Last weekend I went to an outdoor concert / festival. There was a
rock band playing inside a metal pole barn-like building. I could see
fierce lightning out in the distance, and then someone announced over
the bands microphones that there was a severe storm approaching and
everyone should exit the large tents, and either leave or come into
that tin building. Most people came into the building and the band
went back to playing music. All of a sudden I could see the trees
outside bending way over and the lightning was close, and even the
thunder could be heard over the loud amplifiers. Seconds later the
rain came down in buckets and the water coming off that roof was like
a waterfall, and someone closed all the sliding doors.
Now I still dont know where all the water came from, since that
building was on the high end of the grounds, but suddenly there was a
river coming thru the building. It only took a minute for the water
to reach a depth of about 18 inches. It pushed the doors inward on
the upper end of the building and outward on the lower end as all the
water rushed by carrying all the trash from the ground with it. A few
of the wooden picnic tables were afloat, but people began to stand on
them and secure them. The band was on a 5 foot tall stage, so they
were dry except gusts of rain that managed to blow in the cracks by
the doors. The younger audience just played and danced in the water
and were splashing each other, while us older folks just stood on
tables or decided our shoes were dirty and needed a washing. No one
seemed too upset, of course many were drinking. I had not been
drinking and was cautious and watched the storm thru the cracks next
to the door. I also noticed that there were people lifting mic cables
and other wires that were hanging off the stage. That's when I
decided I should go make sure they were plugged into GFI outlets.
They were, so I figured everyone was safe. Thats when some official
came onto the stage and told the band they were going to cut the power
to the sound system. I also saw someone telling the food vendors to
While I so understand the reasoning behind this, and was more worried
about the food vendors who were not on GFI outlets, and had extension
cords all over the place to their cash registers, coolers, etc. But I
really dont think the band needed to be stopped as long as they were
plugged into GFI's. After all, that's the purpose of having them.
It was dissapointing, but was a night I will never forget. When
people were leaving, some found their cars in the lower lot with water
halfway to the roof, and covered with trash. I now suspect that the
storm sewers backed up above that building. Regardless the amount of
water coming off that roof, there was just too much water for simply
what came off the roof and accumulated on the asphalt outside.
The equipment was protected, but not necessarily what was plugged into the
euipment. A few years ago a pastor was killed during a baptism when he
grabbed the mic while in the baptismal. It is still a hazzard even if
plugged into a GFI.
On Sat, 18 Aug 2007 21:48:51 GMT, email@example.com (Doug Miller)
Yes, please do explain that. What you said makes no sense. ANYTHING
connected to the equipment which is plugged into that GFI is
protected, unless something in the system is plugged into a non-GFI
outlet. As long as the amplifier, mixer board, and any other
accessories are plugged into a GFI, anyone touching anything connected
to it is protected, whether that be a microphone, guitar, speaker
plug, cd player, or anything else. It's the same thing as plugging in
your power saw, drill, and an electric toaster into the same GFI.
They are all protected. The only problem that could occur is if
someone made an error when setting up the equipment and plugged some
item such as a non-gfi outlet, such as a separate guitar amp. If the
facility has ALL GFI outlets, then there is no reason there will be
any errors in connecting the stuff.
Oh, ya, if the GFI outlet goes under water, then there is a problem,
but since all of them were about 6 to 8 feet high and the water was 18
inches deep, it had a long way to go. On the other hand, I could see
lightning being a problem since a GFI probably wont help in the
instance of a lightning strike on a power line.
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