Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Electricity and water

So, I got asked the same question about yesterday’s post twice in the comments and three times via email.

The answer is no.

No, I’m not concerned when I’m in the water with lights because the lights we put in the water are designed to operate safely while submerged – they’ve got special housings (to keep the actual light dry), waterproof connections on the cables (because the cable itself -any type of cable – is waterproof. It’s the connections where one piece of cable joins the next which are not), and they’re plugged into GFCIs (if you have a newer house, those outlets in your kitchen and bathroom with the little red and black buttons are GFCIs – ours are just a bit larger than yours, but it’s basically the same thing).

Also, when we’re wrapping a location, there’s no power to the lights – the generator goes with first unit, so by the time the wrap crew comes along, even if there were a normal light in the pool (like, say, a 10k thrown into the deep end by an angry DP), I still wouldn’t get shocked.

But GFCIs, hydropars and the like are fairly new. In the old days, they just took a bare bulb, coated the connector with epoxy so it wouldn’t shock anyone, dropped it in the water and turned it on (the glass on the bulb doesn’t break if you submerge it before you turn it on).

Like this:

Mystery Light

Of course, back when this thing was in regular use they were using DC power, which is much less likely to kill you than AC power (there’s a technical explanation why, but I’ve got to get to bed – I have to be up at 4:30 am again).

Oh, and here’s that link again:

Hydroflex

Filed under: Work

2 Responses

  1. Meg says:

    Peggy’s not afraid of mixing electricity and water. That’s why SHE is the electrician, and -I- am not. I still freak a little when changing a switchplate, even if I know the juice is off.

  2. Sarah Atwood says:

    Thanks for that explanation. That was really interesting.

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