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Electrical Distribution

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  • #16
    A very common move for electrical distribution is to run a 220 twistlock plug extension cord to a quad box that is split into 2 separate 110 circuits. There are many slang terms for these guys. Then you can start daisy chaining them until you get near your load capacity, then add another run.

    But the real point is to get someone who knows what they are doing. Lighting guys are really good at this kind of stuff, better than most electricians actually. So if you can find a house lighting guy at a local club or something he will have seen all this kind of crap before.

    Just don't try and do this stuff yourself if you have no knowledge of it, it'll just turn into a bad bad situation really quick.


    • #17
      Take it from someone who spent a couple hundred building a power distro for a lighting rig that never got used...ALWAYS check with your local FM/electrical inspector. Codes differ, and it really depends on what type of classification they give to your haunt. They might consider you a carnival, they might consider you a theatrical attraction, or who knows what. The code differs for each one, and could make a distro you built completely useless. I've been doing stage lighting for years and the electrical issue is one that never goes away. Even if it seems perfectly legal and logical to you, the electrical inspector might say something else. I had one inspector decide I couldn't run cables to the stage in front of a doorway, since it'd be a trip hazard. Then a year later a different one decides I can't hang them over the doorway. Fortunately there was a third option.

      Of even greater importance is the fact that electricity is not something you want to just "figure out". If you do something wrong, people can die. And that's no exaggeration. When you're dealing with making your own distro and doing a tie-in to a generator or the house panel, you're dealing with some very dangerous stuff. By your questions right now, I'd say you shouldn't even bother doing it. Hire someone to build it, hire someone to do the tie-in. Your insurance company most likely would not be happy about you doing it yourself, and if anything ever went wrong you'd be liable. Hire an electrician, and learn from them. Make sure you do get someone knowledgeable with temporary installs because there are indeed some electricians out there who don't know anything about this. Do your own homework finding out what the codes are. Geckofx made a good point, a lighting guy will usually know a lot about this stuff. It seems to be mandatory learning. But I would only use a lighting guy as a source of advice. You need to think about what will happen if something goes wrong. Sure the lighting guy will face a lot of heat for a mistake, but so will you for hiring an unlicensed person to do your electrical. And the insurance could flat out refuse to cover you.

      That being said, it sounds like there's a wealth of knowledge on here about this so keep on asking questions here. These people know what they're talking about.

      Audio Guru
      Lighting Designer