PSA: don't kill your pedals!

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by yeahyeahyeah, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. yeahyeahyeah

    yeahyeahyeah Supporting Member

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    Just a PSA.

    If you leave your pedal board plugged in all the time, you are slowly killing the capacitors inside your pedals. Capacitors have the shortest lifespan of all the electrical components in a pedal and are only rated for a set number of hours. After that, they can begin to "leak" DC voltage causing all kinds of unwanted problems.

    By leaving your pedal board plugged in, you are running the clock on your capacitors, shortening their life.

    Granted, this is a slow death and you probably won't kill your pedals within the year. But it does add up over time and eventualy those caps will need replacing.

    So when not in use, disconnect the power supply to your pedals. Its "greener" and your pedals will still be alive years from now.

    That is all.
     
  2. soli528

    soli528 Silver Supporting Member

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    They don't have to be physically unplugged, right? I keep everything (board, amps, etc..) on a furman rack power conditioner- I switch everything off by using the furman switch.
    Okay, yes?
     
  3. Shiny McShine

    Shiny McShine Member

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    I've been thinking about a pedal that you run your AC into and out of. It would have a timer that you activate with a footswitch. After an hour, it turns off. You know, maybe a wall timer would be cool too?
     
  4. jackrussel

    jackrussel Member

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    You mean the adaptor to pedal connection, or power strip to outlet?
    I have 4 adaptors, some with daisy chains to power my pedals. That can be a hassle...
     
  5. benjisaynomore

    benjisaynomore Member

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    Yeah what do you mean anyway? If the pedal is always engaged when powered (for example in a loopmaster loop or something of that nature) does it wear out the pedal faster?

    I think you're referring to having the 9v (or what have you) barrel plugged into the pedal even when disengaged right?
     
  6. Structo

    Structo Member

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    Hmmm, I disagree.

    It is pretty well accepted that electrolytic caps last longer when the circuit is energised with regularity.

    It's disused amps that are stored away that have the caps go bad.

    The electrolyte paste in the caps dries out and becomes weakened without current passing through them.

    Maybe what you are saying bears some merit in that possibly having them on all the time could shorten their life some but, the average life span of an electrolytic cap is 10-15 years.
    You will possibly not keep a pedal that long or decide to sell it before the caps fail or leak so bad they won't work.
     
  7. Dannc6

    Dannc6 Supporting Member

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    I think he means just make sure they aren't powered up - lights blazing etc. It doesnt matter how they get power, just make sure that the pedals don't light up if you step on it!
     
  8. FrankieSixxxgun

    FrankieSixxxgun Member

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    The way I see it, any electronic device has a lifespan determined by number of operating hours under normal conditions; therefore, I switch off and unplug my equipment when not in use. As long as it's used regularly I don't see any issues with caps drying. Really, is there any reason to leave your pedals on while you're asleep or at work anyway? No valid reasons I can think of.
     
  9. Zero

    Zero Member

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    Who the hell would leave their pedals on when not using them?
     
  10. crockett

    crockett Member

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    He's talking about leaving the power cord in, even with your pedals bypassed. Many pedal manufacturers recommend you unplug your pedals when not in use to prolong life. Electrical switching pedals are 'always on' when you connect the power supply to it and your AC outlet. I unplug my pedalboard from the wall every time when not in use. Leaving the adapter connected to the pedal is ok as long as the path to a voltage supply is not there (i.e. other end is unplugged from the wall outlet).
     
  11. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    my pb power supply stays plugged into the wall all the time but I have the electricity to the wall on a master on/off switch...

    Chow,
    Seegs
     
  12. sunken.anchor

    sunken.anchor Member

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    Doesn't worry me. I have two toddlers at home, so the second I'm done playing, the pedalboard gets unplugged and it goes back in the case. My kids LOVE to turn the knobs. Nothing like turning on a pedal and then realizing the volume is all the way up. :messedup
     
  13. jaywalker

    jaywalker Member

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    master power switch to cut the supply to the pedals:
    [​IMG]

    I often have to leave my board on between soundchecks and the actual gig - up to 5 hours because we come out and play without twiddleing and tweaking (rawk n rowl!), this switch helps no end.
     
  14. FrankieSixxxgun

    FrankieSixxxgun Member

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    At a gig I just leave 'em on, along with my amp, in between sound check and playing. I don't see any harm and the tubes get nice and hot.
     
  15. Sweet T

    Sweet T Member

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    Ha! Like anyone around here will not have GAS between now and when those caps die, selling off the ticking time bomb to finance the purchase of the new Klon in the black box bearing a laser-etched green duck! :)
     
  16. bandofthieves™

    bandofthieves™ Member

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    We have a Boss pedal Station at the store I work at.It has been there going on 8 years.It has 30 pedals on it.They stay on 8 hours a day,48 hours a week.No failures yet.That is like 20,000 hours..2 1/2 years..
    Now that I said that, you watch I'll go back in Tuesday and they will all be dead.:huh
     
  17. nek

    nek Member

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    Its not interesting or dramatic, but listen to Structo, he's talking sense.
     
  18. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    My area gets frequent sudden storms, so I have everything on a master plug that comes out of teh wall to protect from lightning strike. I think more about conserving blinking LED's than I do capacitors.
     
  19. Turiguiliano

    Turiguiliano Member

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    me too! but to make sure(???) they're a little protected from it, i got a 1500va servo type AVR. when something goes wrong, I'm hoping that's the the first thing to go. :confused:
     
  20. usc96

    usc96 Member

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    Of course if you unplug it from the wall (assuming something like a PP2 running everything), doesn't that mean your pedals will drain all their 9v batteries?
     

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