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Is working with mains power supply safe for beginner, or should I hire a professional

Discussion in 'Power Electronics' started by dietermoreno, Dec 22, 2013.

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  1. dietermoreno


    Dec 30, 2012
    Is working with mains power supply on my guitar amp safe for beginners, or should I hire a professional?

    It is a tube amp.

    You have told me that likely one of the power capacitors need to be replaced.

    I have unscrewed every screw on the chassis except a few screws because I don't have a small enough screw drive.

    The power supply is obviously underneath the chassis.

    Then, when I am considering going to buy a new screw driver, I think, wait, if I get a guy to fix it for me for $50 will that be cheaper than me possibly connecting a live wire to the wrong thing and blowing more capacitors and blowing tubes?

    So the "is it safe" is more of a "is it cheaper to break more stuff or is it cheaper to hire a professional"? I'm asuming that I'm not going to electrocute myself because I would shut off the power to my house before plugging it in and then turn it on and then turn the power to my house on.

    I obviously want the cheapest.

    Maybe I can ask him what he did and he can explain how he did it if I hire someone (I got a job since my visits to the forum in the summer).

    Is the obvious answer "If you have to ask if its safe, it probably isn't"?
  2. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    Nov 17, 2011
    Working with mains is never safe. Hiring a professional surely is the safest option for you, but also the most costly.

    That's true.

    But: You'll have to start at some point if you want to become "professional" sometime. These steps may be helpful:

    1) Disconnect the amplifier from mains power and let it rest for approx. 10 minutes to allow any remaining charges om capacitors to drain.
    2) Clearly mark every change you perform (removing wires, components etc.). Make notes and make lots of photographs so you have clues for re-assembling everything (correct polarities, correct connections etc.).
    3) Have someone with experience check your work. This someone doesn't have to be a professional, someone you know and who has sufficient experience. Ideally that person would accompany your work and give you tips while you work.
    4) Re-assemble the amplifier and test it.

    Last not least: heed Steve's advice.
  3. KMoffett


    Jan 21, 2009
    Unless the tube amp is a throw-away, go hire a professional. Connecting and disconnection things without knowing what or why you;re doing it is not only a waste of time, but dangerous with the high voltages present on tube amps.

    Yes, I started my childhood electronic career with tube devices...thus my above comment. ;)

  4. dietermoreno


    Dec 30, 2012
    Well so maybe that someone can be my grandfather who is an electrical engineer who I am visting for New Years Day.

    So I can bring the amp, a 16 ohm speaker, a tool kit, and my guitar to his house.

    That is of course after calling him a few days in advance and asking him if he wants to work on it with me.
  5. mursal


    Dec 13, 2013
    Lucky fella to have your Grandad to help out .......................
  6. KMoffett


    Jan 21, 2009
    In the mean time...go on the web and see if you can find a schematic for the amp. Post the make and model here too. Those of use with a bit of search experience might be able to find it...too help your grandfather.

  7. mahone


    Dec 21, 2013
    if you dont just flip the switch, MAKE SURE YOU PULL THE PLUG! discharge any live caps and know enough about the amp to diagnose the problem, then yes, I would say do the job yourself. we all had to start somewhere with ac, if you take the basic safety precautions and you know how to fix the problem, go for it.

    if you are not confident, better hand it over. it could end up costing you the amp which would be financially worse than taking it to the shop :(

    getting someone to check it is a very good idea, if thats an option for you ;)
  8. jcurrie


    Feb 22, 2011
    working with a A/C power if you don't know how to do it safely is like playing russian roulet soon or later your gona get hurt, most of the fatal encounters i've seen or been around have been from 110 one was a lineman for local power company he worked on lines up to 250kv got careless with 110 cost him his life , the moral is if you don't know about working with A/C DON'T.
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