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Undertaker
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3,270 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Needless injuries and deaths are reported every year involving the improper handling and following protocols involving electrical systems. Serious injuries and or deaths can be prevented by using simple common sense approach when using outside electrical systems.

This thread will discuss using:
Proper AMP service
Volts versus Amps
Proper wiring
GFI systems
Exterior outlets
Interior outlets
The use of exterior multiple outlets
Timers
Local code enforcement
Vicarious liability
 

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Going bump in the night..
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3,388 Posts
Fog machines! They use more power than people expect (at least, this person).
Always get a heavier gauge extension cord for them - the typical cheap-o green yard cords are okay for one 400 watt fogger and a couple of low wattage lights, but more draw than that will start that cord to warming, and of course warming can lead to failure or fire.
 

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372 Posts
Over time I have installed 3 dedicated outlets for Halloween. They are all controlled remotely using a home automation hardware and are all GFCI protected. It's great to be able to power up the lawn in sections - Right, Center, Left.

I second the Foggers as any device that heats uses significant wattage. I have 2 additional non-switched outlets in the rear of my house that I run heavy duty extension cables out to the 2 or 3 foggers I use. They are both on separate circuits. So all in all 5 independent circuits.

The haunt we now do originated at my folks very old house which still had glass fuses and no 3 prong grounded outlets. So all the years of struggling there and dealing with the issues of using too much power and getting zapped a couple of times made me want it better when the haunt moved to my own house.

I have also switched half or more of my lights over to LED which has reduced the usage. I have not done so in a while but I used to actually write down every bulb and add up the watts being used to determine if I was putting too much on one circuit. It's fairly easy to do with a pad and pen.

Be safe and Happy Halloween.
 

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14,073 Posts
We took the opportunity when re-landscaping our yard to add additional circuits in the yard area as well. All GFCI and by our building code set up with In-Use Covers. These have a gasket seal around them to protect the circuits from water intrusion and the boxes have openings at the bottom so you can have a cord plugged in and exiting the box while the box is closed. In the past I took the risk of shorting things out by plugging in holiday lights into flip up electrical covers. Even if it wasn't code for our area, we would have willingly spent the little extra money for the In-Use covers at the time of developer build but they weren't offered, and were planning on upgrading to them whether or not we did our re-landscape. I'm very happy we have them now.

BTW some of the In-Use Covers have the ability to add a padlock to them to prevent tampering.
 

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Insert Witty Comment Here
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4,484 Posts
Keep plugging things in until the circuit breaker pops...then unplug the last thing you added and reset the circuit breaker.


I upgraded my electrical service a few years ago and added multiple outlets that I have switches behind my front door for. So I just get to flip the switches instead of going outside and plugging everything in. I make sure that the big fog machines and air compressor all run on different circuit breakers, so I do have a spiderweb of cords across the yard on Halloween. I'm not worried about switching to LEDS. Although they are supposed to last forever, they don't and are a pain to repair, so I stick with the mini lights as I don't think the LED cost savings are really there. Plus, if you want to save energy, get a Light-o-rama as the lights are only on about 10-20% of the time when you are running a show.
 

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I would love to get into setting up elaborate electrical systems to make the halloween experience that much more genuinly spooky but unfortunately I live in an apartment. any ideas for apartment dwellers that could spice things up?
 

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Insert Witty Comment Here
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4,484 Posts
I would love to get into setting up elaborate electrical systems to make the halloween experience that much more genuinly spooky but unfortunately I live in an apartment. any ideas for apartment dwellers that could spice things up?
talk to neighbors to see if they'll letyou use their outlets
 
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