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How to perform a tie in


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#1 Modo

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 02:24 AM

I would like to know what's the procedure of tying in into a residential building's breaker box.
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#2 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 02:30 AM

Carefully :blink:
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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 03:05 AM

Hi,

Basically, if you have to ask on an internet forum, you don't know sufficiently what you're doing. I wouldn't attempt it, and I know absolutely precisely what the procedure is!

Phil
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#4 Matt Workman

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 12:20 PM

Yeah you can't learn how to do a tie in on the internet.

Work as an electrician on set for a gaffer and after he shows you how to tie in like 5 times ask him if he thinks you are competent enough to do it. If he says no don't try it, you can seriously hurt yourself and anyone else working with the power distrobution.

Stick with the camera department, you'll live longer :ph34r:
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#5 Sol Train Saihati

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 08:53 PM

Hi,

Basically, if you have to ask on an internet forum, you don't know sufficiently what you're doing. I wouldn't attempt it, and I know absolutely precisely what the procedure is!

Phil


An absolute second. If its not in your budget to hire a fully qualified spark for a day to tie in, then find another solution to your problem that does not involve dealing with bare, live, high voltage electricity cables.
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 09:14 AM

Maybe renting a generator would be a better idea. . . or a lot of stingers run to friendly neighbors. . .
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#7 Wendell_Greene

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 10:14 AM

I would like to know what's the procedure of tying in into a residential building's breaker box.



Sorry, but this is a forum for cinematography, not assisted suicide.


Only a certified licensed, bonded, insured and qualifed Electrician, assisted by another qualified electrician should ever attempt to a tie in.
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#8 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 10:22 AM

Does anyone else smell barbacue?
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#9 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 10:59 AM

actually, i'd also like to know but i'd never do it myself. maybe you can explain in layman's terms for those of us who are curious and just want to understand the gaffer's work a little better? you don't have to give enough information to explain for somebody to actually try it, do you?

/matt
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#10 Chris Keth

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 11:03 AM

actually, i'd also like to know but i'd never do it myself. maybe you can explain in layman's terms for those of us who are curious and just want to understand the gaffer's work a little better? you don't have to give enough information to explain for somebody to actually try it, do you?

/matt



In very short, imprecise terms, you replace the house's breaker box with your own distribution box, which is similar in idea but has heavier circuits. That lets you distribute power differently than the house would let you, and to run larger units than house power would let you.

If you have to know more, go to an experienced, licensed electrician. Chances are, though, they will say no to teaching you. It's not something to brush off lightly.

Edited by Christopher D. Keth, 15 May 2006 - 11:06 AM.

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#11 Wendell_Greene

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 12:13 PM

Read pages 286-293 of Chapter 10 [Power Sources] of the Set Lighting Technician Handbook by Harry Box, for detailed information, a diagram and several warnings on the subject of doing a tie in.
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#12 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 01:58 PM

If you have to know more, go to an experienced, licensed electrician. Chances are, though, they will say no to teaching you.

i know, that's why i had to ask. i've worked as an assistant electrician/grip on dozens of projects and you're always sent off to hang some lights or roll up stingers whenever that kind of stuff is about to happen. maybe i should ask the one i hire for one of my own gigs and don't pay him until he lets me in on some stuff... ;-)

/matt
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#13 Hal Smith

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 02:10 PM

Don't tie in directly, plug into to existing range and dryer outlets. Use the appropriate matching plugs and build a residential style surface mount panel box using individual breakers for circuit protection and on/off switches, on for the range outlet, and one for the dryer outlet. A residential range/dryer outlet is 240 volts single phase which is actually two 120 volt to ground circuits back to back. I think most dryer outlets are 30A and most range outlets 50A. In a modern house with both, you'd have somewhere around 18kW of power available if you balanced the load between both sides of the 240 volt circuits. As numerous posters have noted - find a qualified electrician or gaffer to build the box if you're not experienced in working with electricity.
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#14 Paul Bruening

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 07:31 PM

Hey,

Wendell's clue is good. I've got Box's book and it's fantastic. No one here can really give you instructions due to the considerable liability involved. Many here will tell you to just stay away from it. Some of the old-timers will share that electricity is a knowable and workable power source. I've done more tie-ins than I can count and have never been shocked. Both groups are right. however, DON'T JUST "GIVE A TRY". Learn on the set from a well experienced person. Even a licensed electrician won't know the particular tricks on how to do it and not destroy property and kill folks. Tie-ins are always dodgy and half-assed connections. Yet, they can be done safely.
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#15 John Hall

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 12:07 AM

Tie-ins are always dodgy and half-assed connections.


I don't know about that. Unlike you, I can count the number of times I've performed a tie-in, and I would never describe my connections as 'dodgy or half-assed'.

As long as your cables can't be tripped on, kicked, or otherwise pulled out with moderate force, then they should be as reliable as the the rest of the household circuits.
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#16 Chris Pritzlaff

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 04:18 AM

Still - its not something to be taken lightly, and should not be done based on information gathered from online forum discussions.
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#17 william koon

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 12:55 AM

I don't know about that. Unlike you, I can count the number of times I've performed a tie-in, and I would never describe my connections as 'dodgy or half-assed'.

As long as your cables can't be tripped on, kicked, or otherwise pulled out with moderate force, then they should be as reliable as the the rest of the household circuits.

just curious............... Is 'tie in' legal ? I thought you need the electricity supplier company to do it for you. In my country, the meter is sealed by the supplyer. You can be fined.
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#18 Rik Andino

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 04:16 AM

just curious............... Is 'tie in' legal ? I thought you need the electricity supplier company to do it for you. In my country, the meter is sealed by the supplyer. You can be fined.


Technically they're not legal unless performed by a lisenced electrician...
Meaning someone who is legally designated to do this.

ANd it makes sense too--since electricity is something we should only let train professionals handle...

However most productions (particularly indie productions) ignore this...and they perform tie-ins all the time
Just don't let the autorities know about it.

Anyways I hope this answers the question.
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#19 Bob Hayes

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 11:38 AM

Tie ins are potentially very dangerous and crew people die because of them. A couple of years ago a crew person died walking by a tie in. The power arced from to box to the c-stand he was carrying and killed him. Witnesses said he didn?t connect with the box it arced. Because they are illegal any injury and they can be severe are not covered.
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#20 Hal Smith

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 01:55 PM

Tie ins are potentially very dangerous and crew people die because of them. A couple of years ago a crew person died walking by a tie in. The power arced from to box to the c-stand he was carrying and killed him. Witnesses said he didn?t connect with the box it arced. Because they are illegal any injury and they can be severe are not covered.

They're not illegal, but they do have to be done as allowed by the National Electrical Code. If there's any sort of a liability issue, hire a journeyman electrician licensed by whatever jurisdiction you're in. I've done tie-ins in Woburn, MA (Boston) where the code is as a tight as anywhere. I hired an electrician there to do the actual work. At the Oklahoma City Civic Music Hall theatres I don't even have to get advance permission anymore for tie-ins, they've seen me work and know I do it safely. I'm talking about real tie-ins, lugs and all, not plugging Camloks into a panel.
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