Archive for the ‘marquee power’ Category

Marquee Electrical Courses

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

We have designed our marquee lighting packages to be as simple as possible, simply connect the leads together plug in to the house/extension lead and you’re done. If your customer needs another power supply then an additional extension lead would usually do the job.

This simple system is perfect when you’re starting up a marquee hire business but after a while the jobs will become more intricate and so do the electrics. At this point you need to consider attending training courses.

Our friends at Essential Supplies are running electrical courses aimed at the marquee hire industry:

Event Electrics Course:

Our one day workshop is specifically aimed at those working in the Marquee
& Events industry. We will cover all aspects of the design, installation and testing of temporary electrical systems for events. The course is aimed at those who specify and install such systems but have no formal electrical qualification. We will guide candidates through best practises in installing electrical and lighting systems in temporary structures for events, including how to avoid some common pitfalls and some not so obvious. There will also be plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with some of our latest products specifically designs for our industry.
This is a non examined course and provides no formal qualification; it is de-signed to provide candidates with an awareness of the issues surrounding electrical systems for temporary events. Candidates will receive a certificate of attendance upon completion and a set of course notes.
Price: £180 + VAT per candidate

Event Lighting Course:

Our one day workshop is specifically aimed at those working within the events industry. We shall cover methods and types of lighting and how to install your system. This is a non examined course and provides no formal qualification; it is de-signed to help candidates with lighting. Candidates will receive a certificate of attendance upon completion.
Price: £180 + VAT per candidate

PAT Testing Course:

The aim of our one day ‘practical’ workshop is to obtain an understanding of why
PAT Testing is necessary and be able to demonstrate safely and accurately all aspects of electrical testing necessary to perform PAT tests on your own or other peoples electrical equipment
The course is specially designed for those within the events industry, looking at key
Products, unique to the Events World. The testing techniques learnt can be used in any in-dustry. You will be shown how to PAT test a wide range of our products from extension leads to metal light fittings and from simple distribution boards to power tools. To ensure you get the most out of the course we aim to have a maximum of 6 Candidates on each course.
Price: £220 + VAT per candidate

If you have been in the hire industry for a few years and look to be taking the next step up in complexity of marquee bookings then I would recommend attending the Event Electrics Course first with the Event Lighting Course later.

All of your electrics require regular PAT testing, rather than paying an electrician to come in and test them it’s likely a wise investment to train you or a reliable member of staff up as a PAT tester.

At DIY Marquees we always try to promote best practice, we offer help and advice throughout the life of our marquees and in doing so try to ensure our marquee hirers can maintain good standards. Attending training courses like these that are specifically designed towards marquee hirers is good practice for everyone in the industry.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Marquee electrical problem

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

A good marquee electrical problem was posted on the forum, unfortunately it was lost in a database error just before the forum closed. I think it’s worth posting here not to scaremonger but to reinforce my post of a couple of weeks ago stating you should only tackle electrical tasks you are confident in.

This was originally posted by Dean from the excellent Style marquee:

We work as health and safety advisors to several venues. I recently turned up to one of these venues to find the marquee supplier (not us I should point out) had run the electrics out from a barn. The barn had a 63amp socket, a 32amp socket and one 13amp socket. They had plugged in to the 32amp socket with an adapter down to a 16amp plug then run a mixture of 2.5mm & 1.5mm blue arctic cable leads to the marquee. This was then supplying the lights, bar, DJ and catering equipment (including tea urns and ovens) for the whole marquee.

Dean then went on to explain how he’d replaced all the electrics to make it safe despite it not being his marquee. His actions almost certainly prevented a major incident.

To explain, the main issues with the set up were:

  • The lead was overloaded. There is far far too much electrical equipment going through a lead of that size.
  • A chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link, in this case it’s the 1.5mm cable – that’s where the cable would melt/catch fire when everything in that marquee was turned on
  • Lack of protection. The 32amp socket would be protected by a 32amp trip. Fitting an adapter down to 16amp plugs/sockets/leads means those plugs/sockets/leads are going to get damaged before the trip comes in to play.
  • A very minor point compared to the above is the use of arctic cable. Most of the industry still use it but we recommend best practice is to always use 2.5mm HO7 cable for any 13 or 16amp leads

Possible Solution:

Dean was able to run an electrical supply from the 63amp socket out to a distribution board in the marquee that then safely supplied each element of the marquee. This is the best and safest way of supplying everything required in that marquee.

Unless you work at particular venues or run power from generators regularly you are unlikely to have or be trained in this sort of equipment.

