Discuss Help needed for buying the right 16a plug please! in the Electrical Tools and Products area at ElectriciansForums.net

toby lee

New EF Member
Messages
4
Location
leeds
Hello,

I'm putting a PA system in a pub and the mains trips easily so I need to use the blue 16a wall socket. Last time I bought a 13a socket-to-16a plug but it was slightly too small and didn't fit - the end of the plug is 41 mm in diameter, and the socket diameter of the inner ring where the plastic of the plug is supposed to go into is 42 mm.

I'm struggling to find the right plug to buy because manufacturers don't seem to list any info about plug sizes. Would be hugely appreciated if someone could tell me what to look out for, or to point me in the direction of the right 13a socket-16a plug to buy.
 

Pete999

Forum Mentor
Messages
21,801
Location
Northampton
Hello,

I'm putting a PA system in a pub and the mains trips easily so I need to use the blue 16a wall socket. Last time I bought a 13a socket-to-16a plug but it was slightly too small and didn't fit - the end of the plug is 41 mm in diameter, and the socket diameter of the inner ring where the plastic of the plug is supposed to go into is 42 mm.

I'm struggling to find the right plug to buy because manufacturers don't seem to list any info about plug sizes. Would be hugely appreciated if someone could tell me what to look out for, or to point me in the direction of the right 13a socket-16a plug to buy.
Try looking at some of the Electrical product Catalogues for details, I used a lot of MK stuff and the info was good never caused me any problems.
 

Pete999

Forum Mentor
Messages
21,801
Location
Northampton
Why is the 'mains tripping easily'....and what's to say it won't using the 16amp socket.
I'll suggest getting someone qualified to investigate.
Agree get a n Electrician in to investigate the problem, messing with it yourself could be inherently dangerous.
 

Jim_e_Jib

Regular EF Member
Messages
201
Location
Devon
Hello,

I'm putting a PA system in a pub and the mains trips easily so I need to use the blue 16a wall socket. Last time I bought a 13a socket-to-16a plug but it was slightly too small and didn't fit - the end of the plug is 41 mm in diameter, and the socket diameter of the inner ring where the plastic of the plug is supposed to go into is 42 mm.

I'm struggling to find the right plug to buy because manufacturers don't seem to list any info about plug sizes. Would be hugely appreciated if someone could tell me what to look out for, or to point me in the direction of the right 13a socket-16a plug to buy.
As others have said, you need to find out what is tripping and why. It could be a fault with the circuit or your equipment. What power output is your PA system? If it's many Kilowatts, running multiple high power amps from a 13A plug may not be the best setup.
 

shaun1

Regular EF Member
Messages
248
Location
United Kingdom
I'm assuming the outlet os a 16A single phase socket (standard for this kind of thing). If you are buying a blue (200-250v) 2P + E 6H 16A plug then it should be compatable. They are a standard size for each current rating.

With regards to tripping it may be that there is a socket circuit designed for cleaning Power, or loaded up by other devices, so the 16A socket is a dedicated stahe supply. But always worth checking.
 

shaun1

Regular EF Member
Messages
248
Location
United Kingdom
Is this existing 16A that has been installed for this purpose? I have in the past installed a socket for this purpose that will turn off via a fire alarm relay
They are also often linked to a sound level meter in places where noise outside the venue is an issue. So the PA will shut ofd if its too loud.
 

Ned Gibbons

EF Member
Messages
11
Location
Glos
This could well be an issue with one of the amps. Get an electrician to test the amount of inrush current when they switch on.
 

Wilko

Electrician's Arms
Messages
5,385
Location
Berkshire
Hi - just reading the original post with first coffee of the day - are you sure it's 16A and not maybe 32A?
Following @Pete999 idea - here's some specs :
https://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Technical/DataSheets/MK/MK_COMMANDO_Tech.pdf

Just note that many of these don't have RCD protection. And imagining the worst, you've been directed to use an unprotected outlet with equipment that's known to be causing trips... As others have stated, this needs properly sorting.
 

shaun1

Regular EF Member
Messages
248
Location
United Kingdom
A rack full of amps will have a high start up in rush current from the power supplies in them. Measuring that isnt really something you can do with standard equipmemt as it will last for a few cycles. The way to avoid trips would be to power them on one at a time instead of just plugging the whole rack in. All the equipment should of course be tested regularly, which for this type of equipment is often monthly or even eveey time it is re prepped foe a new hire.

