question about some old equipment


I have just started working in a Theatre in TN, and there supply of lights Thea theatre is the second largest in the state, but as you can see from this picture

It is not exactly designed for stage productions.
For this theatre which can hold, I believe 3,000 people has a grand total of 88 fixtures. Now before I move on, many of these fixtures don't work, as I fould out today, so there is far less then that in actuality which begins my story.
As I inventoried the lights for the first time in years for that theatre, I found a lot of little 4 inch fresnels with edison cables and asbestos insulation
then I found a couple 6 inch fresnels with edison cables, and some scoopes with edison cables and most of the lights on the theatre have asbestos insulation on the wiring. (I think, I am not entirely sure just yet)

Now- as those are pretty much my only lights, aside from 17 new Strand CoolBeams and a couple of shakespeare ERS 10 degrees should I stick with the limited number of lights that are twist lock cables or would it be safe to use the edison cables.--We do shows backstage. We set of risers on that massive procenium arch and use the back stage as a small procenium stage, which is where most of the smaller lights would be used.
Question 2:
I plugged in one of the scoopes to a channel to check if it was working, but the lamp was facing te floors, so still holding on to the plug I grabbed the handle to lift the light up and recieved quite a shock. I am still feeling the effects of it and its been a good 3 hours or so since it happened.
Why did I get shocked....I am pretty sure I have handled a normal stage pin while touch the light fixture that was plugged into it?[/url][/code]
for the first question the answer is
yes edison plugs are ok as long as you dont exceed there rated use, most theatres i have been in that are modern and up dated use either twist or edison less and less are using stage plug.

but any of the edison or twist that have asbestos should be bagged and removed from the theatre.

your second question i can not be sure because i didnt understand you fully but i think the answer is that fixture has a bad ground and it needs to be looked at internaly.

It could just be that the ground wire pulled out of the plug. That would be the first thing to check.
Being outside of the US I am not really in a position to give advice on which plugs to use.

What does concern me is the number of fixtures with asbestos leads. Please do a search for the keyword asbestos for more info. Depends upon the condition of the lead as to the magnitude of its potential harm. These posts also have info on how to dispose of them in a safe manner.

With regards to the shock, from what I have read on this forum, my guess would be that it is a non-grounded fixture and the hot and neutral wires have been fitted the wrong way around. Probably a long way off but that is my guess for the day in wanting to give a different answer!
Might be a really good idea to inspect well and meter out any equipment you are now charged with before plugging it in. Congrats on the big project to supervise, you will learn a lot if you think twice before you do something stupid - this and read, ask and get help.

Do not hot patch, much less plug questionable gear into anything other than a GFCI protected circuit with switch powering it up so when turning it on you first are not touching the fixture, (never touch the fixture when possible,) and second are not touching the plug - (plugs you did not wire can also be dangerous) only the switch to your tester that's going to pop off if bad long before you know what happened. Even fuse it for five or ten amps so as to provide an added protection. (This given of course the ability to wire such a thing or have such a test box/supply made for you.)

Your gear was probably also un-grounded which is a bad thing. No doubt there was a short of a hot to frame to which you now provided the ground. Set yourself up a prep or repair area with such a power supply.

First part, asbestos or in question that type is old and needs replacement. Read past posts and debates on the subject but for now limited access to such gear by way of not touching it or bagging it is a good idea until you have discussed with the administration what to do about it. It's either trash as a fixture or to be repaired within certain limited specific guidelines.

4" Fresnels if not even Plano Convex types you will find fairly useless equipment. What brand is your equipment without a doubt? Does it say Major on it? Buy a Photo Metrics handbook for use in getting a specific inventory inventory going. Before you go about starting to repair or plugging stuff in, first inventory and figure out what it is, than inspect or bag it. Make the inventory list with a punch list of initial problems to the gear, much less what specifically the equipment is. Entire inventory lock stock and barrel. Organize, clean and segregate. So many details including the shake and various inspections. No that you are in charged, it no longer is an excuse that due to past work done there now under your charge is an error. You are responsible for all the gear under your charge.

Than repair, clean and service or trash and replace. It would seem those before you have not done so in quite a while so consider all of your inventory unsafe for now. This means everything in the inventory from extension cord to dimmers.

Given your sorry but if seeming limited training or experience it would seem is not up to the level it needs to be with the old gear, ask a lot of questions and get someone local that is much more experienced with gear in for advice and a second pair of eyes.

Edison/twist/stage pin all are okay for use on stage as long as you follow the amperage ratings and local to you code specifics in what you can and cannot use. Be careful because if your equipment has asbestos whips, first don't attempt to waste time in de-wiring the plug from the cord, just throw it out, second be cautious of open faced plugs.

Those are types where the screw terminals are accessed thru the front of the plug - often they have a fiber/fish paper cover over the terminals that was inserted over the prongs of the plug. Later tech people siliconed the opening solid as a good but no longer useful solution. Such plugs with exposed wiring are now very much against code and must no longer be used. Should you go Edison type plug, only commercial or industrial grade plugs are suitable for your situation. This open faced plug will often if Edison have been the case with early wiring.
For the wiring issue, definately get a GamChek or something of the like.

Users who are viewing this thread