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Tie in's???


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#1 josh davis

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 01:49 PM

Hi I heard a Gaffer ask a grip to do a Tie in..
What is that and how do you do it - and if there is info on the web could ou point me in the right direction?

Thanks
Josh
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 02:05 PM

Hi I heard a Gaffer ask a grip to do a Tie in..
What is that and how do you do it - and if there is info on the web could ou point me in the right direction?

Thanks
Josh


Hi Josh,

Call a qualified electrician, that's not something you should learn on line.

Stephen
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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 02:28 PM

Certainly not until you learn how to punctuate it, anyway.

Phil
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 04:00 PM

I concur. Listen to Stephen. It's something that could easily kill you if you do it wrong.

The idea is to connect your own distribution box to a power supply. That's all I'm going to say.
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#5 robert duke

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 05:35 PM

Grips dont do tie ins, electricians do tie ins. We're likely to break something. LOL
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#6 Stephen Williams

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 06:01 PM

Grips dont do tie ins, electricians do tie ins. We're likely to break something. LOL


Hi,

Clever electricians who realize how dangerous it is find somebody else to do it! There are Old electricians & Bold electricians but not many old bold electricians!

Stephen
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#7 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 07:14 PM

Lots of people will be happy to let you do their tie-ins but in many states it's not legal unless you're
a qualified electrician, so in addition to all the damage and killing you could do, you might have
to pay for it as well by doing time and or paying fines. I know lots of people that do them who
shouldn't but that doesn't make it wise or okay.
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#8 Michael Nash

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 04:17 AM

"How many grips does it take to change a lightbulb? Two: one to hold the lightbulb and the other to hammer it in..."

All kidding aside, grips do not perform electrical duties like tie-ins, and even set electricians should not perform tie-ins unless they're ABSOLUTELY SURE of what they're doing -- in other words, unless they are qualified (i.e. licensed) electricians themselves.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand the workings of electricity, but a set electrician (let alone a grip) shouldn't be expected to understand all the possible conditions of electrical wiring in practical locations. I heard a first hand account of an electrician who died from performing a tie-in at an abandoned factory location. He did everything by the book, but previously some (non-movie) electrician at the location hadn't. This is not funny stuff.

Ever since I heard that story (early in my career), I have refused to even learn how to do a tie-in. It's called "plausible denial." My life is worth more than some job where the producers don't care enough to rent a genny and cable.
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#9 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 06:02 AM

"Plausible denial" that's what it is. I really want to underline the other advice and say DO NOT DO A TIE-IN unless you are a licensed electrician. You really can kill yourself and/or others as well as damage equipment if you do not REALLY KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING.
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#10 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 06:14 AM

On one of the first jobs I ever did, the gaffer had me come with him to the basement of a bar in NYC while he did the tie in. He gave me a 2x4 and told me to hit him as hard as I could if anything arc'd. He ran through a list of all the things he "should have" been doing to make it more safe, but he wasn't doing. Everything went fine, but it scared me enough to never want to be around a tie in again. Oh, and there had been a lot of rain there and he was standing in a puddle of water when he did it! I've never seen or heard of anyone doing a tie in in LA (although I'm sure it happens). I think it's more common in NY and places with less genny possibilities.
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#11 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 07:20 AM

I saw an electrician check a fuse box by putting his fingers in each fuse holder and actually getting shocked. Not to be tried at home.
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#12 Chris Keth

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 02:51 PM

I've never seen or heard of anyone doing a tie in in LA (although I'm sure it happens). I think it's more common in NY and places with less genny possibilities.


This is very true, I think. The idea came up a lot in Rochester, though we never really had the need for that much power in school. If we needed more from one circuit, I wired (and had checked by an electrician friend) a fixture to tap into a dryer outlet.
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#13 Hal Smith

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 03:03 PM

Really the only electricians qualified to do a hot tie-in are those with the type of training learned working for power companies. There is a collection of safety equipment absolutely required to safely do a tie-in into a working circuit including special gloves, protection mats, goggles, arc-flash protection clothing, etc., etc. I watched an Oklahoma Gas and Electric crew change out a 150kW transformer for a 300kW transformer last week. They hooked my radio station client's power up cold first and then after I fired up the station's transmitters they went on to hook up the other users at the site with the transformer hot. They had insulating mats draped over everything hot, wore insulating gauntlet style gloves, face shields, hard hats, and had heavy clothing on (though not arc-flash gear). It was pretty impressive to watch them hooking up cables to terminals under conditions where if they had shorted a leg out by accident there would have been an explosion like a small bomb going off.

Doing a tie-in into a circuit that can be turned off (and checked and locked out) requires knowledge of what type of power circuits are commonly in use and how to measure what leg to leg and leg to neutral voltages are present. A $200-300 Fluke meter comes with leads that are safety rated to 600 volts but cheaper Radio Shack type meters really aren't safe around live circuits. The bottom line is training - if you learn from someone qualified you probably can do cold tie-ins once you have acquired the needed knowledge of residential and commercial power circuitry and how to measure them.
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#14 JD Hartman

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 02:43 PM

On one of the first jobs I ever did, the gaffer had me come with him to the basement of a bar in NYC while he did the tie in. He gave me a 2x4 and told me to hit him as hard as I could if anything arc'd. He ran through a list of all the things he "should have" been doing to make it more safe, but he wasn't doing. Everything went fine, but it scared me enough to never want to be around a tie in again. Oh, and there had been a lot of rain there and he was standing in a puddle of water when he did it! I've never seen or heard of anyone doing a tie in in LA (although I'm sure it happens). I think it's more common in NY and places with less genny possibilities.


