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#30849 - 10/29/03 08:10 PM Did I do that ?!?
arseegee Offline

Registered: 01/28/02
Posts: 321
Loc: Statesboro, GA USA
Had a good chuckle this morning. I had a couple of my guys at a shopping center that we are doing, checking out a wall pack that wasnt coming on.

I was leaving another job headed that way when my guy called me and said "I just took the joint loose on the wall pack and and we lost power at the job".

I said "WHAT"? He replied "I swear, the second i busted the joint, the whole place (7 stores under construction) shut off. And now I got ten subs raising h*ll at me to turn it back on".

I assured him that taking a 20A joint loose didnt shut down a 15,000 sqft shopping center with 2000A 3ph feed.

I pulled up and could see my guy was stressed. I called dispatch at the POCO and they told me they were swapping primaries down the line and it should be back up within a few minutes.

I should have messed with the guy and told him he just started a rolling blackout but he had been through enough. The look on his face was priceless.

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#30850 - 10/30/03 01:59 AM Re: Did I do that ?!?
Scott35 Offline

Broom Pusher and

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 2724
Loc: Anaheim, CA. USA
Isn't it odd how things like this become so coincidental?
Having personally witnessed, sent to shoot trouble for, and received similar "Whaddaheck Has Happened!!!" phone calls from frantic persons for situations which just don't make a bit of sense; my take on the phenomena is that it must be some type of balancing of "Murphy's Law" (joke about the phenomena issue!)

One really funny scenario happened when an extension cord was damaged from a falling piece of EMT, and a PoCo Vaulted Transformer blew out at the same time.
It was funny for maybe an hour - because the oddity of the extension cord damage and something killing power for the entire complex was instantanious!
Then the stupidity set in!!!... now things are not funny! It went from a silly coincidential thing, to a finger pointing tirade!

Sure made some jokes over this when finding out whaddaheck happened, but until then, major mind melt!

Man, there was all kinds of flack shot at us from the Property Management firm, because of this scenario - as they thought we were replacing a PoCo owned 300 KVA Transformer -OURSELVES-, and killed power for the entire shopping center (large stripmall center with supermarket, restaurants, auto center, and lots of individual tenant spaces).

The xformer was going to be upgraded by SCE on a weekend, and notices of temp power disruption were given to all tenants.

The PM clowns just -ASS-umed we took it upon ourselves to willy-nilly replace the xformer when we felt like it! They knew it was being upgraded, but it was scheduled for a Sunday, two weeks away!

To punish us for the afore mentioned suspected willy-nilly transformer replacement without proper notice, they sent the GC a "Bill" for something like $2,500, and a coresponding similar "Bill" to the Client we were doing the T.I for.

Faxes, loss of time, threats, PMs unwilling to listen, numerous phone calls, extreme involvement by the Client (Large Banking Firm in the Western U.S.) - all due to something we had no control over or responsibility for.

After the PoCo's Customer Relations division staff were FINALLY able to explain whaddaheck happened, we get a fax stating the scenario has been determined to be the PoCo's fault!

PM firm had to formally apologize to everyone they blasted, plus faced possible legal actions for the slanderous and threatening accusations made!

I'll never forget that whole "Twilight Zone" experience!
It's a great "What Can Happen" type story!

Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

#30851 - 10/30/03 02:16 AM Re: Did I do that ?!?
gunther Offline

Registered: 09/17/03
Posts: 59
I know the feeling. Got a frantic call from the super on a job I had completed. He said he plugged in a vacuum cleaner in an outlet in the hallway and lost power to half the building. Made a mad dash over there all the time thinking what in the world it could be. Turned out the power company had lost a phase coming into the building from about a block away. I still kid him about knocking out the power with his vacuum cleaner.
I heard a story about the famous blackout in NYC back in the sixties (I think). A young boy was walking down the street and he took his stick and hit a power pole and just at that instant the lights started going out. He ran home thinking he had done it.

#30852 - 10/30/03 02:19 AM Re: Did I do that ?!?
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
The annoying part is when something coincidental happens right as you close a circuit breaker or throw a switch with the customer watching.

He then blames you, and goes off thinking you don't know what you're doing!

#30853 - 10/30/03 04:49 AM Re: Did I do that ?!?
electure Offline


Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4229
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
I've posted this one before. My "personal worst":
I received a call upon my return to the office from a customer that wanted to know "What I'd done", as they'd lost power to a large section of their office.

I had been on a job walk in an adjacent building, and had taken a short cut through the customer's parking lot. They spotted my truck, and when they had trouble afterwards, figured that I must have been the culprit...S

(I've also turned on water valves, etc. in places I've been working when coffeemakers and the like have not worked "It must be that electrician in the other end of the building")

#30854 - 10/30/03 07:57 AM Re: Did I do that ?!?
Jim M Offline

Registered: 08/10/01
Posts: 453
Loc: Chestertown, MD, USA
A few years ago I added LV lighting to my accountants home theater screen.

Later that night he calls and said that he had no power in the house. So I go over to check, he didn't say his neighbor was out also. The POCO is called and a trouble truck shows up. It turns out the XFMR was shot. The trouble guy blamed those last 300 watts I added to pushing the transformer over the top.

#30855 - 10/30/03 07:34 PM Re: Did I do that ?!?
jlhmaint Offline

Registered: 05/25/02
Posts: 208
Loc: Fredericktown, OH, U.S.A
Those can be funny. My fellow maint buddy's picked on me for a long time about similar situation. I hadn't been working there more than 2months and we were changing out all the overhead lights in the factory 2 or three a week. well it was my week so i shut down one row of lights go up check voltage and the boss and the guys standing down on the floor watching me and as soon as i cut the first wire the enitre plant went dark all machines shut off. I am like oh sh!^. Turns out we lost power on the main coming into the plant for about 8hr utilities fault. They never did let me live that down.

#30856 - 10/31/03 04:49 PM Re: Did I do that ?!?
sparky Offline

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
My company, being dubbed Chester Electric gets a few calls every blackout, hamheads that can't differentiate us from a nuke plant

I could probably peddale a few genny setups if i wasn't having such a good time jabbing these sorts with vieled threats because(said in a mildly accusing tone) thier checks were late...

Steve aka (gotta have some fun) sparky

[This message has been edited by sparky (edited 10-31-2003).]

#30857 - 10/31/03 06:37 PM Re: Did I do that ?!?
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8552
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Having done Faults work for the local PoCo for the last few years, it's amazing how wound-up people can get when they lose power!.
I had a whole street in the middle of town go out last year about this time of year and I never got the callout until WELL after the fault occured (on a Friday afternoon, as it was).
I was walking over to the Padmount Transformer to replace the fuses and everyone was outside thier offices, to keep cool(not so I had noticed! ) I have NEVER been looked at so nastily in my life, these people weren't even happy that I was putting the power back on, from the look in some people's eyes, they wanted to throttle me.
The day was as hot as H**l and the fuses blew through over-current with all the A/Con equipment running at full blast.
It's the quickest I've ever replaced 600A fuses!.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#30858 - 11/03/03 01:45 AM Re: Did I do that ?!?
sparky Offline

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
heh~ well Trumpy...if you'd like to hone your customer service skills on a few dumb Americans i'll just pass on that outages are out of Chester Electric's hands due to our parent company in N.Z.


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