Recording Artist Advocate: What did you just plug in to?

Playing a different club or event every night you will plug your cord into a lot of strange outlets. Don't trust that they are safe.

I got a call to bring PA out for a private party almost an hour from home. I got there early and the homeowner was switching out a plug where an RV had been parked. They had built a stage and gone to Home Depot for a plug that turned that large outlet into 3 regular plugs.

When I plugged the power distribution in, it sounded like a welder, and smoke billowed out of the rack. I traced the line back and saw it was a double breaker; 220, or is it called 230 now? 

I turned off the breaker and taped over the receptacle to keep the band from plugging in there. We ran extension cords to the house and were able to do the show without a hitch. Fortunately the distro took the hit and protected the gear.

Lesson learned. Now I bring a tester - 2 actually. One tells you if the power 110, 220, or even higher. The second one looks like a plug with no cord to let you know if the outlet is wired correctly as far as plus, minus, and ground. I replaced the varistors in the power distributor and it works perfectly.

Be careful where you plug in your cord. Get a tester. Your gear is too valuable to damage.

Oh, and yes - I get that "where you plug your cord" sounds like something else. Be careful about that too.