Do speakers survive flooding?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by maxvintage, Aug 9, 2019.

  1. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    We had a flood in our basement a few weeks ago--3.5 feet of water in a basement that had never had any water at all in twenty years.

    I had several pieces of music gear down there that got flooded, including a 2x12 bass cab that was 90% submerged for a couple of hours.

    Is that likely to work again? I know, just plug it in and see, but other aspects of the cleanup have taken priority and it's piled up under a bunch of other stuff.

    What I expect is that it will work, but is probably structurally compromised--the cab is likely weaker, the voice coils might have gotten messed up, the crossover might have gotten fried. I'm wondering if it will be reliable to gig with again.

    Anybody have any experience with flooded speakers?
     
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  2. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Holic

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    They may very well be okay. It really depends on if the paper cones distorted as they dried. That could ultimately side-load the voice coil and restrict movement. Ensure they are 100% dry & give it a try. You will know right away if they survived.
     
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  3. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Ya, I had a couple old CTS 10's that made it out..
    But, glue and paper were from 60s...prob diff process
    now..
     
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  4. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    I'm putting off digging the cab out and testing it, because there's so much other remedial work to be done first. Also i don't want more bad news!
     
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  5. Mike H.

    Mike H. Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I had a Peavey Bandit 65 with the Scorpion speaker that survived three floods. The cabinet fell apart after the third flood, but the speaker still worked after drying out. That is my testimony for the durability of Peavey products, at least from that era.
     
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  6. Greggorios

    Greggorios Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Firstly, my condolences. Have had more than 1 basement flood tragedy myself. No fun. But hey, might be a bright side. Maybe it'll sound better! You could start a new cottage industry: Vintage submerged speakers, hand dipped in fresh organic rain water.

    Good luck Max.:)
     
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  7. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    More like fresh organic mud, mixed with small amounts of sewage! That could be the key to a funky sound for sure.
     
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  8. RWB

    RWB TDPRI Member

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    My 1965 Deluxe Reverb was submerged in a basement flood almost 40 years ago. I got everything dried and cleaned as quickly as possible. The original Oxford survived.
     
  9. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    Name of cab manufacture and speaker manufacturer ? Why not call them, and ask their opinion? Crossover networks are typically constructed of passive components and don't get "fried" unless signal is running through them. Speakers are another matter..paper cones and surrounds, voice coils...you better make sure they are dry before hooking them up to your audio source and pumping signal to them,,,you could damage your amplifier.
     
  10. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    I did flood work for years and have seen a lot of gear survive that probably shouldn't have. Modern speakers have a chance, vintage speakers...not likely with all the fragile paper used in the construction. The key to any chance for survival is a controlled and steady drying effort. If you remove the speakers from the cabs and place them in an interior closet with a dehumidifier...they might live. What will kill them is extended wet periods so get them exposed and get them dried.

    Beyond that issue, sorry about the basement, that kind of mess can become very stressful. I tell all of my customers to never finish a basement again, drywall and carpet do not belong down there and should not be installed. We would coat the floor with pool sealant in either a checkerboard or diamond pattern and just paint the walls. If it were to ever flood again, no damage to the building materials and life goes one with just water removal and a mop.
     
  11. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    I can't top that, but I've got an experience that falls into the same category. In 2010, we had a house fire, suffered nearly 40% damage to the house. When the firefighters were through and we were finally allowed back in our house, we were literally wading through standing water several inches deep. My amps were in it. At the time I had several Peavey amps (a Bandit 65, Bandit 75, Studio Pro 112, and a couple of Envoy 110s) and a couple of Crate amps (a TX30 "Taxi" that didn't make it through the fire, and a TX50 "Limo" which did).
    05-06-2010 - Amps & Boss ME-70 that made it.jpg

    I dried them out in one of those storage Pods units, with containers of a product called "Damp-Rid." After a month or so of drying them out, I tried them out and they worked just fine.
     
  12. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    Thank you Milspec--we weren't able to do any controlled drying and brought in big dehumidifiers that ran for a week. We had the dehumidifiers going the day of the flood.

    I'm trying to convince my wife not to do drywall. The big issue is that the floor was covered with asbestos tile. We had covered the tiles with a floating laminate floor, which had to be pulled up, and when it was the tiles (probably laid in the 50s, by a previous owner) were crumbling and broken and popping up. So we hired an asbestos abatement firm and they removed all the tile. Now we are left with a floor covered with black cutback mastic, which they tested and said does not contain asbestos, which I hope is true. But completely removing that stuff is almost impossible and nothing will bond to it as far as I can tell. So we will probably lay another laminate floor.

    I'd like to jackhammer the floor out and pour a new slab at this point!
     
  13. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Meister

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    Well... It's awful ! :eek::oops:

    A speaker ? Maybe, yes. At least for some.
    A power transformer ? Sometimes. Little chances, but...
    An output transformer ? No. Condolences. Even if placed one week in a drying oven, at controlled temperature. We couldn't save them.

    A friend of mine suffered a 48H flooding in his garage, where all his Hi-Fi gear was stored... :(

    -tbln
     
  14. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Speakers may, but likely will not survive. But it can happen. Paper warps with wetness. Saturate a sheet of paper, dry it and try to get it flat!
    Transformers are usually okay in my experience. I once bought a 49 RCA 4 x6V6 PA amp to make into a guitar amp. They seller told me it had been sitting out in the rain under the house eave for years. It had mud and bug nests in it when I got it. Not only were the transformers good, the pots were fine. Of course all the old paper caps were falling apart. A nice clean up, new caps, some resistors and tubes and .....ouila!
    Those old RCA's were the creme de la creme. The pots were huge and very smooth and noise free.
     
  15. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    Not all that vintage tile contained asbestos and in most cases it was the adhesive that contained it and not the tile at all. I don't have a lot of love for asbestos contractors and find many to be dishonest as the day is long, but short of doing your own testing, you are sort of forced to believe them. That remaining mastic will never come off without a LOT of power chiseling and not worth the effort. You could go with a product like Dri-Core which gives you a raised flooring that allows any flooding of less than 2-3 inches to not cause any damage.

    If you do go back and drywall, make sure the wall panels are raised. Add a brick or cement base all around for the drywall to rest upon in installation. The base moulding will cover it up and prevent the drywall from getting wet unless the flooding reaches more than 2-3 inches. I just hate drywall in a basement, can't say it enough times. On my basement, I built a little tikki bar with the walls painted a sunset-like color and the ceiling trimmed out in grass skirting and bamboo poles. It seemed a little nerdy at first, but I have really come to enjoy playing down there in the winter.
     
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