Can smoke from an electrical fire damage an amp or cab?

Soundhound

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2,276
We had an electrical fire in our converted garage, which is my office/studio. None of my amps were that close to the fire, but the room still smells of smoke a week later.

I haven't had a chance to test out my amps yet. Anything I should be on the lookout for? Or does smoke not pose much of a threat to amps or cabs?
 

WaltC

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2,129
functionally I doubt smoke will have any impact at all. As long as you didn't get any real heat, no melting or charring, and no water damage from putting out the fire, then you should be ok.
 

Keyser Soze

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1,476
Soot, being largely carbon is electrically conductive. But you would need to have a substantial surface film on critical components inside the chassis for this to be a problem. And I would be most concerned with non-masked printed circuit board components as compared to turret or eyelet board construction.

If the exterior of any amps is coated in soot an inspection inside the chassis might be in order. If you are concerned enough the fix is to get a couple large cans of non residue forming electrical contact cleaner, then use them to flush out the components/contacts/traces inside each amp then allow them to fully dry before plugging back in. You'll probably want to do this out in the driveway as well.
 

teemuk

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3,154
Or as long as the amp and especially it's internals aren't obviously covered in soot, which could be either conductive or make contacts intermittent.

Since your amps were not close to the fire (and from your description I assume it wasn't a huge fire with lots of smoke damage to begin with) I assume the amps should be clean enough.


Edit: looks like we posted the same time.
 

ModdersAnon

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1,405
When in doubt check out/clean the connections and circuit board(s)

I have a Marshall TSL601 that was in a music store fire, wet with water and it works fine. However it was cleaned and serviced before being sold to me.

Looked like hell as the grill and speaker were rotted out because the amp room filled with a couple of inches with water. Sounded good though and $175 the price was right.
 

Soundhound

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2,276
Thanks all. I'll play them soon as I can and look for any residue. Next question: pedals. I am an ampoholic but it's nothing compared to the results of years of pedalmania, I looked I. The cabinet I keep the,pm in and estimated about 100-150. Jesus. :) Any thoughts about smoke damage as a danger to pedals? Same as amps for the most part?
 

WaltC

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2,129
same as for amps, but it takes less residue to cause problems because of the significantly lower voltages used in pedals.
 

SeanF

Member
Messages
499
the biggest danger from smoke exposure is that the soot is corrosive, sometimes extremely so; it will eat bare metal alive pretty quickly if the relative humidity is much above 50%. Still, unless you can see or wipe off a discernible layer from the PC boards, I wouldn't worry about it. If you can open an amp or pedal, and find a real layer of soot on anything, I'd flush it thoroughly with contact cleaner as suggested above.
 




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