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Safety: testing Electrical outlets

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  • #16
    That is one of the selling features of EMG Active pickups.
    You take the bridge ground off!
    "If Hitler invaded Hell, I would make at least a favourable reference of the Devil in the House of Commons." Winston Churchill


    • #17
      Originally posted by R.G. View Post
      Hmmm. Fourthly (he pontificated...) the electric guitar is not an electrically powered appliance. For the purposes of electrical safety, it could be considered a wire which is connected to the amplifier's accessible metal and held in the hand. In and of itself, it has no requirements whatsoever for electrical safety review, and I bet the guitar makers would fight tooth and nail to keep it from being subject to review.
      Current production Fender guitars have the CE mark. Are they just limiting thier liability?
      WARNING! Musical Instrument amplifiers contain lethal voltages and can retain them even when unplugged. Refer service to qualified personnel.
      REMEMBER: Everybody knows that smokin' ain't allowed in school !


      • #18
        Interesting question.

        The CE mark is necessary for sale of electrical-ish stuff in the EU. I have some minimal understanding of CE marking requirements, so this is going to be fuzzy. As I understand it, the mark does not mean that an independent testing lab has passed it, only that the maker has certified it to pass if tested. There may have been independent testing, maybe not. If an item is suspected of not passing, one of the independent testing labs can decide to test a piece of equipment on their own and see if they think it passes or not, and cause various degrees of regulatory trouble for the maker if they find it does not, including possibly recovering fees from the maker.

        In the case of Fender guitars, it makes it simpler to sell in the EU if there is no question about them representing it as passing standards. Since makers may self-certify the mark, they may have looked at their guitars, noted that there are no hazardous voltages in it anywhere, of any kind, and no potentials for shock or thermal danger, and decided "Well, sure it passes!"

        Or someone may have sniped them about having a product with wires in it and not having a CE mark.

        Hard to say. I am doing pure speculation, obviously.

        Edit: I forgot to mention. Having a CE mark does not limit your liability. CE marking is a change from government labs certifying and thereby conferring immunity on damage claims to the US model, where it doesn't matter who said it was safe, the maker is still liable in court if someone gets hurt. As I (dimly) understand it.
        Amazing!! Who would ever have guessed that someone who villified the evil rich people would begin happily accepting their millions in speaking fees!

        Oh, wait! That sounds familiar, somehow.


        • #19
          With regard to the 'reverse bootleg' condition mentioned in the EC&M link in post #1, my 'Socket&See SOK32' socket tester identifies a 'swapped live / earth' error (I checked!) SOK32 - SOCKET & SEE - SOCKET TESTER + F/FINDER | Farnell element14
          My band:-


          • #20
            Testers also came up here;

            Grave electrical accident happened yesterday, May 25 2014

            CE marking means that the item complies with all of the EU rules that apply to it, so in the case of a guitar it could apply to the paint finish and material construction, as well as any electrical requirements. It reminds me of the British Standards - some items were tested and certified to the standards, but others were simply labelled 'Meets or exceeds British Standards', which could mean nothing. CE is just like that - meaningless unless the equipment has been independently tested.

            The cap/resistor ground connection for guitars works very well. It's also a good fix for noisy electro-acoustics with humming transducers; use a brass shim plate stuck under the bridge to contact the strings and ground it using the cap/resistor combo.


            • #21
              A GFCI extension cord or outlet adapter like this might be a good idea if you aren't sure if you can trust the outlet you are using. If current starts flowing where it isn't supposed to it cuts off the circuit within 1/30th of a second.


              • #22
                Originally posted by olddawg View Post
                One of the reasons I always use a transmitter (other than walking into crowded or on tables) is that I NEVER trust an AC mains at any venue and almost never have time to check it. You could have a brand new modern outlet wired backwards with no earth ground. Happens all the time. Especially in remodels.
                I always use a wireless system with my guitar....have done so for years.....I would never part with it.......convenience and safety.....I had purchased a set of lamps from Wal-Mart a few years back.....two end table touch lamps, a small night table lamp and a taller pole lamp as a set.....When I plugged them in, every time I went to turn on the tall pole type lamp the breaker would pop....when connected by itself it worked fine....after checking everything out, this lamp was wired wrong right from the factory...I had to take it apart and reverse the wiring connected to the lamp socket.....goes to can't trust anything...


                • #23
                  Just sell the guitars/amps with a non-contact voltage tester (NCVT). What passes for an electrician these days is bringing us back 50 years it seems.
                  Now Trending: China has found a way to turn stupidity into money!


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by TomCarlos View Post
                    If you are using a cheap voltmeter for these kinds of ac tests, stop. Get yourself a "Wiggy." Wiggy is a brand. These meters are known as "solenoid" volt meters and there are many other brands out there. Solenoid meters require ample current in order to register a voltage. This helps cut down on inaccurate readings that low end VOMs can give.
                    Plus, for those who are not experienced with operating/reading a meter with a multi-function dial, these are close to fool proof. I was a licensed master electrician for years working in industrial environments, and I still carried a Wiggy. They (most of the Wiggy types) also draw enough current to trip a functioning GFCI when connected between line (hot) and ground. This is not to imply it tests the GFCI's trip threshold properly, but it at least shows it is not completely stuck on.


                    • #25
                      As a commercial electrician for 31 years, I had numerous service calls to fix improper repairs done by unqualified personnel at various places. They had someone who said they could fix it. Well they couldn't and they ended up calling a qualified electrician to do it right. So don't forget that venue owners are in the business to make money so try to fix things themselves. It costs money to call someone who can do things right. So don't rush to judgement just because an outlet is wired wrong. Do you think the venue owner will admit it was HIM who miswired the receptacle that killed someone? Some parts of the country are not regulated as well as others and I know of NOBODY in my Minneapolis local who would do this.
                      Turn it up so that everything is louder than everything else.


                      • #26
                        The original link is now broken, but Wayback Machine to the rescue:


                        • #27
                          In the UK we have strict rules and procedures that are mandatory. Every venue must have an electrical (gas also if applicable) test and have a certificate issued to that effect.

                          (It doesn't take long to do it right but can take, what seems forever, to fix if there is an issue of incompetent wiring).

                          The test covers not only outlet sockets wiring but earth leakage and wiring type and size for types of outlets in use; 13Amp, 16Amp, 32Amp, 64Amp and in larger venues 128Amp sockets.
                          If the venue does not have a certificate, that is valid, a licence to opperate and trade is denied.

                          At the very least if a performer arrives, with faulty equipment, the earth leakage trip will remove power to that circuit.

                          In some venues, a Portable Appliance Test (PAT test) must be carried out on the equipment the band/performer wishes to use, although not a legal requirement, it can save lives; PA wired and earthed (grounded chassis) correctly and amplifier with a live chassis = a painfull electric shock or death!
                          Support for Fender, Laney, Marshall, Mesa, VOX and many more.
                          If you can't fix it, I probably can.