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#186945 06/06/09 08:14 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 65
petey_c Offline OP
Carpenter working in a small strip mall went to remove what he thought was a plumbing waste or vent line. Turns out it was the three phase feed for the unit he was working in. Good thing the power was turned off. He didn't realize it until he was through all four lines. The electrician who wired the mall had schedule 80 on the exterior wall and SCH 40 DWV for the interior. Next door is a day care center.... The carpenter took the rest of the day off to reflect on his good fortune.

[Linked Image from]

Last edited by Trumpy; 06/06/09 11:27 PM. Reason: To add picture
petey_c #186951 06/07/09 02:43 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 76
Man, that carpenter is lucky.

I have a sense of adventure, I just keep it leashed with common sense.
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 939

The carpenter is dangbat lucky He do need to take the day off to get his nerves relax.

Now the other issue is the DWV pipe I do not know how they allow it in first place for myself I will never go that route too easy to make a mistake like that.


Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 984
Likes: 1
I try to avoid MI cable for a similar reason.
I can just see someone deciding to reroute those Copper water lines...not knowing that it's really the feed to the fire pump.

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,381
Likes: 7
You said....'The electrician who wired the mall had schedule 80 on the exterior wall and SCH 40 DWV for the interior.'.....

Sure it wasn't a plumber? Your area of NY has permits/licenses/inspections right??

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,381
Likes: 7
Marc: (Frenchelectrician)

DWV (plumbing) pipe is NOT allowed. I have seen plumbing PVC used for irrigation (low volt) wiring for lawn sprinklers, and the occasional homeowner using plumbing pipe, but I have to say in 40+ years.....I have not met a hack that used DWV for a feeder, much less an electrician

petey_c #187000 06/10/09 07:04 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,443
Likes: 3
One thing that seems strange about this.
Isn't DWV white and electrical conduit grey?
Sure, only a real hack would use DWV to enclose wiring with water pipe, but the onus is on the "carpenter" to actually identify the service in the pipe, before cutting it.

By this I mean, if the pipe did not head to a water fitting, would that not make you think twice?

Let's be real here, it only takes a minute or two to trace where a conduit/pipe leads to.

Trumpy #187006 06/10/09 09:40 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,381
Likes: 7
I agree with you 100%. Things happen when people hurry a job, or do things 'outside' of their trade, specially during 'demo' stages of jobs. Fortunatley in this situation, the power was off.

A quick side note:
Years back, industrial bldg, interior demo & renovation. WE marked all conduits w/fluor. orange or red spray that where 'live' and were to remain. The 'demo' guys with long oxy.acetleyne torches 'cut' a 4160volt feeder. The cut was 6" from the marking spray, and next to a 4160 sticker. That was one large 'boom'.

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,445
Likes: 3
Cat Servant
Mike, I think that "DWV" is actually black, and made of a different plastic than PVC. Ordinary PVC glue won't work.

Ampther mistake was calling it 'schedule 40.' Drains need not withstand the same pressures as water pipe, and thus is usually a much lighter material.

In the picture, the stuff looks gray, but that is probably because of lighting, and the 'fuzz' on the cut edge.

As for the carpenter not feeling the wires inside: There have been many times I have used my saw on steel pipe, and have cut through it in a heartbeat. This might have been the case here - the cut was complete before he had any idea there were wires inside.

The 'sawzall' was nearly the last tool I bought; by contrast, for many guys it seems to be the first. I've seen plenty of guys go into a playfull frenzy when the tool comes out, filling them with that pure joy that comes from destroying things.

Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
...I have to say in 40+ years.....I have not met a hack that used DWV for a feeder, much less an electrician

Well, John: There's a first time for everything. Here's a pic from a camp ground in South Carolina:


"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."
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