wedding power
Ben Hunter

Ben Hunter

Popular Question: Can I use the house power supply?

This is probably one of the most regular topics which we find ourselves discussing with clients, and likely why you’ve clicked on the link. In this article we’re going to discuss the times when it is possible to run your power from the house, farm or other on site power supply. We’ll also cover when you really need to be looking to bring in a generator to supply your power. 

Key things to consider:

  • Distance from Power Source

    How far is the structure from the property power source? Once you start to go over 50m, on single phase household power, you'll begin to get voltage drop. Voltage drop will negatively effect sensitive electronic items.

  • Power requirement

    You'll need to know how much power you'll actually need. Check with all of your suppliers on their requirements.

  • House Power Supply

    You need to check how much power the household can handle (see more info on this below). Is there enough to cope with your event?

  • Watts not plugs

    Remember: 9 sockets with a little draw of 1kw on each is equivalent to 3 plugs with a larger 3kw draw on each. Ask suppliers for wattage of their equipment rather than plug sockets.

  • Cabling, plugs & sockets

    If you think you're able to run the power from your house, do you actually have the right cabling? Do you have RCD's in place to prevent ring mains tripping? In addition to the cable you'll require the correct sockets for the suppliers. Outdoor events require a 16amp cee-form blue connection which is outdoor & waterproof rated.

What could require power?

‘I think we are going to look at the option of running the event from the mains power supply’ 

Exploring the use of a household supply

If the venue is close enough, smaller events can most certainly explore the use of the mains household power supply.

A typical house will have  two ring mains (upstairs & downstairs) plus an outdoor / garage circuit. You would need to spread the load across each of these, to avoid overloading one circuit.

How do you know how much power you can use from the house? 

Initially, we’d recommend looking at your main fuse board (aka distribution panel) in your property. The ring mains will have circuit breaker with a power amp rating on them. This is the level at which they’ll trip if you overload the circuit. You need to bear in mind that this is the maximum and there will already be a degree of load on these from the property (during the event you may need to prevent use of high powered items). If you’re not sure please do ask an electrician to assist. 

Once you know how much power you need…

….you can work out if it’s possible to distribute this across the power supply available on the house ring mains. 

Residual Current Devices (RCD)

We strongly recommend in all instances of using power from a house (outbuilding, shed, or garage) that a RCD is used. These are life-saving devices which detect an imbalance between live and neutral on the wiring and will shut down the circuit in 0.03 of a second. An example would be if water were to penetrate the cabling, the marquee frame were to touch a live cable or a human were to touch an exposed cable. 

Household Power
Example

Circuits in the property:

  • Upstairs power ring mains with 32amps
  • Downstairs power ring main with 32amps
  • Garage supply with 16amps
  • Bear in mind these circuits do not have the full capacity available – they are already partly used by equipment already in the property.

Require:

  • Marquee (1 x 16amp plug / 2kw / 8amps)
  • DJ or Band (2 x 13amp plugs / 5kw / 21amps)
  • Outdoor lighting (1 x 16amp plug / 1kw / 4amps)
  • Total: 8kw, which equated to around 33amps

Solution:

The above is likely possible but you need to look at spreading the load out across the house. You can’t simply power all of these off one extension lead from one ring main. It’ll be too much and the circuit breaker fuse will keep tripping. 

  • Consider running one extension lead from the upstairs ring main for the marquee and outdoor lighting. 
  • A second extension lead from the downstairs ringmain power supply for the band.
  • A third extension lead from the garage for a second power feed to band. 

Not enough power?

Sometimes you don’t have the capacity on the circuits, cabling available or simple want everything taking care of – this is when a generator will be required.


Need a generator?

Often is the case that the household supply just isn’t close enough or your suppliers are asking for more than you have available.

We would typically say that once you have more than around 30 guests or some kind of catering which requires power, you’re likely to require a generator.

Generator sizes vary depending on power demand for your event – we offer 20kva & 40kva ultra silent generators specifically designed for the events industry. 

Grizzly Bear Events is here to help. We know and completely understand that most clients have never booked a generator before. We keep the booking process simple:

  1. Find out what you need to power
  2. Recommend the best size generator
  3. Offer an all inclusive package including ultra silent generator, fuel, delivery, cabling installation plus insurance for the equipment.

Click here to go to our page on generator prices, specs and some additional photos

We’d hope you would consider booking with us, but we have also written this handy article about how to compare generator quotes.

power from ultra silent generator rental

Once booked - a few requests and suggestions:

  • Ask suppliers for their power ASAP

    Come June/July when we're asking for power requirements your suppliers will be super busy with other clients. They have time in March/April to get these kind of things addressed.

  • Send us a venue sketch

    A venue sketch of where you would like all of the power sockets to be located. It can be very rough and hand-drawn. If you don't know what you need, ask your suppliers before the wedding season starts. This is because, they have more office time and will come back with a more accurate answer.

  • Tell us if you need more power than planned

    Let us know if you're adding anything which you think is going to require lots of power - such as a new caterer, bouncy castle or heater

  • Get suppliers in as early as possible

    With 2021 set to be very busy, if you have access to the site earlier in the week let the suppliers know. It'll also mean they're in situ and have equipment ready to be plugged in - rather than us taking an educated guess on locations.

  • Consider hiring on the day event coordination

    If you have lots of suppliers arriving on the day, they’ll be looking for someone to meet and ask questions to. This where Grizzly Bear Events' discrete on-the-day event coordination comes in useful. We take this hassle away from your friends and family.

Further useful reading:

Ring mains – indended for education but a useful and informative site

RCD’s – what you need to know about residual current devices

Equipment you can’t forget for your garden wedding – a blog written by us, about wedding equipment

Please note: The above article is inteded as guidance. Therefore, Grizzly Bear Events Ltd, nor the author, accepts any liability for it’s accuracy. 

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Our range of equipment for hire:

Grizzly Bear Events Generator hire

Generators

Generators are essential to keep the power running to your outdoor party. All of our generators are ultra-silent so you won't hear that buzz

Grizzly Bear events chillers for hire

Chillers

Have the space to keep everything cold on site. We have refrigerated trailers that we deliver and install for you at your location.

Heaters

Keep your guests warm through the night (or day) with our heaters. Alternatively, keep everyone cool by using them as fans

Grizzly Bear Events Lighting for hire

Lighting

Light up the dark! Nothing says a party quite like twinkly lights, we rent out festoon lighting to make your party a festival