Second-hand pedal has a strong smell

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Steve 78, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Tele-Afflicted

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    I recently bought an 80s Boss pedal. When I took it out of the packaging i noticed it smelled quite strongly. It is a chemical-like smell with a bit of salt-water overtones, perhaps a bit like an exploded cap.

    I took it apart and it seems to me the smell is coming from the circuit board / components. It looks very clean and I don't see any evidence of broken caps or resistors.

    It is so strong it seems to be absorbed by items placed near the pedal. Any idea what it could be? Or more importantly, how to get it rid of it without damaging the pedal? Thanks!
     
  2. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    who knows what that thing has been exposed to over the years... I'd be more inclined to think external factors than internal. maybe cat pee... or smoke... or a flooded toilet.

    does it work? that's a good way to rule out any component failure
     
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  3. TeleFunk Man

    TeleFunk Man Tele-Afflicted

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    Is it too late to send it back?
     
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  4. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Spray it with some febreze and leave it out in the sun for a while.
     
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  5. 1300 E Valencia

    1300 E Valencia Friend of Leo's

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    Cat pee. Except it's not pee. Good luck.
     
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  6. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Tele-Afflicted

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    It works very well so I'd prefer not to have to send it back. It didn't cost a fortune or anything.
     
  7. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    Maybe whoever was "stepping" on it in its previous life was "stepping IN' something else? ;)
     
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  8. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Tele-Afflicted

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    Sounds like an option. I had thought of covering it in baking soda and leaving it for a week or 2 but I don't know if that would hurt the pedal.
     
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  9. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Tele-Afflicted

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    It's possible, it smells more chemical than organic to me. I've lived with a few cats and one of them had peeing problems so I'm pretty familiar with the smell but maybe it changes over time.
     
  10. Mouth

    Mouth Tele-Holic

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    I might put it in a box with a container of baking soda also in the box, but wouldn't get baking soda in it. Baking soda doesn't have to be making contact to absorb odors.

    It might help, depending on what the source of the smell is.
     
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  11. Papa Joe

    Papa Joe Friend of Leo's

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    You say it smells more chemical like..That probably is just what it is..Maybe the former owner used it to clean it..
     
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  12. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    A lot of people on YouTube seem to play with bare feet, so toe jam is possible.:p Just sayin'
     
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  13. kbold

    kbold Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    You say is smells a bit like an exploded cap. Could be an exploded cap thats been replaced.
    Check the existing caps. It may be that one has leaked some electrolyte.
    Spraying the pcb with pcb circuit cleaner should fix the problem, and remove any residual chemical.
     
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  14. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    +1.

    It's not unusual for electronics of that era to exude strong smells especially if they've sat unused. Just have a look with a magnifying glass for any burnt small components or leaking electro caps.
     
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  15. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's not cat pee, that leaves white marks and you can see it, unless it's in fabric.
     
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  16. guitartwonk

    guitartwonk Tele-Meister

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    Could it be a battery became corroded in there? I know that smell and what you describe sounds like that. It could be that smell has hung around inside.

    Sent from my Phone using Tapatalk
     
  17. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Tele-Afflicted

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    It's certainly possible but if so, it has been cleaned well.
     
  18. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks! This sounds like a good starting point, and no harm if it doesn't work.
     
  19. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Maybe the previous owner worked in a takeaway shop. I dated a girl back in high school who's parents owned a chicken shop. The whole family smelled like burnt oil, clothes, hair and all their belongings smelled of it. It was bad but the free chicken was nice.
     
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  20. ICTRock

    ICTRock Tele-Afflicted

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    I bet it smells like what happens when you run boss pedals at 18v "for the headroom" ... which would be great except that the electrolytics are all rated 16v
     
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