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Water-damaged amp advice (frozen pipe sob story content)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mark Nye, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. Mark Nye

    Mark Nye

    Sep 18, 2012
    Columbus, OH
    So, the recent cold spell that came across the midwest hit a rehearsal studio where I practice with a pretty catastrophic pipe freeze incident: A sprinkler pipe in the ceiling froze/burst and completely soaked a room that housed a good amount of gear.

    Luckily (for me), the only thing of mine that was in there was an old, cheap Peavey TKO 115 that serves as my "convenience" amp (good enough for practice, lives at the rehearsal space so I don't have to schlep my gig rig to/from). Others were not so lucky. The room had a Silverface Twin, Vibrolux, and Deluxe in it, and some 30+ year old Marshall gear, some vintage keyboards, a few custom built basses, a PA, and a great studio drum kit.

    I have the TKO back in my possession, and I'm trying to see what my best approach might be to assessing and/or repairing the damage. (My drummer was at the space in the aftermath of the incident helping the studio owner clean up and move gear. He told me that when he picked up the amp to move it, a good amount of water dumped out of the front port. I assume that this water probably entered the amp through the vents on top, and thus it's very likely that all of the electronic components got wet. And yes, the amp was plugged into the wall at the time of the incident).

    Does anyone have a similar experience? If so, how did you handle it? What was your result?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. mimaz


    Mar 1, 2005
    Wheeling WV
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    First and foremost....don't turn it on!

    Open it up and dump any additional water out, set up a fan to blow across it, and let it dry out completely. After it's completely dried out, you have 2 choices:

    Take a chance, turn it on, and see what happens.

    Take it to your tech for further inspection before you turn it on.

    (Personally, since this is a lower $$ amp, I would take my chances and fire it up once it was completely dried out.)
  3. Mark Nye

    Mark Nye

    Sep 18, 2012
    Columbus, OH
    This is kinda what I was thinking...
  4. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV


    I'd add one suggestion, regarding drying it out. The amp's a small combo, right? If you can, pull the amp chassis out of the box (take care with the speaker lead; disconnect it) and take a good look to see if there's moisture hiding in there. Hold it up and tilt it this way and that to see if any droplets fall out.

    The crucial thing is to be absolutely sure there's no moisture left in it, before you turn it on.
  5. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Look for mould once it dries out. A gritty solution of Borax laundry cleaner and water works well.

    The electronics are another story. Flooding can cause a lot of rust issues. As has been said, given the value of the amp, dry it out with a fan and try it and see.
  6. Consider placing it near a dehumidifier to facilitate the drying-out.
  7. Epidrake


    May 24, 2011
    We get a lot of flooding where I live. Water table is very high underground. Obviously un-plug everything. Fans and dehumidifiers are the key to drying everything out. Lots of airflow will inhibit mold growth and may prevent rust before it gets a chance to damage your stuff. Be very patient. It can take many days to dry things out, especially if it's cool or cold.
  8. Mark Nye

    Mark Nye

    Sep 18, 2012
    Columbus, OH
    At the moment, I've got it sitting near a heating duct that cranks out a ton of really dry heat (old building). I haven't yet taken the amp out of the housing, but I certainly will now.

    How about the speaker? Any thoughts on that?
  9. mimaz


    Mar 1, 2005
    Wheeling WV
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    Really, kinda the same. Let it dry completely, and pray the the voice coil remains free instead of rusting up....you may get lucky.
  10. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Since nobody else seems to have mentioned it: Hair dryer.

    Open it up, pour/sponge out as much standing water as may remain, then give it a few minutes of blow-dry. Not too close, mind you, and you'll still want to let it air for a good while afterwards, but getting the surfaces good and dry ASAP is helpful both for corrosion and for mold/mildew.
  11. Dug2

    Dug2 Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    sux for sure, i feel 4ya, im a plumber, and the damage ive seen this week
    from busted frozen pipes was horrible
  12. I would advise to remove all speakers from the cabs and place them on their magnets. This will allow more airflow through the cabs and keep mold from growing on the back side of the cones before they can dry. Also prevent baffle board sag by removing the hanging weight. All amps should be removed from their cases as well and remove any covers.
    Good luck! That sucks, with some care taken with the drying process and a trip to a tech to check out hidden troubles like switches or pots you should make it out okay.

    I remember a story of an 800RB that was under mud and water for several weeks after Katrina. The owner opened it up rinsed it with clear water, let it dry out and after it was dry sent it to G-K. G-K only had to replace a couple pots and he's been rocking that amp ever since.