If the outlet is 32A you will probably need a small distro box to give you some protected 16a or 13a (or even powercon and IEC). You can get rack mountable power strips as well
 
OP
T

toby lee

New EF Member
Messages
4
Location
leeds
Thanks for the responses. It seems like the plug is 32a then if a 16a plug won't fit. It's not my pub and I've just been hired to do the PA system so not within my power to get an electrician in. The system is about 4000 watts RMS. So my best course of action would be to get/hire a distro?
 

davesparks

Forum Mentor
Messages
12,803
Location
guildford
Thanks for the responses. It seems like the plug is 32a then if a 16a plug won't fit. It's not my pub and I've just been hired to do the PA system so not within my power to get an electrician in. The system is about 4000 watts RMS. So my best course of action would be to get/hire a distro?
If you read the label on the socket it will tell you what type and rating it is.

What do you mean by 'do' the PA system? Is this a permanent/ semi permanent installation?
 

Pete999

Forum Mentor
Messages
21,801
Location
Northampton
Thanks for the responses. It seems like the plug is 32a then if a 16a plug won't fit. It's not my pub and I've just been hired to do the PA system so not within my power to get an electrician in. The system is about 4000 watts RMS. So my best course of action would be to get/hire a distro?
"If you have been "hired to do the PA system" then I would have thought it your responsibility to find and secure the correct equipment, after all that's what he is paying for.
 
OP
T

toby lee

New EF Member
Messages
4
Location
leeds
A promoter is putting on a one-off event in this pub and has hired my speakers for the night. I'm trying to find and secure the correct equipment - that's literally why I made this thread
 

davesparks

Forum Mentor
Messages
12,803
Location
guildford
A promoter is putting on a one-off event in this pub and has hired my speakers for the night. I'm trying to find and secure the correct equipment - that's literally why I made this thread
Right, that makes a bit more sense now, it's normal to assume that anyone posting on this forum about a job is carrying out a permanent installation.
 

davesparks

Forum Mentor
Messages
12,803
Location
guildford
A promoter is putting on a one-off event in this pub and has hired my speakers for the night. I'm trying to find and secure the correct equipment - that's literally why I made this thread
Right, that makes a bit more sense now, it's normal to assume that anyone posting on this forum about a job is carrying out a permanent installation.
 
OP
T

toby lee

New EF Member
Messages
4
Location
leeds
my bad, should have specified. So I need to hire/get a 32a to 13a distro, or will a 32a to 16a distro and 16a-13a converter cables do?
 

davesparks

Forum Mentor
Messages
12,803
Location
guildford
my bad, should have specified. So I need to hire/get a 32a to 13a distro, or will a 32a to 16a distro and 16a-13a converter cables do?
If you're breaking it down to 13A I don't understand the need for any distro if there are 13A outlets available.
If your equipment is causing something to trip then plugging it in via a distro will only serve to cause the protective devices in the distro to trip.

You need to find out what is tripping and why, it could be a sign that there is a dangerous fault.

When was your equipment last properly tested and what were the test results?
 

Pete999

Forum Mentor
Messages
21,801
Location
Northampton
A promoter is putting on a one-off event in this pub and has hired my speakers for the night. I'm trying to find and secure the correct equipment - that's literally why I made this thread
Well he has hired your speakers, down to him to wire it up safely Toby, end of, your part is done.
 

Pete999

Forum Mentor
Messages
21,801
Location
Northampton
If you're breaking it down to 13A I don't understand the need for any distro if there are 13A outlets available.
If your equipment is causing something to trip then plugging it in via a distro will only serve to cause the protective devices in the distro to trip.

You need to find out what is tripping and why, it could be a sign that there is a dangerous fault.

