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Electrical Help!

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Well, the 2009 season is upon us. It's usually around July that I start thinking about the big day, and this year is no different.

This is a problem, though, that has been plaguing me since H'ween 2008. Last year was our first year in the current house, and we ran into a problem. I'm hoping that someone here will have a relatively simple fix to the challenge at hand.

It seems that all of our outdoor outlets (the garage, the front porch, and the deck in the back yard) are all on the same circuit. Where it gets interesting is if you go to the basement and check out the breaker box - the circuit comes off the box and goes directly into a GCFI, then splits off to the various external outlets.

The result? You guessed it. I can run 4 flood lights and a fogger before tripping the GCFI, and leaving the entire haunt in the dark. This year I've got three 400W foggers, and I have decided that I definitely need more lighting - preferably more task oriented fixtures to focus on individual props.

Does anyone have any creative ideas on how to remedy my dilemma? I don't particularly want to bring an electrician in to wire a dedicated Halloween circuit, but I'm a visual geek and I need my lighting!

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· Banned
85 Posts
Ok , first off , if you use a convertor calculator you will see that the 3 foggers alone will suck up 10 amps byt themselves .
Power Calculators for quick conversions.
And thats JUST the heaters , thats NOT the little pump that pumps the juice to the heater element . Also , that rating is for AFTER the heater is running . Now , if you were to put an inline meter there , you will find that those 3 foggers alone , when the heaters have to heat at the same time , will be over your 15 amp breakers capacity .
Your best bet is to use the link above to figure your power consumption per piece of equipment ( fogger, fog lamp , motors or whatever ) per breaker, that way , you won't have any issues with the breakers popping during the show/dsiplay .
Sometimes , you have to do things that get costly , like , have additional lines run or , stronger breaker box put in . The guys over on DIYC go and have 200 amp mains put in , so that they can run MORE and MORE lights for their Christmas lights display . And THAT gets VERY costly .
Again , your best bet is use the calculator and figure what power your using . It might be a better idea to run some extension cords , then risk burning down your house . ( circuit breakers DO occasionaly fail regretfully )
If you figure 10 amps per 15 amp breaker , you will be in good shape .

· Banned
85 Posts
The LED lights ARE a great dop of power consumption , but ... what about things like :
1) air compressor
2) foggers
3)audio ( yes , the more speaker watts output , the more house current /power the item(s) use

Regretfully , the BIGGEST suckers of power for a Halloween display are :
a) fog machines
b) flood lamps if used
c) air compressors , if used

Now , if you could do away with the three above items , then , you would be in GREAT shape ..:(
But , to have a good haunt ... that would almost be impossible .
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