Running an event, or working at one, is exciting but exhausting at times. There’s so much you need to think about and do.
Hiring Electrical items for Your Event? Remember to Have a Lightbulb Moment
Published : 23rd August 2019
With the constant logistical background noise and potential issues around every corner, you need to work with the best people and kit to make sure all goes as smoothly as possible.
If you’re in the kitchen, you know how important timing is. Timing is essential to events and when it comes down to the food, it’s a deal-breaker!
We wanted to implant a little bright idea for you this week. This tip comes from a groundsman on site last weekend who gave us a lightbulb moment (after frustrating us a little). His pearl of wisdom is one that everyone working on site at events should know about.
But first, let’s set the scene…
“Your oven isn’t working…”
Still, we did the right thing and listened to the caller.
“Your oven isn’t working. We’ve tried it in several plugs. Nothing. My friend’s a sparky and he says it’s your unit.”
“Are you sure?” We reply, “All our kit is checked, cleaned, and PAT tested each and every time it goes out” we explain.
“Do you have enough power?” we asked, “It’s a 3.1 Kilowatts oven and you’ve plugged it into a 13amp plug. Are you running the electrics through an extension lead? Is your generator big enough?”
We wanted to try and work out what the scene was like there. What the power set-up was. Whether or not we could fix it remotely, as it’s far quicker that getting to site and assessing it.
“It’s your oven”, they replied abruptly, “We’ve tried it in several sockets and it still doesn’t work. it’s tripping out our electrics!”
“OK, we’ll bring a another one across to you now,” we replied.
When we get to site, we do what anyone would do in this situation and reset the oven.
We try the new oven.
Hang on! There’s very little chance that both ovens (that have both been checked and PAT tested) are faulty.
“Let’s check the sockets with something else”, we suggest.
“Do you have a stick blender we can plug in?”
(You know where this is going, don’t you?)
The stick blender, a working unit from their kit, doesn’t work either.
The oven is fine. The stick blender is fine. The socket isn’t.
So, it wasn’t even overloaded, it was just suppling poor quality power.
The problem quickly became someone else’s, and the maintenance man was called. He casually mentioned that they have a lot of problems with the electrics and that he’s always having to help people with them!
And then he said, after getting the power back on, “The ovens will probably trip again!”
Well… that’s not a great scenario!
But he did give us some useful insight that we wanted to share with you in this week’s blog…
“I always go around plugging in a small table lamp”
As he left the scene of the crime, he said, “I always plug in a small table lamp, to test the plugs”.
This small lamp should be in your kit. Plug in to every plug in your kitchen or working area and you’ll soon see whether or not you have power at all, let alone a low output.
You can’t get back lost time. Have a lightbulb moment instead!
A few more tips for you if you’re hiring ovens and other equipment that’s likely to pull more power than a table lamp:
- Before you get to site give your client the KW you need to run your kitchen.
- Put this clearly in your confirmation letter and send out a reminder two weeks before.
- Get your client to confirm you will have what you need.
- All our ovens have the KW required on the hire form
- Make sure you use a hire company where equipment is PAT tested each and every time it’s hired out. Like us!
Oh… and plugging them into an extension cable reduces the power. Don’t rely on that to give you the full power.
It sounds really obvious, but check the plug sockets the day before your event. Plug everything in and see if anything trips - and test the others with your lamp!
Normally it has nothing to do with the kit you’ve hired, and everything to do with the power (or lack of it) at the venue.
Need more help or some bright ideas? Here’s our very popular blog on power at events and what you need to think about, confirm, and have in place for a successful event.