Quick hit: Fix Scratchy Volume Controls

I use the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speaker setup on my home PC and for awhile now I’ve been getting audible cracking and static noise when adjusting the volume. This fix also applies to other household devices that use potentiometers (pots) so hopefully you will find this useful.

Basically, the pot needs to be cleaned and lubricated as it is transferring noise into the audio system. The first thing to do is head over to Home Depot and grab a small can of CRC 2-26, which for me was less than $3. This formula is both a cleaner and a lubricant which is important because some contact cleaners have no lubricant. The CRC worked fine for me but if you want the Cadillac of contact cleaners check out DeoxIT which runs ~$15/ can.

To get started you need to expose the pot by removing the case or covering of the volume control. The external knob connects to the metal stem of the pot which will look something like this:

Spray a small amount of fluid on the stem of the pot and the threads. Turn the stem back and forth many times to work the fluid in, you should notice the resistance lessen while turning. Let the fluid dry and test the volume control before you button everything back together. I followed this procedure on my Klipsch set which now turns smoother than before and the scratchy static is gone.

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