Water in amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BlacksHole, Jan 29, 2003.

  1. BlacksHole


    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    Last night at rehearsal, our guitarist managed to knock a glass of water over onto his brand new Marshall combo. We tried to dry it up as well as possible, but we were only able to get a couple of sounds out of it and then nothing. Do you think that after further airing out the amp will work again? If not, what are the most likely elements to have fried? There was no crackling or odors emitted from the amp.
  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Amps work with magic smoke.

    It's seriously built to ensure that magic smoke will never get out, for here are tone and power.

    Apparently you left some of the magic smoke get out, so the amp is probably fried.
  3. Nate Dawg

    Nate Dawg

    Apr 8, 2000
    Denver, CO
    You may have blown an internal fuse, or it could be something much worse. Electronics are funny like that.

    Take it to a repair shop to be sure.
  4. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    The next time you spill something in your amp, turn it off immediately and unplug it. Mop up as best you can and do not turn it back for a day or two until all of the moisture has evaporated (use a hair dryer if you're really in a hurry). No guarantees, but this has better odds than wiping down and then firing it back up right away.

    It's not that the smoke got out, it's that the water took the magic particles out of the air and stuck them to the chassis -- sorta like how acid rain deposits pollutants on your car. As the water evaporates, the particles are returned to the air inside the amp.

    Since his amp is new, it has a warranty. Marshall might cover repairs.

  5. hehehe
  6. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Thanks for clarifying.
    I only know basic facts when it comes to amps.
  7. PLEASE tell him you're kidding! I think he believes this.

    Nope. This definitely falls under "damage due to abuse and/or misuse."
  8. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Makes you wonder why gear intended to be used in bars isn't waterproof.

    Sorry, man. I think your going to have to take it to the repair shop. I'll be hoping the best for you.
  9. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Let me echo what jondog said. When something like that happens, resist every temptation to turn the amp back on to see if it still works. That's akin to treating an accident victim this way: "He might have a broken back and broken legs ... but let's get him on his feet to see if he can walk."

    Keep water or other liquids away from anything that's electrical and isn't waterproof.

    If you spill water into something electrical, well, I hope it's turned off and disconnected from the AC when it happens. ;) That'll at least minimize the chances of damage.

    If it's just water, often just drying the piece of gear out thoroughly before you turn it back on will be enough. Juice, beer, wine, soda, antifreeze, etc., will require some cleaning up. If you don't know what to do, leave that to a qualified technician.
  10. BlacksHole


    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    Okay, I'll admit it, I was hoping someone would say that once it dried out everything would be fine. He's going to end up borrowing an amp for this weekend's gig which is a drag and he also might be out of a fair amount of change (amp cost $900 and is just a few weeks old).
  11. BlacksHole


    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    It appears that my guitarist is lucky. I talked to him last night and the amp is working fine now. I guess it just needed to dry out.
  12. Not just amps...all electronics have smoke inside the semiconductors. When the smoke comes out of them, then you know that they don't work anymore


    Big kidding. Kidding. Kidding.
  13. Even if he thinks it's working OK now, it wouldn't hurt to take it in to a tech and have it checked out, especially if he could possibly get it checked under warranty. (It's hard to believe it stopped working and then magically started working just fine, electronics aren't self-healing)

    I would take it in to the shop, tell them something to the effect that it sounded funny and stopped working, though it seems to be working now could they put it on a scope and check it...
  14. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area

    Yes, I was kidding about the warranty :D

    Marshall magic smoke particles are from the UK, which is sorta near Chernobyl, so be sure not to let your cows play with the amp or they will go mad.