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.
Last edited by Trumpy; 06/06/0911:27 PM. Reason: To add picture
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
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.
Mike: 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'.
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.