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Wall wart/Power adaptor life

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Michedelic, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Does leaving an adaptor plugged in to a strip with continuous power, either hooked up to a device(fx pedal, preamp, tuner or the like)OR plugged into the juice but not into a unit, wear it out(faster), overheat it, or lead to any other failure? If not plugged into a unit, does it still draw current which would lead to any of the previous negative scenarios( this would be after making sure the bare barrel was not touching any extraneous metal, creating a short)?
  2. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    As long as the adapter is plugged into it's rated load or less, it's fine. It's normal for them to get warm to the touch. As long as it's not hot, it's OK. They do pull some current even when there's no DC load connected, but again it doesn't harm them. They should last for years or decades with normal use.

    Out of the few power adapters that have failed on me other the years, it seemed most of them had the wires break internally, usually right at or near the plug or transformer brick. Some will fail is they get a direct short across them, they have an internal fuse called a 'fusible link' that ruins the power adapter but it does prevent your house from burning down, so there's that. It's much harder to accidently short circuit a boss-type power plug, the old 1/8" power plug on some earlier effects was easily shorted.
  3. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Thank you. I usually tear down everything, but at home I have a practice station where sometimes I do pedal shootouts and such with a couple of Boss PSA 120’s, which I switch out when I A/B boxes, and it’s easy to to get distracted and forget that they’re still plugged in with no load.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  4. waveman


    Sep 25, 2008
    Yes they do draw current. Some of them draw 100-200mA with nothing plugged in. Some of them pull, like the One Spot, draw much less.

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