Grounding the amplifier at home requires a secure place, proper connection of the grounding wire to the earth, a grounding pipe, and proper attachment to the receiver to get rid of the hum that comes with a new audio system. Keep reading to find out more.
The main reason amplifiers are grounded is for safety reasons and sound quality. When the amplifier is not grounded, the chances of hissing sounds and buzzes are high. Grounding will give you all the peace you need for smooth music at home, but how do you do it? This post will guide you on how to ground your amp at home.
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Why should you ground your amplifier?
You need to ground for safety reasons and good-quality sound. When you test your new audio system, there is always a buzz that irritates the sound system. This happens because your system is not grounded. The receiver, if not properly grounded, can cause disruptions to sound. Never ground the amp with the receiver plugged in. The process is easy and doable without the need for professional help. All you need is to follow the steps outlined below.
Reasons for grounding
|When grounded, the system increases consistency and reduces overheating
|The buzz and the hum are eliminated
|It becomes easy to turn on a grounded amplifier
|Extra voltage goes to the ground and protects the main switch
How to ground an amplifier at home
Choose your location
The first step is to select a secure and safe place for your amplifier. This place should be hard to access by people to avoid accidents. You will also need to reduce the current with an electric rod. You can use any water pipe in your household, as long as it is unpainted and uninsulated. This way, the bare wire can be connected directly to it.
Disconnect all the power
Ensure you disconnect all power sources connected to your audio system before you take the first step. If you skip this, the chances of damaging the system and getting hit are high. Ensure all the sockets are off before doing anything. Unplug the receiver before you start.
Identify all the wires
There are three wires all identified with unique pins. The grounding wire is the most important for this process. Other wires are active and neutral wires. The grounding wire supplies extra current to the earth and gets a smooth sound.
Cut the wire
It is vital to cut the wire to an adequate length. If you fail in this step, your connection will be faulty. The best way to do this is to measure the distance between the ground and the sound system. Your 16 gauge wire needs to be knotted loosely on one end near the receiver and then walked to the water pipe. Do not overstretch the wire, but leave room for mounting on walls and behind the furniture. When the wire has been grounded, leave some loose length and cut it with a pocket knife.
Strip the wire
Using a stripping tool, strip both ends of the wire without cutting the wire strands. Make sure you accurately cut the insulation. Strip at a minimum of 1.5 to 2mm. You can then wriggle the wire when all wires are well twisted. Leave some space for wrapping around the grounding pipe. Next, twirl the wire and ensure it wraps tightly on the grounding pipe.
This is the essential part where the wire is earthed to reduce excess current. You already have your grounding rod or pipe intact and have already tightened the wire to the grounding pipe. The next step is to dig a hole for the rod. You can use a screwdriver or wire cutter.
Secure the wire properly
The wire must be secured to a solid surface. You can use painted metal with three divided holes for the XLR cable. Use sandpaper to rid the metal of the paint and use a self-tapper to insert the ground wire and the two other wires. Use an angle grinder to remove the paint in the exact area that you will use as it is faster and easier than manual methods. When all is secure, double-check whether the grounding has been done correctly.
Attach the wire to the receiver
At the back of the receiver, you will see the ground or ground wire mark. This is the attachment point for your receiver. You will notice a connector in form of a knob or a screw. Wrap your twisted wire around the shaft. If your system has a washer, you will need to wrap the wire beneath it to avoid pushing the wire out. You will need electrical tape to hold the wire tightly on the rod. If your system has a screw connector, ensure that you turn it clockwise.
The groundings process is easy, but there is no harm in seeking expert advice to avoid damaging your system. It is recommended to use star grounding where all wires meet at a specific point, and makes it safe and reliable.
Do I need to ground my amplifier?
Yes, your amplifier needs to be amplified to better the sound and reduce noise.