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Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 5
New Member
Hi everyone! My dad is an electrician. 30 years at GM. He passed his strippers(wire) down to me smile


I am on the board of a very small, non-profit theater in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

When the theater was first starting, someone told them they needed this 200amp company switch. They didn't. They never used it. The space was only just over 1000square feet with 50 seats.

About a year ago, they moved locations and I told them to hire an electrician so they could take the company switch and try to sell it.

Soooo, does anyone have any direction I could give them for equipment like this?

Thanks for ANY and all help!

I've loved the pictures of sketchy wiring. I look forward to finding some "good" ones too.

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,335
Hi Joe, Welcome to the board. I am rather familiar with Grand Rapids. Spent time there and in the metro area. I lived in Ottawa County for 31 years before moving to Alaska. What a mess there today.

I have a few more questions. Like:

Who owns the building the switch is in?

If own by another party, what is the agreement when the switch was installed?

What is the estimated value of the switch?

What is the future plan for the building?

Will it be used in the new theater?

"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 5
New Member
Ottawa County to Alaska! Nice! And yeah...yesterday was rough. I ended up knowing the people who were taken hostage but at least, they, got out alright.

Some answers-

The electrician already pulled the switch. I'm looking at it now smile

I think that new, it was around $3500.

And the new space is similarly small so they really have no need for that kind of power. It's an all-volunteer non-profit so what they really the money if they can broker a deal with a contractor parts place.

Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
OK, I have to ask: What is a company switch?


"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,350
Likes: 7
I would venture that it's a 200 amp disconnect that could be used for theatre lighting/power by a visiting production company. As opposed to 'house' electric, which is usually 'fixed' items,

Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 5
New Member
Yeah, yeah john.
I added a picture of it in my file manager...wherever that is! smile

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company switch.jpg
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 5
New Member
Oh! It showed up! Cool.

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 368
Yours looks like the cam loc style of connection. There are some that are bare lug connection as well.

If I remember properly there is a member of the board that does stage and film lighting. If he sees this posting maybe he can expand on what can be done with the panel to expand its usefulness to your group.

If nothing else having it re-installed may make your venue more rentable for touring groups who have cam loc / lug connector power requirements.

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 368
Here is a posting from 2009 that gives some ideas of what can be done with the company switch.

Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 404
Is the new space under your company's ownership/management? Since you've already spent the money on the switch, it would make more sense to me to port it over to the new space due to the cost of purchasing another one later. Just make sure you have an adequate supply; most installed company switches I've seen have their own dedicated transformer, separate from other subpanels, dimmer racks and the like.

Without knowing about the size and configuration of the new space and your company, I can't really speak to a "need" for a company switch. If there is any possibility of a guest group coming in with their own equipment, having the ability to give them their own power can make things go much smoother. Renting a small distro to use with your company switch can save you time and cabling when a company comes in asking for 10 dedicated 20A circuits. Make sure that you put it in your tech info package (if you have one) and specify its capacity and location.

At the very least, think of it as a safer alternative to having Joe-Bob from some po-dunk company come through and attach jumper cables to your main panel's buss bars to draw power for his ho-made lighting rig. Not that you'd let Joe-Bob bring his kludgeboxes into your house, but at least there would be protection in place.

But, if you're still interested in getting rid of it I can suggest a few places where people in the industry might be interested in it. Be sure to check their rules about commercial posts; you may just want to say that you have one looking for a new home, and work out the money part in private.

Stagecraft Mailing List:
ControlBooth Forum:

Or, you could always try your luck on eBay. There's a surprising amount of gear there, but most of it is in pretty sad shape. From the photo, your switch looks pretty new--I should hope so if it's never been used.

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