why is my guitar pedal not working?

Why Is My Guitar Pedal Not Working?

Having a guitar pedal will come in handy if you want to amp up the creative control that you want to have when playing your guitar. 

Most guitarists, even the pros, treat this as an all-in-one magic box containing all the tricks that you need to make a jamming session much more exciting.

However, the thing about guitar pedals is that they can be hard to navigate on the first try. It’s also even harder to figure out what exactly is wrong if your pedal ever stops working.

To help you better understand the matters surrounding a broken guitar pedal, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know in the following sections.

Guitar pedals can definitely go bad after a while of continuous use. Depending on the brand, quality, and power source, a guitar pedal can last as short as a few weeks up to as long as several years. Of course, how you take care of it will also play a vital part in how long the pedal can last. 

If you want something long-lasting, then you should opt for traditional pedals, specifically those with SPDT-type controls.

For the most durable units, look into pot mechanical guitar pedals since these are designed to last for around ten years or so.

Possible Reasons Why Guitar Pedals Stop Working

Some signs that your guitar pedal isn’t working are when it doesn’t give the right booster sound for your instrument, or you won’t get any sound at all. 

There are a number of reasons why this may happen. Here are some of the most common issues that you may be dealing with:

* Faulty or improperly installed setup (Usual beginner mistake)

* Trippy cables (Most probable if you’re dealing with a silent guitar pedal)

* Non-functional footswitch

* Broken input jack

* Rough and unclean pots

Basically, the possible reasons will revolve around both the external and internal factors surrounding the guitar pedal. The problem won’t go far from the device.

What To Do When Your Guitar Pedal Doesn't Work

Although encountering broken guitar pedals can be very inconvenient, especially if it happens during your gig, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to fix it. 

Supposed that you’re dealing with small issues, you can readily do some troubleshooting tips to know the specific issue at hand. See the following list for reference:

* Check if the setup with the guitar pedal is appropriately done. Make sure that all cables, jacks, and systems are connected to the right plug.

* See if the jack is connected or if it’s loose from the connection.

* Observe if the cables are in good condition or they are close to tearing from the primary source.

* Ensure that your current footswitch is functional by looking for a clicking sound.

* For battery powered guitar pedals, try reattaching or fully replacing the current batteries.

* Clean the entirety of your guitar pedal.

* If you’re skilled in guitar pedals, try trimming off a little end of the cable and then plugging it again. Treat this as a solution if you find that you’re dealing with faulty wires.

All in all, make sure to check the setup that you connected to your pedal, as well as its parts, to know what you need to fix. If you don’t know how to look at the inside of guitar pedals effectively, then it’s best if you opt for professional help.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Guitar Pedal?

The total cost that you’ll incur to fix a guitar pedal will depend on what the issue is. Of course, the more complex the problem, the more expensive the repair will be.

However, if you need a reference, prepare at least $10 up to $50 at most. There are some times when a technician will recommend buying a whole new guitar pedal if your device is near irreparable. If this happens, then you should have around $100.

Whatever issue you’re dealing with, make sure that you go to a trusted technician for instruments since they will play a big part in the repair costs. 

You should also ensure that you aren’t being fooled in terms of price. Consider canvassing for different professionals if you have the time.

Should You Unplug Guitar Pedals?

For the best and most efficient use of your guitar pedals, it’s best if you unplug it whenever it’s not in use.

Doing otherwise will make your device prone to issues like heat overload, accumulation of dust, over-humidity, faulty battery life, and a lot of other internal issues. 

It can also shorten your guitar pedal’s lifespan, which is more of a reason why you should only plug your device in when you’re using it.

If you have been leaving your guitar pedal plugged in even when unnecessary, and you haven’t encountered any issues, don’t feel too confident. 

Note that battery issues don’t show up quickly, and symptoms usually only display themselves when it’s already in critical condition.

Do Guitar Pedals Need Batteries?

There are guitar pedals that need batteries, and there are units that require a power supply before working. It will depend on the brand and model that you’re working with. 

Whichever, make sure that you will be getting the 9V equivalent for either batteries or power supply unless a higher or lower voltage is stated otherwise.

Note, though, that strictly battery-powered guitar pedals are a little rare. This is most especially in modern times, wherein most models stick to requiring a sole power supply.

Are Daisy Chains Bad For Pedals?

Daisy chains are connection cables that will let you work with different pedals despite having varying requirements for power supply. 

These won’t necessarily be harmless to your guitar pedals as long as you use the right kinds. Its compatibility, connection type, and overall quality will also play a part in its effect on your device.

Final Thoughts

To sum it up, the possible causes behind a broken guitar pedal lies in a faulty setup, dysfunctional parts, or issues relating to the cable. If you’re working with a battery-powered guitar pedal, you may also want to check its current power source.

In terms of solutions, you need to observe what exactly is wrong with your guitar pedal before going in on fully modifying its parts. 

You may also want to avoid making unnecessary repairs if you aren’t knowledgeable in the field. Consider working with a professional technician if you want the full guarantee that you’ll get the best version of your guitar pedal again.

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I love playing around with various types of guitar gear so I started this website to share my guitar gear knowledge with the world. Enjoy!

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