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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749

Sparky's Laws

1) The box with the bad connection will be the only box you haven't opened yet.

2) The weakest Knock-Out will be one size larger than the one you needed.

3) If you have just enough decorative screws for a light fixture, you will drop one in the snow.

4) The batteries in your drill/flashlight/meter will die just as you get to the end of the crawl space.

5) The bit that is in your drill will be the wrong size, or dull.

6) The tip that is in your screwgun will be the wrong type or worn out.

7) The tool that you need right now while your holding the part in place, won't be in your tool pouch.

8) The check valve in the bucket truck will stick when you're 35 ft. up, in a blizzard, (with no cigarettes).

9) The house you just wired that has a staple that is 54-1/16" from the next has a greater risk of failure/fire/electrocution/lawsuit than the 1900's 30A 120V service and Knob and Tube wiring that the neighbors refuse to replace.

10) The best way to find bedrock is to start driving a ground rod.

Ammendum to #10
The bedrock that the piling drivers so desperately tried to find, will appear at the first hammer swing when driving a ground rod.

11) The farther you're working from the supply house, the less likely it is that you have what you need on the truck.

12) If it is in the truck, the tool or material you need will be in the bottom of the pile.

13) The one widget you really need to complete the job ( and get paid) will always be on Back Order.

14) Someone will always want changes AFTER sheetrock......

15) The inspector will always find that one thing you wished he'd pass by....

16) The day after you trash your collection of leftovers & oddball electrical parts, you'll need that part that was gathering dust for 10 years.

17) The life of light bulbs is inversely proportional to the distance from the parts house.

18) The Unibit will fall out of the chuck and into a finished wall when drilling the top plate on steel stud framing,

19) The speednut that you tightened enough to hold the ballast so you can grab the other one, will hold fine until you just touch the 2nd stud - then it will let the ballast fall,

20) Your last orange wirenut for that same ballast will fall out of your hand, then roll away so fast it cannot ever be found again - resulting in 93rd trip to truck for more.

21) The fixture with the loosest lampholder will allow the last of your T8 lamps to fall out and "Pachinko Ball" bounce it's self clear of the fixture - and end up all over the floor.

22) The open unused free spaces on the subpanel's bolt-on bus will be the only ones without the screws [trip 94 to truck],

23) All the LOTO in the world cannot stop the most determined morons.

24) Drywall stocking crews will figure the best places to stack the sheetrock would be in front of the gear, subpanels, right under your ceiling J-Boxes, across your floorduct outlets, across your open sawcuts for floorduct, against the wall with the most electrical outlets, trapping your job boxes in a restricted movement,....,

25) An unexplained and mysterious gas line will be hiding behind the hole you're about to cut. (Did that once, didn't cut into the pipe, but it sure played heck on the switch location I had chosen!)

26) As soon as you climb onto the last step on your ladder, the "whitehat" will walk around the corner...

27) The one and only room on the entire project that you go to work in because there's no one doing anything in there, will become priority 1 in the minds of all other trades - resulting in 17 people working in a 10' x 10' room.

28) After climbing to the roof of a 40' tall building, you'll find that the equipment you need to work on has all metric bolts.

28) The roof ladder will always be located on the opposite corner of the building from the spot you need to go.

29) You'll go to fix a machine to find that they have a great set of Mandarin Chinese.

30) When you've hurried to reach a point for your inspection on a fast-track job, you'll always finish on a Thursday...and City Hall will be closed on Friday.

31) As soon as the inspector OK's the release of power for an eager customer, there will be a major utility problem and it will take all the utility workers days to repair it...they won't get to you for a week.

32) When you finally get an applicant for that service truck job that really seems like he'll be great for your company, you'll find out he's just been released from prison for embezzling and has no driver's license.

33) The chance of having a load of fixtures damaged in transit or built wrong is 10X greater if you need them urgently or they have a 2 month+ lead time to replace. In stock items will be OK

34) The access hole to the attic/crawlspace is guaranteed to be as far as possible from where you need to go.

35) The existing panel will never have a panel schedule but if it does, it will be wrong.

36) The guy you sent to find a spare circuit and make a hookup will find one with no load...until the lighting control turns on that night and overloads the circuit blowing the breaker and leaving the building dark.

37) The guy you tell to charge the scissorlift overnight will put in a plug just for that purpose...and connect it to a lighting switchleg that shuts it off as he leaves the room.

