How much/what electrical danger performing on a covered stage during rain?

I've heard of performers being electrocuted by a mic. If someone is performing on a covered stage when it's raining - not necessarily with
lightning - or any other time for that matter - what should be checked/in place to make sure there's no danger to the performer(s)? (Other than not performing) Asked another way, what potentially COULD create a dangerous situation that some flunkies involved with stage operations/sound who don't know better might not check or just might fall between the cracks even with pros?
If someone doesn't like to just assume "it's all taken care of" and wants to be sure a loved one or friend who's performing is safe, who should they typically talk to and what questions should they ask and get clear answers to and/or what should they personally inspect?
Any other stage safety issues that experience has taught you to be aware of?
Thanks for all input
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Its quite dangerous. I think Spinal Tap lost a couple of drummers to various electrocution incidents.
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The metal screen on an SM58 or SM57 is grounded. The guys that touch the mic with the guitar strings all learned that if your lips hit the mic grill, the whap that hits you in the face is like a big blue ball of lightning, followed by little fireflys floating around for a few more minutes while you get your senses back. It pretty much ruins the whole set for me. What causes it is the stage backline is plugged into a breaker box running off phase A, the lights are on phase B, and the sound is on phase C, and they are all drawing different currents, so the neutral is floating about 20V above ground because of the unbalanced load. I can test a 9V battery by licking it, but 20V is like a mule kick.
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BobG wrote:

In a perfect world, all exposed metal should be tied to a non current-carrying grounding buss. Then the neutral can float wherever it wants.
I've worked on a few old time guitar amps. IIRC, some Fender amps included a 'hum' switch that coupled the amp chassis to one side or the other of the line. I forget the value of the cap., but if anyone recalls, it would be interesting to see what sort of currents might pass from the hot side of the line, through the cap., a human body (Mick Jagger's tongue?), and another similar cap. in a second amp to the neutral side.
Perhaps this is why all the British bands came over to the USA. 110V is more survivable than 220V. ;-)
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================================.047uf 600V as I recall.
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I agree Paul. My other post addresses what you bring up. Sorry I didn't see your post come in while I was typing mine. Interestingly the British Marshall amps and others to my knowledge had no grounding caps. Even back then the mains cords seemed to be grounded. I spent some time in Sweden in the late 60's and met a hospital engineer who absolutely could not believe how comparatively flimsy the US two prong plug was. He thought they should be outlawed!
David
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I felt that way the whole time I lived in Germany, and for several years after I returned to the US. A minimal US 3-prong isn't all that wonderful, either.
There has been some consciousness-raising among the designers of US standards plugs since then, but AFAIK it isn't manditory.
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I got one word for you: NEMA Twist-Locks. Available from 15A on up. They make the Europlug look cheap and flimsy! --scott
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wrote:>>Ah, you yer-a-peein' guys are just jealous that we've got such an

Maybe the europlug, but not the BS plug. That thing looks like it belongs on a clothes dryer, not small appliances.
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This is a sign you got a BIG problem, not just with an unbalanced load, but with poor neutral-ground bonding.
This is when it's time to walk offstage and cut your losses. --scott
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simply not true what causes it is a ground fault in the backline gear(99%) of the time and the other % would be other fauklt conditiopns there is nothing inherently unsafe in useing 3 phase power george

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What causes it is the stage backline is plugged into

I have not seen a show hooked up this way with a single 3 phase hook up we put the sound INCLUDING stage and back line on 1 leg and lights on the other two bigger venues have several 3 phase disconnects generall sound will take the smaller(200 amp or so) and lights will take the larger(4-600 amps) but still the backline is IME always on the same leg(s) as the sound george
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"BobG"

** That sounds like copping the full 120 AC on the lips.

** WTF has the neutral voltage got to do with it ?
Must be a VERY badly wired AC supply system for the safety ground on any circuit to be more than 1 volt compared from the ground on any other.
Needs to be condemned.
....... Phil
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Using a wireless MIC seems like an obvious solution.
Also, turn the volume down, to prolong your hearing for a few more years. And I've heard that spilled beer can be a slip hazard on stage, beware.
Dave.
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** All brass players are MORONS.

** When sound gear gets wet - it becomes lethal.
Some gear gets more lethal than others but YOU cannot which is which.
The ONLY safe move is to shut down all AC power and play acoustic.
....... Phil
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"HiC" wrote ...

More likely the equipment that the mic is connected to.
I would bet that a guitar player is much more likely to receive an electrical shock from an electric guitar amp than from a PA system (via the microphone). PA systems seem more likely to be properly grounded, etc. while guitar amps are a much more unknown quantity (particularly old "classic" ones.)

That is such a complex and open-ended question I would think it would be irresponsible to try to create some sort of comprehensive checklist. Especially for something that could potentially be life-threatening.
OTOH, if the opening act doesn't get electrocuted, would seem to be a better chance that the system is at least somewhat "safe". :-)

There are certainly ways of measuring leakage current, testing grounds, etc that play a role in ensuring that a system is operating safely. But it generally isn't something that a performer can do. You must rely on (and put your life into the hands of) the operators of the systems.

I wouldn't perrform in the rain or if there was any water on the stage, etc. It would appear that you are at the mercy of the producer and his choice of competent engineering for electrical / lighting / sound systems.
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Unless of course, they ARE the opening act.
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"HiC" wrote ...

Sometimes you're the bug and sometimes you're the windshield.
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For the most paranoid, see all those cables? They contain electricity.
It is the volts that hurt, but the amps that kill. A phantom powered microphone should not have much in the way of amperage, worst case, go wireless they simply don't have the power to begin with. the real concern really is every amplifier, every speaker, every speaker cable, it only takes half an amp to kill a human, and it is not unusual to have 20 amps running in a cable near the stage, again, go wireless, use in-ears they simply don't have the power to kill. Anything you can do to limit the number of cables on and around the stage, preferably to 0, limits the current available on stage. If you can get the number of cables to 0, just use wireless, and keep the transmitters out of the pool, I'd be willing to wear the wireless headset (IEMs in, even), holding the wireless mic and jump into a pool, at least I'd be willing to do it once (if someone else pays for it), it sounds like an expensive experiment to me. Joe
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It takes a lot less than that - .05A across the heart can kill you, and .1A across the heart will most likely cause destructive ventricular fibrillation.
--
Aaron

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