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#143348 - 07/16/05 02:24 AM "Nightmares Are Us"
kiwi Offline

Registered: 12/04/04
Posts: 347
Loc: christchurch new zealand
All sparkies have had days when things have turned to custard, turned into a nightmare, sh*t hits the fan, goes HORRIBLY wrong, turns pear-shaped etc. And have horror stories that are painful to recall but oddly fascinating.

I'd like to invite anyone to relive their "Day-mare", and I'll start off by recounting one of mine:

Two weeks after starting a job as "Chief Maintenance Electrician" at a 150 room resort on an island called Rarotonga, there was a hurricane and subsequent sea surge which meant ankle-deep sea water through the whole complex at 4.00am.

I then discovered that my predecessor had used his Duspols ( voltage testers with sharp probes ) to poke holes through the insulation of submain cables in covered underground ducts to the rooms. I then discovered that he had been replacing the HRC fuse-links for these cables with motor rated fuse-links.

Two 18 hour shifts later ( epoxy joins in water-filled trenches ) I finally had the situation under control and the guests could return to their rooms. It cost the Resort Owner NZ$15,000 a day for the evacuations and he was breathing down my neck the whole time. He was also large and agressive.

Ain't it funny how the bad days stick out in your memory more than the good days ?

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#143349 - 07/16/05 03:32 AM Re: "Nightmares Are Us"
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8552
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Good call there kiwi,
And I agree, it is funny how the bad things seem to stick in your mind.
Mind you, at the time, I was not laughing.
Not long after I came out of my time as a Line-Mechanic here, I was sent out on regular Faults duties, that in itself wasn't a problem.
That was until one night, half of the town went out on a fault.
I was sent to the North end of town to reset an Air-Circuit Breaker and resetting that turned all of the street lights and a lot of other stuff back on.
I went back home thinking good of myself.
I'd just got back into bed when the phone rang to go and reset the ACB at the other end of town and I thought this is pretty strange.
Once I got to the other end of town there was a Circuit Breaker covered in flames and burning well.
I headed back to the other end of town and pulled the ACB there, which again knocked out
most of the power in the town.
I Meggered the cable and worked out that there was a dead short in it between R and B phases.
This is a 33kV line that uses a Lead Sheathed Cambric Insulated paper, Copper Cable.
Between the North and South ends of the Town there is a Small Sub-Station, that provides Isolation only, no Transformers.
I went to have a look at that and sure enough, some idiot had thrown a piece of steel through the window and shorted out 2 of the busbars.
We got rid of that Sub after that.
Considering that there is a very lively Irish Bar over the road from the old Sub, no-one saw a thing, considering that 33kV would cause a flash and a half!.
BTW, If you want a good feed first thing in the morning, go to an Irish Cafe, since I've been on Night shift, Kelly's Bar has been a Godsend!.
They have a strange potato thing, but by God does it taste good!.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#143350 - 07/16/05 09:08 AM Re: "Nightmares Are Us"
Alan Belson Offline

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 1801
Loc: Mayenne N. France
Would that be a 'Limerick Surprise'? A 3-gallon bucket of Guinness with a small (optional) potato-crisp floated delicately on the head.
Wood work but can't!

#143351 - 07/16/05 08:02 PM Re: "Nightmares Are Us"
classicsat Offline

Registered: 11/23/02
Posts: 449
Sure beats why I found out the bale conveyer did'n work one mid August afternoon a couple years back.

Checked connections, good.
Checked lights in barn, out
Checked in house (same service); Out.
Checked shop (on same trasnformer); Out
Checked other house (different transformer, same supply phase); Out
Turned on battery operated radio, found power outage was not my fault, and larger than anybody could realize.


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