Safety and Antique Radios
An antique radio is essentially a very old electrical device. You should be very wary of all unrestored old electrical devices such as kitchen appliances, fans, signs, and radios. Cords become frayed with age, insulation breaks down on various parts and switches wear out. When properly repaired and inspected, these old appliances are safe to operate, but if the condition is unknown, beware. Antique Radios may also contain hazardous substances, see Antique Radios and Asbestos. Every antique radio I restore is made as safe as possible. I replace many parts to prevent anticipated problems and insure safe operation, but remember, not EVERY part is new, and safety codes were much less strict 60 years ago. Follow these simple hints and you can safely enjoy your antique radio.
- Plug the radio in only when you are listening to it. This prevents leaving the radio on for extended periods accidentally.
- Make sure the cord and plug are in good condition.
- Keep hands, feet and other bodily parts out of the back of the radio when playing. Some of the tubes get very hot!
- Place the radio at least an inch from the wall to allow air circulation to keep the radio cool.
- Stay with the radio while you are listening to it. If it quits working, or starts to smell bad, turn it off and have it checked out.
- Do not touch any of the speaker wires when the radio is operating. Many old radios employ electromagnetic speakers that use high voltage. If the wires are frayed or if the terminal cover is missing, you could be shocked.
Transformerless radios require a few additional precautions for safe operation. Some of the transformerless designs allowed the chassis to be at 110V! The safest way to operate this type of radio is with an isolation transformer (Available from Antique Electronic Supply). The isolation transformer keeps the line voltage off the chassis, eliminating the danger of electrical shock You can operate most of these sets without an isolation transformer if you follow the additional guidelines.
- Do not use the radio in a bathroom or kitchen.
- Do not use the radio near anything that can cause a person to be grounded (radiators, pipes, concrete floors, sinks, etc.).
- Do not operate with any knobs missing ( the shafts can have line voltage on them).
- Keep your hands, feet, etc., out of the back of the radio.
If a transformerless radio has a painted metal cabinet or metal knobs, operate it only with an isolation transformer!
|Hey!!!! I'm getting too Hot!!!|
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Copyright 1997 Stan Watkins