38) You can't get to the panel because there's too much junk in the way

39) That resistance you felt with the sawzall was not a nail after's a live waterline.

40) Your supplier will always be out of at least one item on your list.

41) While pulling the service truck out of the bay on your first day on the job, the truck will be 1" higher than the heighth of the overhead door.


Other Observations

* Plug your battery charger into an existing receptacle - when plugging it in noticing that it's cover plate is almost brand new, while the rest are old and cracked - after pushing the receptacle into the 2 layers of drywall laminations, it will stop on the 1/2" raised ring, then emits a shower of sparks.

* Removing a panel cover and having it "Attack You" when it springs away from the wire packed subpanel.

* Finding out from your Inspector that he/she doesn't like the #14 green conductor connected to a 40 amp 2 pole breaker, nor likes the orange wire for the common neutral - all in your ready to inspect new subpanel.
After assuring yourself that it's not a dream, you see the same thing! When you remove it, the next day there's a hostile note from some specialty type vendor telling you not to mess with his stuff,

* The 1/2" KO on the hot panel that you cannot shut down, will pop out with such ease, it bounces all around, then falls right against a hot subfeed lug and lays against the deadfront mount - but luckily doesn't blow up because no one has messed up the paint on the mounting bracket [this happened once to me and it scared the HE** out of me!!],

* The sizzorlift you are using on a 250,000 square foot concrete tilt-up, has a top speed of 0.001 MPH when the deck is lifted even 1/192" up. When lowered that last fraction of an inch, it takes off at 0.002 MPH - so the trip across the building takes all day, regardless if you have the lift all the way up to 20 feet, or fully dropped,

* Same sizzorlift goes into tilt alarm when running over a piece of 1/2" EMT,

* Pulling that same lift out of the mud because some clown took it off-roading while you are on lunch break.

* I tell folks I'm an electrician by day and a musician by night. Sounds glamorous, but really it means that I untangle cables 24 hours a day...

* The foreman gives you the new 200 foot fishtape, but not without a lecture on taking care of it, wasting money etc.
On the very first wire pull from the top of your 10 foot step ladder, you let the tape pay off over your shoulder (figuring that you'll roll it up right after the pull is finished), you're unaware of the welder sitting against the wall with the wingnut terminals on the front. Yep you guessed it, 53, two foot long pieces laying on the floor!

Uhh, boss? About that new fishtape....

Many thanks to Steve M., Scott W., Scott T., Tom, Matt, "JG", Bill, Steve T.and other members of ECN for their contributions to this page...

[This message has been edited by Joe Tedesco (edited 05-28-2002).]

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,392
you da man! [Linked Image]

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914

I've got another one:

You think you've made the last trip in the attic on the hottest day in August and close the pulldown, you'll then realize you left a $200 drill on the other end of the attic on you forgot to pull one wire.

Same rule applies to loading a 16 foot step ladder on top of the truck, you'll need it again.

We've got a firm rule not to close the attic or put big ladders on the truck until the job is absolutely finished

[This message has been edited by Electric Eagle (edited 05-28-2002).]

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 717
If you're counting the votes "Electrician of the Century" he gets mine.
If he was a REAL musician, he could set that sucker to muzac and it could be our theme song [Linked Image]

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,392
a theme song!.....
i'll bring some cheese to go with the whine

Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
Likes: 1
Awww, thanks guys...

ECN and it's members get the credit...

Please feel free to add some more here, and I'll put them on the page (when I get to it).

Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 360
Too true, too true.

Here is the one I run into more often than I want to think about.

The wire left on the spool is always 5 foot short to use on the next job.


Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
I thought our theme song would be something like "Ohm Sweet Ohm." [Linked Image]

Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
Likes: 1
Trainwire, You got the idea!

Paul, very "punny" (I know, booo)....

[Linked Image]

Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 280
To All:
I am feeling much better now, today I finsihed a job and of course on the last day there should have been only 4 hours, but if I made 1 trip to the truck I musta made 100, and to make matters worse half the time when I finally got out to the truck I had forgotten what the He** I went out there for.
Talking about dropping the fancy trim screws,in the snow, worse I think is the one over the vanity that lands invariably in the toilet and doesnt stop there it rolls under the porcelein so the whole hand has to go in after it.


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