DJ's are messing up my main panel

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  #1  
Old 09-16-05, 07:47 PM
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DJ's are messing up my main panel

Hi,
I have a 100A main panel in a gymnasium. We rent it out several
times a month for parties (just 1 night at a time). The problem is the Sound and Lighting
technicians routinely remove the panel cover (6 bolts) and "clip" their
own power system directly onto the feeder cables to my panel.
Naturally, when the event is over, they leave the panel cover off.
I have provided (2) 15A receptacles for them (near the main panel),
but they continue to screw up my main panel and cover.
Any ideas? What do these sound and lighting DJ's need?
20 A outlet, 30 A outlet?
I just want to discourage them from removing the panel cover.
I have tried to ask some of them when I can, but there is a language
barrier and many different group come and go.
thanks,
Greg
 
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  #2  
Old 09-16-05, 08:07 PM
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What they are doing is extremely dangerous, possibly illegal, and almost definitely violates any rental agreement in place. Tell them to stop it, or stop renting to them.
 
  #3  
Old 09-16-05, 08:47 PM
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You would have to ask them what their requirements are, but it is probably way more than a single 20 amp outlet will handle. Floor refinishers, carpet cleaners, and flood restorers are noted for doing the same thing. They have machines that typical receptacle circuits will not handle, so they rig up these deals to hot wire into panels, sometimes via breakers.

I believe you have liability exposure if they set the place on fire. I believe it would be prudent to have them tell you explicitly what their power requirement is ( volts, amps) and have an electrician install a dedicated receptacle. This should make everyone happy.
 
  #4  
Old 09-16-05, 09:13 PM
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What they are doing is VERY common in the industry. This is not to say it is right or safe, it is just done, all the time.

Screw the language barrier! Tell them NOT to do it anymore or get lost. They will understand.
At minimum tell them the place MUST be left as found or they will forefit the $200 security deposit you made them leave.
 
  #5  
Old 09-16-05, 09:23 PM
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Greg,

I have a few hotels as customers where this was a problem.
An uninsulated spring loaded clip that shorted a 200 amp bus in a 3 phase panel put a quick stop to this practice in our small rural town.
This incident killed the power to half the hotel including the lights, plus the fire alarm tripped and needless to say with 250 people in attendance cause quite a stir.
The electrical inspector layed down the law and required the panels to be locked and innaccesible.
They wound up installing a 50 amp stove plug and required the maintenance man to do a cursory check of the performers equipment.
All has been fine since.

I would suggest you put an immediate stop to this and all you would need for back up is the local electrical inspector.
 
  #6  
Old 09-19-05, 09:55 AM
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Open Panel cover...contiued

Thanks you all for your feedback.
I went back to the gymnasium stage and looked at all the
electrical equipment again.
I found there is an existing 30A/240V receptacle already installed just
below the main panel ( I don't think the DJ's or anyone uses it, but
it is live).
I also found a 100A disconnect feeding an old fashioned
theatre type lighting console. I think I'll remove the lighting
console(think large dimmer handles) and install a 100A panel instead.
Let's call this panel 2.
I can install a 50A/240V receptacle out of this panel, hopefully they
will use it. If not, at least I got them out of the main panel and
into this new panel dedicated for sound and lighting.
I found out these groups never get their deposit back anyway ,
so I may have to lock up the main panel eventually.
I will also create an instruction/warning sheet that will be attached to the
lease agreement.
If you have any ideas/URL links to sites, etc for locking the main panel ,
please reply. BTW, the original main panel is more like 200-400A, not 100A.
Greg
 
  #7  
Old 09-19-05, 10:11 AM
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Be careful locking a panel. You donít want to lock a panel and prevent someone from being able to turn off the electricity. You would be criminally responsible if someone were hurt or killed because you locked the panel and the electricity couldnít be turned off.
 
  #8  
Old 09-19-05, 10:21 AM
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racraft,
Thanks for the reply. I don't want to be liable.
Yesterday I found about 15 breakers turned off (which should be
on all the time) and ruined meat in a refrigerator.
Also , my lighting timer gets deenergized and needs resetting about
once a month (aargh).
These DJ's are driving me crazy.

I noticed you work with "EMS", is that Energy Management Systems?

Greg
(LADWP)

AIM: ggratecc
 
  #9  
Old 09-19-05, 10:57 AM
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EMS = Emergency Medical Services. I am a volunteer firefighter/medic with my local fire department.
 
  #10  
Old 09-19-05, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by ggratecc
I found out these groups never get their deposit back anyway ,
so I may have to lock up the main panel eventually.
Greg
If they don't care about getting their deposit back then you are not charging a big enough deposit!!
 
  #11  
Old 09-19-05, 01:30 PM
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Greg,

I must be either too far into the bush or your acronyms are to encourage discussion.

I'll bite.
What is an (LADWP) and a ggratecc?

Greg
 
  #12  
Old 09-19-05, 01:52 PM
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GregH,
Oh, LADWP is simply the company I work for...Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

ggratecc - I made this up just to have a unique alias for IM and forums.
GGR - my initials
at -
ECC - Energy Control Center

I have never found anyone else using this alias.
I"m the only "rat" in ggratecc.

regards,
Greg
 
  #13  
Old 09-19-05, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 594tough
You would have to ask them what their requirements are, but it is probably way more than a single 20 amp outlet will handle. Floor refinishers, carpet cleaners, and flood restorers are noted for doing the same thing. They have machines that typical receptacle circuits will not handle, so they rig up these deals to hot wire into panels, sometimes via breakers.
Last week, the hardwood finishers were at my dads new home sanding the floors. I noticed their long, ragged extension cord was running into the utility room. I walked in and found they had shoved bare wires into the prongs of the 30A dryer receptical. I just shook my head and walked away.

At least they didn't go directly into the panel.
 
  #14  
Old 09-19-05, 05:41 PM
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Contact your local electrical departement and ask them what locking the panel option may be available to you.
I also agree you are not charging a large enough security deposit. Try also charging a an inspection deposit and see if you can have the electrical inspector drop by during the event or shortly before to inspect the service.
 
  #15  
Old 09-20-05, 09:03 AM
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I worked technical detail for a small auditorium for a period of time, and the house rental rule for outside groups was that in addition to the cleaning crew fees, they had to pay for one of our technical guys to be present to monitor audio, video, and electrical hookups to the house systems.

Some clients griped about the added cost, but it always worked out well for both parties. They could simply ask our guy what we had available rather than dig through our stuff and touch/break things they weren't supposed to.

Depending on your management, you could work a similar provision into the rental agreement. The management might be willing to consider this more seriously if you frame the potential liability correctly. What would be the potential death/injury toll from a massive electrical fire in a dark gynmasium packed full of people?

Perhaps you could get the local electrical inspector or fire marshall involved as it is a critical public safety issue.
 
  #16  
Old 09-20-05, 09:05 AM
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Joed,
I have already told our administrator to up the deposit to $200.
I'll see how that works. I don't think a city inspector will come
on a saturday evening, so that won't work. I'll try to show up myself
with my digital camera incase I catch them (which I will).
thanks,
Greg
 
  #17  
Old 09-20-05, 09:16 AM
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IPbooks,
I wish we could have an employee there, but we are a small church,
and can't even get anyone willing to come there Saturday nights
except the Security guard we hire. I hesitate getting the security guards
involved in this, but I might if my other plans don't work.
Greg
 
  #18  
Old 09-20-05, 09:31 AM
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You can at least rest assured that you are doing the right thing by putting a stop to this unsafe practice.
 
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