When was your equipment last properly tested and what were the test results?
Yes, was the equipment subject to ISITEE (PATesting)
 

davesparks

Forum Mentor
Messages
12,803
Location
guildford
Well he has hired your speakers, down to him to wire it up safely Toby, end of, your part is done.
Not necessarily, a lot of small hires like this will include deliver, setup, operation, pack up etc etc rather than being a straightforward hire or equipment.
 

TonyMitchell

Electrician's Arms
Messages
585
Location
Berkshire, UK
point me in the direction of the right 13a socket-16a plug to buy.
Not wanting to be pedantic, but you mean "16A plug to 13A socket." Always refer to an assembly in the direction the line current flows. When people refer to something "to plug", if they really mean this, it may be extremely dangerous.

What power output is your PA system? If it's many Kilowatts, running multiple high power amps from a 13A plug may not be the best setup.
Indeed, although it is the power consumption that is most relevant here. Power amplifiers, especially in the low budget disco/pub band category, often sport ridiculous specifications, (generally "peak power" sustainable for a fraction of a second) which are completely meaningless and bear little correlation to their 230V current draw.

It seems like the plug is 32a then if a 16a plug won't fit. It's not my pub and I've just been hired to do the PA system so not within my power to get an electrician in. The system is about 4000 watts RMS. So my best course of action would be to get/hire a distro?
I guessed it would be 32A, as these are fairly common in entertainment venues, versus 16A being relatively uncommon indoors, unless installed for the purpose of powering installed equipment. A 16A socket is not much more useful indoors to a PA provider, than a 13A.

As your system is rated 4000WRMS, a single 13A socket will be sufficient, you really don't need to complicate things.

You should establish if the 13A socket/s you are using at the venue trip just with YOUR equipment (which would suggest the issue lies with your gear, or do the venue staff know there is a problem with them - for example, do the cleaners have problems using them? If a known venue issue, they need to get fixed and I would suggest the least you do is avoid using circuit/s with known problems.

Yes, was the equipment subject to ISITEE (PATesting)
As Pete says, this is important. Irrespective of whether you are dry hiring, offering a deliver & collect, or a managed service, you should be able to prove due diligence in respect of maintaining your own equipment in a safe condition. It is likely your insurer will insist on proof of ISITEE, many venues likewise. Inspection & testing may also identify electrical issues with your equipment.
 

Jim_e_Jib

Regular EF Member
Messages
201
Location
Devon
Indeed, although it is the power consumption that is most relevant here. Power amplifiers, especially in the low budget disco/pub band category, often sport ridiculous specifications, (generally "peak power" sustainable for a fraction of a second) which are completely meaningless and bear little correlation to their 230V current draw.
Agreed but I figured the OP was more likely to know to the output power than the input requirements. As it turned out, the answer of 4000W RMS suggested a higher end rig and meant you could give a useful suggestion of how best to connect up.
 

TonyMitchell

Electrician's Arms
Messages
585
Location
Berkshire, UK
As it turned out, the answer of 4000W RMS suggested a higher end rig and meant you could give a useful suggestion of how best to connect up.
Sorry Jim, I have to disagree with you on this point. For example, this £250 amplifier, which is very popular within disco/band circles carries a 4000W badge, however is typically found driving two separate channels of audio with transducers rated at 4Ω or 8Ω, and drawing no more than 3-4A.

I've lost count of the times I've provided stage power for DJs and bands that bring their own PAs to events, often consisting of 2 or 3 of the type of amplifier I've linked to above, all happily running together through their mandatory off-white supermarket branded 4-way block. I'll meter their circuit around 10A-11A... then listen to said DJ or bassist's drivel about their "awesome 20k sound system"...

A power rating alone absolutely does not suggest a rig is high end. In fact the opposite is far more true. A professional loudspeaker cabinet with similar driver arrangement may be 15dB more efficient than it's "disco" equivalent. Compare a budget cabinet rated at 95dB/1W/1m with a high end box rated at 105dB/1W/1m. All things being even, the budget box needs 4,096W to play to 126dB, whereas the professional cabinet only needs 128W... and that's leaving aside thermal compression, which would make the gulf even greater.
 

