Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums > AC Power and Grounding

Generator along side shore power

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Lee Douglas:
I not exactly sure how to navigate this, but someone here always seems to have good advise, if not the outright answer.  I have an event coming up where a single 15A outlet is provided, but I'd like to bring a bit more low end than is probably a good idea for one circuit.  I do have a generator that theoretically could provide the addition power needed, but I'm not sure how to use them both together safely and hopefully without any bad sounds.  In the past we've just rented whisper watt that could cover the whole show, but that's not in the budget this time.  My gut tells me just don't do it.  My brain wants to know why.  Thanks for any advise!

Stephen Swaffer:

--- Quote from: Lee Douglas on May 17, 2024, 12:08:50 AM ---I not exactly sure how to navigate this, but someone here always seems to have good advise, if not the outright answer.  I have an event coming up where a single 15A outlet is provided, but I'd like to bring a bit more low end than is probably a good idea for one circuit.  I do have a generator that theoretically could provide the addition power needed, but I'm not sure how to use them both together safely and hopefully without any bad sounds.  In the past we've just rented whisper watt that could cover the whole show, but that's not in the budget this time.  My gut tells me just don't do it.  My brain wants to know why.  Thanks for any advise!

--- End quote ---

The tricky part is the outlet has grounds and neutrals separated-the genny may or may not have banded ground/neutral.  From a safety standpoint, tie the grounds together and you "should" be fine.  As long as equipment is modern, other than ill advised potentially short surge devices, the neutral shouldn't be connected to anything that matters anyway.

Brian Jojade:
Like Sephen said, chances are you'll be just fine, especially if all AC grounds are bonded.  However, if your outlet that you get to use is a GFCI outlet, that may cause you some major troubles.

Personally though, I'd just deal with the single circuit and not mess with adding a generator to the equation.  Pulling power from separate, random locations isn't something I do anymore.  Either there's proper power, or I'll pass on the event.

Dave Garoutte:

--- Quote from: Brian Jojade on May 17, 2024, 01:37:19 PM ---Like Sephen said, chances are you'll be just fine, especially if all AC grounds are bonded.  However, if your outlet that you get to use is a GFCI outlet, that may cause you some major troubles.

Personally though, I'd just deal with the single circuit and not mess with adding a generator to the equation.  Pulling power from separate, random locations isn't something I do anymore.  Either there's proper power, or I'll pass on the event.

--- End quote ---
Or just use the genny.

Brian Jojade:

--- Quote from: Dave Garoutte on May 17, 2024, 02:13:03 PM ---Or just use the genny.

--- End quote ---

If going on generator power, the client should pay for it AND it should be properly sized for the event.

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