Mysterious Two-Fers

When we returned this September as usual, one of the main tasks that my lighting crew undertakes is to inspect all of the equipment left in the building over the summer for use by the company that uses the building to produce opera in June and July.   As we began to examine the 2-fer stock that had been returned to us, I was discouraged to discover that much of our inventory had been substituted for 2-fers of a widely different construction.  For those who do not already know, a 2-fer (or two-fer) consists of a male plug that is connected to a pair of female plugs (which usually branch out individually from the single male) thus permitting two (or more) fixtures to be plugged into the same circuit.

Image of 2-Fer Missing!

This is one of our "Production Advantage" 2-fers

The 2-fers that we had in stock were secured from Production Advantage over the past few years and consisted of male and female 3-pin stage plugs with 36” XLPE  12 gauge wire leads sheathed in a 2 ½” poly wiresleeve.  In construction they are very similar in construction to the leads on most lighting fixtures sold in the U.S.  (see photo above)

Meanwhile the leads of the substituted 2-fers were of a mixture of HTW, THW, XML and other less-well labeled wires.  While some of these wires indicated oil resistance, all wires were individually insulated and had no common insulation or sheath binding them together (though some were intermittently taped).

Missing Image of Replacement 2-Fer

The "Replacement" 2-Fers

I contacted the user and swapped the 2-fers back with the ones that they had inadvertently stored among their own supplies.

During this process, I discovered that neither the 2-fers that we secured from Production Advantage, nor the various miscellaneous 2-fers that were left to me probably meet the letter of the electrical code which in 2005 which indicates of adapters and two-fers that the conductor shall be listed extra hard or hard usage.

Have fun!  But be safe!

SJM

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