Jim_e_Jib

Regular EF Member
Messages
201
Location
Devon
Sorry Jim, I have to disagree with you on this point. For example, this £250 amplifier, which is very popular within disco/band circles carries a 4000W badge, however is typically found driving two separate channels of audio with transducers rated at 4Ω or 8Ω, and drawing no more than 3-4A.

I've lost count of the times I've provided stage power for DJs and bands that bring their own PAs to events, often consisting of 2 or 3 of the type of amplifier I've linked to above, all happily running together through their mandatory off-white supermarket branded 4-way block. I'll meter their circuit around 10A-11A... then listen to said DJ or bassist's drivel about their "awesome 20k sound system"...

A power rating alone absolutely does not suggest a rig is high end. In fact the opposite is far more true. A professional loudspeaker cabinet with similar driver arrangement may be 15dB more efficient than it's "disco" equivalent. Compare a budget cabinet rated at 95dB/1W/1m with a high end box rated at 105dB/1W/1m. All things being even, the budget box needs 4,096W to play to 126dB, whereas the professional cabinet only needs 128W... and that's leaving aside thermal compression, which would make the gulf even greater.
All fair points. I'm making assumptions about the kit based on very little info. At least RMS power was quoted and not some silly peak power figure like the Behringer amp.
 

Pete999

Forum Mentor
Messages
21,801
Location
Northampton
Hello,

I'm putting a PA system in a pub and the mains trips easily so I need to use the blue 16a wall socket. Last time I bought a 13a socket-to-16a plug but it was slightly too small and didn't fit - the end of the plug is 41 mm in diameter, and the socket diameter of the inner ring where the plastic of the plug is supposed to go into is 42 mm.

I'm struggling to find the right plug to buy because manufacturers don't seem to list any info about plug sizes. Would be hugely appreciated if someone could tell me what to look out for, or to point me in the direction of the right 13a socket-16a plug to buy.
Bought that new plug yet Toby?
 

EalingBadger

Regular EF Member
Messages
106
Location
Ealing, London
If the system is truly 4K RMS (and some are despite the generally valid comments from others above about the highly imaginative specs suggested by some manufacturers) then a single 13A socket will most definitely not be sufficient.

I run my Turbosound rig (4.5K FOH + 1.5K of on-stage monitoring) off a 32A circuit because it needs it.

It only needs it 1% of the time, but when it needs it then it truly needs it.

For the vast majority of the time (death metal bands not withstanding!) PA systems only draw a tiny fraction of the current implied by their maximum RMS power ratings but the last thing you want is for the circuit breaker to pop at the crescendos.
 

EalingBadger

Regular EF Member
Messages
106
Location
Ealing, London
Sorry Jim, I have to disagree with you on this point. For example, this £250 amplifier, which is very popular within disco/band circles carries a 4000W badge, however is typically found driving two separate channels of audio with transducers rated at 4Ω or 8Ω, and drawing no more than 3-4A.

I've lost count of the times I've provided stage power for DJs and bands that bring their own PAs to events, often consisting of 2 or 3 of the type of amplifier I've linked to above, all happily running together through their mandatory off-white supermarket branded 4-way block. I'll meter their circuit around 10A-11A... then listen to said DJ or bassist's drivel about their "awesome 20k sound system"...

A power rating alone absolutely does not suggest a rig is high end. In fact the opposite is far more true. A professional loudspeaker cabinet with similar driver arrangement may be 15dB more efficient than it's "disco" equivalent. Compare a budget cabinet rated at 95dB/1W/1m with a high end box rated at 105dB/1W/1m. All things being even, the budget box needs 4,096W to play to 126dB, whereas the professional cabinet only needs 128W... and that's leaving aside thermal compression, which would make the gulf even greater.
Never mind a so-called 4,000W amp, back in 2011 I repeatedly challenged Behringer to justify how they manage to supply 3,000W "RMS" via a 13A fuse given that no amplifier is ever 100% efficient.

Naturally, I received no coherent reply and eventually they just stopped responding altogether.

First level support clearly didn't have a clue about the point I was trying to make so I insisted that they pass it to engineering for an answer. Not surprisingly, "engineering" declined to respond.
 

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