What was the point of the guy describing the correct steps, when he didn't even have the sense to elevate himself out of the water with an apple box? A rubber floor mat? Was his display simply bravado? If his body accidently conducted enough voltage to cause his muscles to spasm and lock up, no amount of force is going to break him loose. So a 2x4 or a rope isn't going to help.


Really the only electricians qualified to do a hot tie-in are those with the type of training learned working for power companies. There is a collection of safety equipment absolutely required to safely do a tie-in into a working circuit including special gloves, protection mats, goggles, arc-flash protection clothing, etc., etc. I watched an Oklahoma Gas and Electric crew change out a 150kW transformer for a 300kW transformer last week. They hooked my radio station client's power up cold first and then after I fired up the station's transmitters they went on to hook up the other users at the site with the transformer hot. They had insulating mats draped over everything hot, wore insulating gauntlet style gloves, face shields, hard hats, and had heavy clothing on (though not arc-flash gear). It was pretty impressive to watch them hooking up cables to terminals under conditions where if they had shorted a leg out by accident there would have been an explosion like a small bomb going off.

Doing a tie-in into a circuit that can be turned off (and checked and locked out) requires knowledge of what type of power circuits are commonly in use and how to measure what leg to leg and leg to neutral voltages are present. A $200-300 Fluke meter comes with leads that are safety rated to 600 volts but cheaper Radio Shack type meters really aren't safe around live circuits. The bottom line is training - if you learn from someone qualified you probably can do cold tie-ins once you have acquired the needed knowledge of residential and commercial power circuitry and how to measure them.



Hal, lineman are trained and typically work on engergized equipment and lines on a daily basis. Usually at a potential much greater than the 220 or 440 volts a film set electrician works with. True, to safely tie-in requires knowledge and proper protective equipment, but not the level of gear worn by someone working on a live 14kv line. Ideally a tie-in would be done in a de-engerized panel, but that isn't always possible. If it weren't for tie-in's many indies would never be shot because their budget can't cover a genny rental.

I don't disagree with you that the knowledge can only come from first hand training. There are too many variable to cover in a how-to manual.
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#15 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 04:21 PM

What was the point of the guy describing the correct steps, when he didn't even have the sense to elevate himself out of the water with an apple box? A rubber floor mat? Was his display simply bravado? If his body accidently conducted enough voltage to cause his muscles to spasm and lock up, no amount of force is going to break him loose. So a 2x4 or a rope isn't going to help.

I think the guy was genuinely trying to teach me. He was giving me a bit of the "do as I say not as I do" spiel, which was fine I guess. I certainly wasn't going to touch a thing after what he told me, so it worked. I think he had a lot of experience but didn't do tie in's very often anymore. I got the impression that normally one of his sparks would take care of it, but wasn't around on that job.
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#16 Hal Smith

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 09:22 PM

Hal, lineman are trained and typically work on engergized equipment and lines on a daily basis. Usually at a potential much greater than the 220 or 440 volts a film set electrician works with. True, to safely tie-in requires knowledge and proper protective equipment, but not the level of gear worn by someone working on a live 14kv line. Ideally a tie-in would be done in a de-engerized panel, but that isn't always possible. If it weren't for tie-in's many indies would never be shot because their budget can't cover a genny rental.

I don't disagree with you that the knowledge can only come from first hand training. There are too many variable to cover in a how-to manual.

The guys I watched work last week were definitely qualified linemen. The secondary of the transformer they were hooking up was 208/120 three phase and they were taking no chances. That may be the secret of survival in the line business - treat anything hot with an excess of respect! :)

Brad,

A further thought: What type of protective equipment are you familiar with for low tension hot tie-ins?
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#17 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 03:11 AM

Brad,

A further thought: What type of protective equipment are you familiar with for low tension hot tie-ins?

None. That particular gaffer mentioned gloves and goggles, but other than that I don't have a clue. Truthfully, I don't want to have anything to do with tie-in's. I have a healthy fear and respect for electricity and I'd prefer to have an expert deal with it.
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#18 robert duke

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 09:09 AM

its not the volts that kills its the amps. linemen are hooking up unfiltered and ungated power ( there is no breaker upstream for a long while). it becomes the same situation when tieing into a box sometimes. shut off the mains if you can. if you con go below a breaker do it. green is safe, neutral is next then the hot legs. hooking into a hot box is serious poop. one wrong move, one brush against two terminals and thats it. the power is suffiucient to blow a hand off. thats not even crossing your heart with the power. If you need , absolutly have no other way, Call a liscensed Professional to tie in. Spend the extra $100-$200.
start a relationship with a master electrician, they might be interested in what you are doing enough to give you a discount.

the Pro's that I know are shocked to hear that I move energized banded and connect to it. they are scared of the 100amp passthrough lunchboxes. We already walk a thin line when it comes to power.

I have heard tales of NY gaffers tieing in standing in water. I have also heard tale of grounding kits. A clip on ground for before there was a ground installed on lights.

dont risk your life for a movie, its not worth the funeral. dont risk a hand for a movie, what if the movie never gets picked up. you'd be handless and have nothing to show for it.
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#19 Bob Hayes

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 10:20 AM

I have found boxes that are completely miss-wired. The box it's self being hot. So even if you do everything right, some one else might have made the mistake.
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#20 robert duke

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 12:38 PM

ON several movies I have worked we have had to Back feed the breaker boxes. we have powered the building off our generators. We have pulled the line power off (with the assistance of local Electricians) and fed the box with 4/0 or banded.
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