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Author Topic: stage grounding question  (Read 1462 times)

charles strickland

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stage grounding question
« on: March 04, 2021, 12:53:21 pm »

 Doing a show  with temporary power from the city to a 200 amp service, The stage  is a deck type ( metal frame and stairs  plywood top   Do I need to run my ground from the stage back to the service ground or do I run it to a rod in the ground next to the stage ? The city is  grounded at the bottom of the service poll  Thanks for the advice.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: stage grounding question
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2021, 03:25:52 pm »

The outdoor festival venue I work at requires the ground from the service to be connected to the stage frame. Ontario, Canada
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charles strickland

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Re: stage grounding question
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2021, 07:22:45 pm »

[ Thanks Keith.
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Brian Jojade

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Re: stage grounding question
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2021, 11:25:22 pm »

The reality is your local inspector gets to interpret the rules how they see fit.  Ive seen both as accepted or required solutions/
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Brian Jojade

Stephen Swaffer

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Re: stage grounding question
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2021, 12:27:40 pm »

This goes back to the basic question of "grounding" vs "bonding".  If you do not "bond" your stage to the service "ground" and just drive a ground rod, and say an extension cord gets scraped and shorts to the stage you will never trip a breaker leaving the stage energized and a resulting in a shock hazard.

In my area-and from my understanding of code the proper method would be 4 wires from the service pole to the stage, ground and neutral's kept separate after the "service disconnect" located at the pole and then "re-establishing" a ground at the stage with another grounding electrode.  In this case, the "bonding"-separate ground from the pole and the "grounding" serve two distinct but important purposes.  In my mind, the ground rod requirement would depend somewhat on specific conditions-dry/wet, distance from the service, etc.
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Steve Swaffer

charles strickland

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Re: stage grounding question
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2021, 01:03:29 pm »

  I am going 70 ft service to stage via 4/4 soow to distro in rack feeding all stage power from the distro.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: stage grounding question
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2021, 01:39:57 pm »

  I am going 70 ft service to stage via 4/4 soow to distro in rack feeding all stage power from the distro.
In our application we had a T on the ground at the power distro near the stage and ran a cable to the stage frame from that T.

Before grounding the stage, we had a case where the stage gear truck that was backed up to the stage had pinched the feeder cable and the stage was "live"
It was pure luck that no one got hurt!
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charles strickland

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Re: stage grounding question
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2021, 05:50:57 pm »

I will go from the stage back to the service with the ground and if the inspector has me add a ground rod at the stage   I will. I just wonted  to use the best safety practice and not fry the band when the bass player drops a hot cable on the stage.
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charles strickland

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Re: stage grounding question
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2021, 01:41:39 pm »

Can I use stranded wire for my ground to the stage or do I need to use solid wire. Thanks.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: stage grounding question
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2021, 09:07:30 pm »

Can I use stranded wire for my ground to the stage or do I need to use solid wire. Thanks.

Charles, how are you getting power to the stage?  Extension cords from outlets "somewhere," or are you using feeder cable from "somewhere else" to a distro panel at the stage?  Or did I miss this detail...

The reason I ask - Keith Broughton's CamLok "T" is a simple and elegant solution IF you've got feeder and distro.  The alternative, running a lot of #6 to the panel that powers the outlets the extension cords are plugged into, isn't really attractive as you'll have to protect that grounding wire over the run.  The wire can be stranded or solid, IIRC.

Your earlier comment about the bass player dropping a hot cable on the stage makes me wonder if there's a back story or two...
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Re: stage grounding question
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2021, 09:07:30 pm »


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