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Author Topic: Event hall fun  (Read 8206 times)

John Sulek

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Re: Event hall fun
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2017, 04:10:43 pm »

On a related note...I was recently at a city owned theater where the "audio only isolated ground" company switch metered 13 volts between ground and neutral, with 109 hot to neutral.
When I suggested that there was a loose neutral or a missing bond somewhere upstream, I was referred to a city electrical worker on the phone who suggested that there would always be some voltage between ground and neutral (yes sir I realize that) and that "maybe after you energize your equipment the imbalance will correct itself" (I asked if he was seriously suggesting this and ended the call).
Turns out no one at the theater could remember the last time they used this service, just that there "was some issue with it in the past".
Lucky for us we carry extra feeder so just ran over to the moving light distro and tapped off the cam pass through.
Even a very legit looking set up can be very funky when metered.

PS...Kingston ON
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Mike Sokol

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Re: Event hall fun
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2017, 07:32:49 pm »

On a related note...I was recently at a city owned theater where the "audio only isolated ground" company switch metered 13 volts between ground and neutral, with 109 hot to neutral.
Good catch. But the secondary issue is that without additional testing, (which takes time, equipment and authorization you likely don't have) this problem will be kicked down the road for the next guy to deal with. The vast majority of electricians really don't understand how grounding and bonding works, especially in an isolated ground panel, and hence you get those wacky comments like "the imbalance will work itself out".   That's very dangerous "crazy talk", since it would be possible that any gear plugged into the middle of this mess might have to carry the neutral or fault current for the entire switch. Something is really wrong with this and someone needs to get in there with a load bank and a meter to figure it out.
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Mike Sokol
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John Sulek

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Re: Event hall fun
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2017, 11:03:44 pm »

Good catch. But the secondary issue is that without additional testing, (which takes time, equipment and authorization you likely don't have) this problem will be kicked down the road for the next guy to deal with. The vast majority of electricians really don't understand how grounding and bonding works, especially in an isolated ground panel, and hence you get those wacky comments like "the imbalance will work itself out".   That's very dangerous "crazy talk", since it would be possible that any gear plugged into the middle of this mess might have to carry the neutral or fault current for the entire switch. Something is really wrong with this and someone needs to get in there with a load bank and a meter to figure it out.

Believe me Mike, this sentiment was expressed in no uncertain terms to the promoter and the TD of the venue. They said they would investigate further. It was a Saturday so getting anyone from the city to come on site that day was highly unlikely. I haven't run into any other tours that have been there since so I don't know what happened after we left.

Thanks for all the insight you share on this forum.
John
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Event hall fun
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2017, 11:06:29 pm »

Believe me Mike, this sentiment was expressed in no uncertain terms to the promoter and the TD of the venue. They said they would investigate further. It was a Saturday so getting anyone from the city to come on site that day was highly unlikely. I haven't run into any other tours that have been there since so I don't know what happened after we left.

Thanks for all the insight you share on this forum.
John
In situations like this, it would be nice if the inspector wasn’t also a city employee, which can create a, ...um..., lack of effort on the part of one or both parties when a civic building is involved.
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Mike Sokol

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Re: Event hall fun
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2017, 12:59:21 am »

In situations like this, it would be nice if the inspector wasn’t also a city employee, which can create a, ...um..., lack of effort on the part of one or both parties when a civic building is involved.
Yeah, I've had a few situations where I've offered to troubleshoot a confusing electrical problem at no cost. I just wanted to understand the strange measurements, and I really didn't need or want to bill them for it. However, I was often told by management or the board or the powers-that-be that I wasn't authorized to bring in any gear and perform any tests. In at least one instance they told me they probably couldn't afford to fix it even if they knew what the problem was, so they didn't want to know. Crazy talk...
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Event hall fun
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2017, 12:46:39 pm »

And if they know what the solution is and something bad happens while they did nothing it would make some lawyers very happy (or at least wealthy)
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Steve Swaffer

Jean-Pierre Coetzee

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Re: Event hall fun
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2017, 04:59:17 pm »

And if they know what the solution is and something bad happens while they did nothing it would make some lawyers very happy (or at least wealthy)
If they know there's a problem and didn't look for a solution it would be the same thing so why not just find the solution. That way you can at least try to push a finance decision.

Honestly plausible deniability won't work when it can be considered willful  negligence to not try to fix the problem.

Sent from my 2014817 using Tapatalk

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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Event hall fun
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2017, 05:05:00 pm »

In at least one instance they told me they probably couldn't afford to fix it even if they knew what the problem was, so they didn't want to know. Crazy talk...

In the State of Washington, faulty electrical equipment in a venue (whether public or private) can be reported to the state Department of Labor & Industries. That agency's primary job is ensuring workplace safety, but they are also responsible for electrical safety and inspections. Some cities do have their own electrical inspectors, but I believe L&I can override them.

Wherever you are, if personnel are not protected from an electrical problem (either by fixing the problem or lockout/tagout) in a timely or satisfactory manner, you can probably refer the matter to some state agency.
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: Event hall fun
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2017, 10:19:53 pm »

In the State of Washington, faulty electrical equipment in a venue (whether public or private) can be reported to the state Department of Labor & Industries. That agency's primary job is ensuring workplace safety, but they are also responsible for electrical safety and inspections. Some cities do have their own electrical inspectors, but I believe L&I can override them.

Wherever you are, if personnel are not protected from an electrical problem (either by fixing the problem or lockout/tagout) in a timely or satisfactory manner, you can probably refer the matter to some state agency.

Washington's workers' compensation system operates through the Department of Labor and Industries. It is the only provider of workers' compensation insurance in the state, so it has vested interest in workplace safety. That isn't the case in most of the United States. (But it is in British Columbia, Canada.). The electrical safety authority having jurisdiction varies widely from state to state, so YMMV.
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Mike Sokol

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Re: Event hall fun
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2017, 08:06:04 am »

And if they know what the solution is and something bad happens while they did nothing it would make some lawyers very happy (or at least wealthy)
At least one of the major RV manufacturers that I've pointed out dangerous electrical conditions to has told me that they've put my email address into the junk list so they never see it. Their plan is to never see or answer any email or letter I send to them about any RV electrical safety issues I identify. They've told me face-to-face that any email thread or letters would be discoverable in the event of a lawsuit, so they just put on blinders and circle the wagons. They'll still take my calls to discuss electrical issues, but even that would probably change if I make too much noise. So I'm Persona Non Grata as far as many of the RV manufacturers are concerned. 
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Mike Sokol
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Event hall fun
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2017, 08:06:04 am »


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