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    Thanks for clearing that up for me, dmusic.
  16. NP. I just recently learned this myself, when the GF showed up with the new hairdryer.

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