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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Every year I add more and more lights, foggers, projectors, and pneumatics to my party. Last year I had a power outage twice during my party, I had to spend 20min resetting everything. I finally plugged a compressor into another outlet and was ok the rest of the night. Well this year I have even more items to suck up power.

Let me start by saying my knowledge of electricity is limited. Can anyone point me into the right direction with this? Is a power conditioner what I need? My question with these is does it handle I spike without shutting off the equipment? Do I just need to use a lot of extra extension chords to make sure not too many items are on one outlet? I've wondered about using a 12volt car battery to operate something like my pneumatic compressor, but my party lasts about 7 hours....will this be enough? Thanks Ross
 

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Amperage is amperage, nothing is gonna stop a breaker from popping if the load exceeds the rating. A typical house outlet is usually on a 15 amp breaker (some may be 20) but keep in mind there's usually more than one outlet per circuit (breaker). You need to spread the load out by using several circuits to run your display and you should be fine.
 

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A portable generator is always a great thing to have, especially during bad weather season. Tractor Supply and the Sportsmans Guide usually have the best deals. That said, it might not be a good idea to use the generator for prop controllers and your more delicate electrical props as you do get some surges.

Your best bet is to spread the load out so you don't overload any one or two circuits. Another idea is to be selective about what you do have on at any given time. If you're having your party indoors (or even outside!), how about some candles or LED spots for mood lighting? If you've got the Crock Pot keeping the severed fingers food warm, why not use a chafing dish with Sternos? There are lots of ways to skin the cat...

And hey, a seven-hour party!?! When do we get our invite?? :D
 

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I have run into the same problem. The best way to combat the power outage is to spread out your props to different circuits. You can figure out which outlets are on each circuit by simply switching the breaker off one at a time to see which outlets are affected. Make a list of which outlets are on each circuit and just spread your props out over a bunch of different circuits. Depending on your breaker box, your circuits should be labeled on the door panel. But they are usually labeled in a general fashion. It will probably be labeled "kitchen", "dishwasher", "washer", "dryer", "bedroom", "bathroom" "general lights", ect. But there are outlets associated with those circuits also. You will just have to test the outlets by plugging something in to see if it works or use a voltage tester.

I am combating my problem by adding a few more circuits to my electrical box and putting dedicated outdoor outlets that I can utilize.
 

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One modern problem that you may run into... If you're using receptacles connected to any bedrooms, you may be seeing the AFCI kicking in. Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters are new electrical code (as of 2008, I think) and they look for arcs in the wiring. If they see any, which could be from a motor, they kick the circuit in the much the same way the kitchen GFCI's do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks. Yeah I thought about using a generator but those all run on gas and are very loud from what I understand. I am adding another compressor this year but I actually might borrow some power from my neighbor too. I already put a projector in their window to shine across to my house in my window. That way when the guests are inside my house it looks like (zombies) are right outside my house. I use one compressor, 7 projectors, and a lot of lights and audio. I guess its as simple as looking at each peice of equipment and adding up how much amps are used, and as long as the number adds up below the 15 or 20 amp breaker I would be ok?
 

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Breakers are considered fully utilized at 2/3 their rating, although they can handle more, even over their rated value, for short periods of time.
 

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. I guess its as simple as looking at each peice of equipment and adding up how much amps are used, and as long as the number adds up below the 15 or 20 amp breaker I would be ok?
Most devices are gonna state the wattage not the amps. It's easy to figure the amps from that, Watts divided by Volts (120) = Amps. Approximately 1600 watts give or take, is about max for a 15 amp circuit.
 
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