Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Swimming amp — death?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by KC, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Missoula, Montana
    Played a great gig on a boat, the Flathead Lake Blues Cruise, full House and lots of dancing. They were throwing money at us by the end! Then our keyboard player fell off the dock on the loadout. With my Gibson GA15 in her hand. Pulled the speaker, pulled the tubes, pulled the chassis & left everything to dry. I’ll fire it up in a couple weeks—what are the odds? Anybody had this happen? Any other steps?

    The PC board was printed trace Elliot velocette, by the way, with a Gibson sticker. Great little amp. Hope it lives to play again.
  2. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

    Jun 7, 2017
    Fresh water I assume?
    I have had amps left in the rain, and one get sprayed by a sprinkler, they survived after a thorough drying but never one in the water..was it submerged? Might need to clean rust off the tube sockets, I dunno.. If water got between the tranny lams that could be a problem
  3. Rayf_Brogan

    Rayf_Brogan Tele-Meister

    Dec 14, 2017
    I'm picturing the keyboard player up to her ears in water and you running up saying "oh God, my amp!". Just a funny mental picture. Hope the amp recovers. Keyboardist too.
  4. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 14, 2005
    Nueces Strip
    I used to work in food processing plants as an electrical tech.
    Lots of wash down, and everything wet.
    When some important electronic equipment got soaked, an older tech taught me a cool rescue:
    Yank whatever boards and get all the guts exposed ASAP.
    Remove anything possible that may have internal water then douse everything else with liberal amounts of distilled water.
    Dry it out with compressed air and a heat gun.
    Test those components pulled out as well as you can.
    This is a PITA but usually saved the equipment.
    When NOT using distilled water, everything may dry up and work for a while but any hardness/detergent/general pollution in the original drenching will start corrosion happening.

    Yes, know this sounds counterintuitive but it usually works.
    Who is set up for this kind of thing?
    Not me - anymore.
    voodoostation likes this.
  5. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 14, 2005
    Nueces Strip
    Oh, and sorry about your bandmate.
    nojazzhere likes this.
  6. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Missoula, Montana
    Oh, she’s fine. Wish I had a big bag and 55 gallons of rice.
    VintageGearMan and nojazzhere like this.
  7. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    Fresh water should be ok, but your speakers are probably going to be toast , if now now... soon.
  8. Pointmonger

    Pointmonger Tele-Holic

    Aug 29, 2009
    Austin, Texas
    Nightclub Dwight likes this.
  9. tery

    tery Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Sep 21, 2012
    Poor girl - she must feel terrible .
  10. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    La Quinta, CA
    A few years ago, my wife and I were on vacation, visiting some of our kids. We were literally getting ready to head to the airport. My wife was in the back yard and as she walked towards the back door, slipped into the pool, holding her iPad.

    My daughter hollers to her husband to grab a towel, that my wife had fallen int he pool with her iPad. My Son-In-Law ran to the door with a tea towel and grabbed the iPad, ran to the kitchen and threw it in a bag with some rice. It didn't save the iPad.

    Meanwhile, my wife was standing at the back door dripping...

    My daughter starts screaming at her husband and all I could do was laugh.

    Somehow, I'm still married (probably because I bought her a new iPad ASAP).

    Good luck with the amp! I have always heard that you need to rinse things in distilled water... There are so many pollutants in 'fresh water'.
  11. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2015
    With the iPad it would stand a better chance if it fell in when it was off. You need to wait longer to try it, several weeks at least, and you stand a high chance of permanently damaging it by trying to turn it on while it's still wet.
  12. johnny k

    johnny k Friend of Leo's

    Jan 15, 2011
    So that the rice soak up the water on the keyboard girl ?
    drf64 likes this.
  13. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

    Nov 3, 2003
    North Louisiana around Many
  14. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Jul 24, 2009
    Ada, MI
    or angry. "You SAID there'd be rice, dammit!"
  15. Crobbins

    Crobbins Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Meiners Oaks CA.
    I had a Ampeg SVT bass head fall into saltwater. I thought for sure that my amp was ruined. I took it home, and cleaned everything with WD40, and contact cleaner twice. I let a fan blow on it overnight. When I took it to my amp tech he couldn't find anything wrong with. I guess I got really lucky.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    ElJay370, Jakedog and Axis29 like this.
  16. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Take it to a tech. Play it safe.
  17. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

    Nov 3, 2003
    North Louisiana around Many
    Yelp, if you really liking the amp a tech would be your best bet. I am a tech of sorts and in my case I would do a lot of research to make sure I had all the bases covered before I ever fired it up and I would do it on a light bulb limiter or a Variac if I had one:>). I'm sure there are a lot of Techs that have never dealt with a submerged amp situation and I bet most would have to research the situation themselves. The fact that you got it out quickly and begin to dry it out immediately should play in your favor. It's just the idea of the water up in those transformer windings cut off from proper ventilation would bother me. I would surely research that to clear any moisture out of there. Your power transformer and Output transformer other than the speaker is your main pricey components. If they are bad will be a major investment.

    Please come back and let us know the rest of the Story! Hope you Gibson goes on to live a long extended life. Platefire
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  18. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    In such a situation, I would pour alcohol into the transformers....and maybe every other part of the circuit board. It will evaporate quickly and carry the water out with it. I had forgotten this trick that my dad taught me over 50 years when dealing with distributor caps that had gotten moisture in them, but after the Nashville floods there were some reports that used this method to remove moisture from those parts of the amp.
    Axis29 and Crobbins like this.
  19. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 10, 2014
    Philadelphia, PA
    Remove the transformers, and put the chassis in the dishwasher. I'm not kidding.

    Then let dry for a day.

    Then bake at the lowest temp your oven will do for 4-5 hours. Including the transformers.

    Clean with alcohol.


    Deoxit all connectors.

    Fire it up.
    RiverDog likes this.
  20. OneHenry

    OneHenry Tele-Holic

    Apr 16, 2018
    North carolina
    I would be concerned about the speaker(s) getting mushy
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.