If you turn up to a venue like this (and it is rare, usually venues use the same marquee companies repeatedly) with the power requirements listed above and are not sure how to handle it my recommendation is to get an electrician in to handle the electrics and charge that as a service on your quote. If it’s somewhere you’re likely to work at regularly then you may want to go on a course and buy the required equipment yourself (see our friends at Essential Supplies).

Of course if the only power required is your lights then that’s easy to run the extension lead across to plug in to that single 13amp socket and no electrician is required.

Just don’t try and ‘wing it’. There are many areas of marquee erecting where you can make it up as you go along (eg joining to a building, lining an unusual structure) electrics is not one of them.

In summary:

  • Only tackle electrical tasks that you are very confident in carrying out
  • Always check for power supplies at a site visit so everything can be planned in advance
  • Always confirm the power requirements of everyone involved with the event well in advance to avoid being on site and bombarded with last minute power socket requests
  • Only tackle electrical tasks that you are very confident in carrying out

Thanks for reading

Spencer

 

Marquee Electrics

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Running the electrics usually comes under the marquee mans umbrella. It can be as simple as running an extension lead from the house, it can be complicated enough to justify getting an electrician in to look after the whole project.

The possible power requirements are:

  • Lighting (probably you organising this)
  • Music (DJ or band)
  • Bar (fridges etc)
  • Catering equipment (electrical tea urns and ovens can take a LOT of power)

It is always best practice to find out what electrical requirements there are before you turn up on site, personally I would mention it either at the site visit or in the quotation or both. Something along the lines of :

we will supply the electrical leads from the house for our lighting, if you require any other power in the marquee please notify us before the day of erection (additional charge may apply)

Whether you actually charge for additional power leads is up to you. It can seem a little petty but then running another couple of leads neatly can add another hour or so on to a job.

I strongly strongly recommend that you only tackle electrical tasks that you are confident in. I would also recommend going on an Essential Supplies marquee electrics course that they run out of season to learn best practice.

Running the electrical lead across to the house for our lighting is easy and straight forward. Running another power lead to the house (plug in to a different room) for a band or DJ is easy. If you start to need power for catering then it’s usually a job for a generator or electrician as they require so much power.

If in doubt then drop us a line and we’ll recommend what to do.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Marquee electrics

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Electrics for a marquee are generally straight forward affairs, especially the way that we now wire up lighting. Everything is supplied with 16amp blue plugs and sockets that just daisy-chain around the marquee.

We would usually run all of the electrics around the marquee and then run the power supply lead across to the house.  A 13amp RCD adapter should always be used to plug in to a house, as standard this will then be wired up to a 16amp blue socket ready to connect to the plug coming from the marquee. But what if you’ve run all of the leads around the marquee the wrong way round and end up with a 16amp socket towards the house rather than a 16amp blue plug?

Do you:

  • a – cut down all of the leads in the marquee and pain-stakingly attach them all back up again the correct way round
  • or b – the much quicker and easier method of just taking off that 16amp socket and swap if for a plug so it all connects up easily?

You must must must always do a. Just take the time and run the leads the right way round. No matter how pressed for time you may be do not ever start swapping sockets for plugs. Louise (have fun on maternity leave) from Essential Supplies refers to them as widow-makers because they are just so dangerous. If you think about what happens when the lead is plugged in if anyone were to unplug a join it would be the plug that’s live, ie those large metal prongs sticking out would be like open live wires.

As I say electrics and lighting in marquees are very easy, safe and straight-forward as long as you don’t start taking anything apart. Just keep it simple.

Our demo marquee is up for sale on eBay: ex-demo DIY Marquee

There probably won’t be a blog next week as we’ll be down setting up at The Showmans Show.

Thanks for reading, hope to see you next week at the show

Spencer

Marquee lighting & electrical courses

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Putting up marquees is easy. Putting up our lighting packages is easy. Planning the lighting and electrical requirements for a large marquee event is not so easy.

As a marquee hire company gets bigger naturally the events you cover become larger and more sophisticated, with that in mind you might want to consider going on one of Essential Supplies lighting or electrical courses:

Essential Supplies in conjunction with our Hire depot ES Lighting Hire will be running a range of training courses in January and February. The courses will be in PAT testing, marquee electrics and marquee lighting. They are specifically tailored to suit those working within the events industry.

The PAT Testing course will run on the 17th, 18th, 30th and 31st of January, the marquee electrics course will be the 9th and 10th of February and the marquee lighting course the 22nd and 23rd of February. The courses shall be held at the premises of our hire department in Hook, Hampshire.

For more details contact Louise at Essential Supplies, please mention our name then we might get some more pasties at The Showmans Show next year!

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Problems with power to a marquee

Friday, September 18th, 2009

At some point in your marquee erecting career you’ll have a problem with the power supply, generally shown by a lack of available light, lack of music or lack of tea facilities.

What to do?

Golden rule: Start at the power source and work your way to the marquee.

There’s no point dismantling a chandelier looking for a fault only to find the extension lead powering it has accidentally been turned off in the house. Trust me I know as I’ve done it several times (an intelligent person would learn..)

If you’re getting your power from a house using RCD adapter plugs (if you’re not then you should be) then they have little red tabs in the top saying they’re working. No red tab means it’s either tripped (reset it) or there’s no power (house has a power cut) or the fuse has gone (replace it).

Next step is to follow the extension lead across to the marquee – you’re checking to see if it’s been cut through or damaged by a lawn mower/hedge cutter/etc.

Once you get to the marquee end of the extension lead disconnect it from whatever’s plugged in and test it with something you know works (you might need a separate 16amp plug to 13amp socket adapter for this step). Ideally this would be a 13amp socket tester but failing that a radio or hoover. Nothing too valuable in case there’s actually problems with the power supply! If you get power at the socket but not the other end then swap the extension lead.

If you have power then the next step (assuming it’s lighting) is to take the dimmer out -bypass it by connecting the chandeliers straight on to the extension lead. If the chandeliers work then you’ve got a problem with the dimmer (if overloaded they can melt inside which is fatal for them. Remember maximum two 5-arm chandeliers per dimmer). If the chandeliers still don’t work then you’ve got a problem with one or both of the chandeliers. Take them down and test them individually to see where the fault lies.

Problems with power happen quite regularly, generally it’s nuisance tripping (a bulb blowing) that means resetting the RCD adapter or even the trip inside the house. We test the chandeliers last as they’re furthest from the house and can mean taking down all the linings. It won’t be an early day.

Whilst talking about power it’s worth mentioning that most catering equipment isn’t electrically tested regularly enough so often trips an RCD. If it keeps tripping don’t be tempted to remove the RCD, it’s there to protect people. If there’s faulty equipment it should not be used.

Bottom line:  Always have a 13amp socket tester, a 16amp plug to 13amp socket adapter, a few fuses and a small screwdriver in your van. A torch wouldn’t go a miss either 🙂

An early blog this week as I’m away next week. Yes, yes more holidays than Santa. I’d point out that we’re having another baby in November when all hell will break loose so we’re going away while we can!

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Marquees: Who provides the power?

Monday, July 13th, 2009

In marquee hire there are a few common problems you face – one is the question of who provides the power? I’m not thinking of your lighting (as obviously you’ve got to run that power supply) but what happens when the DJ turns round and says where’s his power? Or the caterer, or the bar..

Mal at Premier Party Tent faced exactly this issue recently and to be honest it is a little tricky. You can’t be expected to wire up the marquee like a factory with sockets anywhere required but at the same time most customers would expect the marquee man/lady to sort everything out.

So, what’s the solution?

My suggestion is to sort it out in advance. When you take the booking ask the customer if there are going to be any other power requirements, if so how much power do they need? You then charge a set amount per extension lead.

If you leave it until you’re on site it could look like you’re trying to subtly get the bill up a bit (this never ends well) or you may feel obliged to provide them for free (unless it’s in exchange for tea or food this isn’t so good either).

There’s a few things to note about power:

  • One extension lead can take up to 3KW of power, this is normally enough for a DJ or bar but rarely for caterers. Tea Urns are 3KW each and often they’ll have 2 of those plus ovens etc so consider a generator or getting an electrician to connect a large supply across for large events.
  • You shouldn’t be running more than 3 or 4 extension leads from a house, any more and consider a generator or an electrician. Also when running several power leads plug them in to different areas of a house so they’re on different circuits.
  • A long extension lead from Wickes etc is quite cheap but long term you really want to be using blue arctic cable leads with 16amp connectors. The connectors are splashproof so you can leave them outside as long as they’re not on the ground and you just daisy chain leads together – terminate the lead with a 4-way standard 13amp socket adapter for the bar/DJ and plug in to the house using a 13 amp plug with an RCD to a 16amp connector.
  • If you don’t have RCD’s built in to your leads buy some adapters for them, these protect anyone if a cable’s cut through. These really are a must in the marquee hire industry.

If you’ve got the right kit then running power to a marquee is easy though not hugely lucrative. If you’re scratching round getting different extension leads and trying to weatherproof a normal 13am reel extension lead then it can be a bit of a nightmare.

Ask your customer their power needs in advance and charge for your work.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

PS the marquee and some red, green and honeybeige once used carpet is on eBay (there’ll be more carpet to follow).