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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,460
Likes: 3
Cat Servant
Member
Well, it was news to this unheated, semi-enclosed industrial facility. After twenty years in it's current location, they decided to have an electrical contractor - one familiar with industrial work, and accustomed to RMC- instal some heaters.

Here are two pictures of a typical install. Does anyone notice anything unusual about the EMT run to the thermostat?

[Linked Image from i143.photobucket.com]

And from the side, in case you need a better view:
[Linked Image from i143.photobucket.com]

BTW, the installs were made when the weather was still nice, and have survived so far.

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,390
Likes: 7
Member
Can you say 'unsupported'?? Tell me that there is something on the short side of the 90...& not just a connector & locknut.

And this guy is an industrial EC??


John
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,460
Likes: 3
Cat Servant
Member
Absolutely without any support ... though some units have a single support on the short side of the 90. The EMT goes right into the side of the heater.

We think alike regarding the EC. (Especially with all those columns nearby!)

Last edited by renosteinke; 11/29/11 12:34 AM.
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,460
Likes: 3
Cat Servant
Member
Guess who showed up this morning? Yup, the EC ... to 'fix' the installation.

I say 'fix,' because ..... well, I'll have pics later laugh

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 984
Likes: 1
G
Member
Maybe it's the carpenter's fault...for forgetting to put a wall around the box?

LOL


Ghost307
Joined: Jan 2005
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Cat Servant
Member
OK, as promised ... the REST of the story smile

I arrived on site this morning to find that someone had been busy during the night; the pipes had been worked on. Either one heck of a cincidence, or the EC lurks this site. Here's a first look at the new pipe run:

[Linked Image from i143.photobucket.com]

Much better- but still not quite there.

HotLine had been asking about the 90 up topside; here's a closer view:

[Linked Image from i143.photobucket.com]

On closer examination, it looks like the run started as RMC -note the factory 90- and then transitioned to EMT. Let's step back now, and look at the wall-mounted pipe:

[Linked Image from i143.photobucket.com]

Only one strap, and that controller is mounted somewhat high- about face level. Still, not as bad as this one down the hall, which is mounted somewhat higher:

[Linked Image from i143.photobucket.com]

Friends, that's almost out of reach. What do you think the odds are that the pipe was bent 'in place,' and they didn't bring any more pipe or wire along?

You have to believe me when I tell you that I have no official part of this operation, and cannot express my judgement. Somebody needs to hang up their toolbelt for a bit, and ponder the errors of their ways.

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,390
Likes: 7
Member
Reno:

Amen to hanging up the tools for this mechanic.

I had first week students at VoTech that had more talent with EMT and RGC.

I have Red Tags, if you care!!

That topside 90 is taught in the class of 'if it don't fit....force it'

Last edited by HotLine1; 11/29/11 10:45 PM.

John
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 97
J
Member
We have these heaters installed at work but wired rather differently

The heaters are hung on jack chain and a short length of flex connects to the heater to a junction box mounted at high level, then the flex either joins to singles in steel tube, or armoured cable down to the switch

of course, its all attached either to the steel work or the wall!


I took my time, I hurried up, The choice was mine, I didn't think enough
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
H
Member
I wonder if this ever got fixed?

Joined: Jan 2005
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Cat Servant
Member
No, Harold ... the last two pics are all the 'fixing' this place got.

Amazingly enough, so far nothing (a year later) has been damaged - this, in a place that regularly breaks stuff made from 1/2" steel plate!

I suppose it's an improvement over the portable heaters they had been using for the past two decades. Yup, the place is 21 years old, and they only mounted these heaters last year frown

As for the portable heaters ... they were using these: http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/ww...N=0&GlobalSearch=true&sst=subset .

Every one of these portable heaters has some interesting stains on the reflectors. Many also have replacement protective 'screens' with much smaller openings than the original screens. You guessed it: they've been used as electric BBQ's!

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
H
Member
Reno,

I thought that it has been awhile since the original post. I see that nothing has been done so far. Maybe it will be fixed if someone gets hurt.

As for the strange stain on those portable heaters, I have know that they are tough on those big old fluffy winter jackets. I have seen several jackets start to melt when the owners got too close to portable heaters on the job sites.

Joined: Jan 2005
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Cat Servant
Member
Harold, I appreciate your reminding us of the fire risk posed by these heaters.

I was not exaggerating, though. Guys have actually simply laid the portable electric heaters on the floor, and grilled steaks for lunch, on the wire screens.

Unless one has lived in 'blue collar country,' one simply cannot appreciate how accurate Jeff Foxworthy is in his descriptions. I am certain that someone DID roast a pig over the Olympic flame at the Atlanta Olympics. You CAN buy deep-fried ice cream. During hunting season deer chile is a staple at lunch, and they've deep-fried fish on-site for lunch.

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,955
Likes: 34
G
Member
Deep Fryers? They must be city boys.

The rednecks I go bass fishing with will throw specks on the fire with the eyes in them. (just gutted and scaled).
They look at the eyes to see if they are done.
Then they pick the meat off and eat it with their fingers.
Corn and potatoes get cooked the same way.


Greg Fretwell
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,390
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Member
75 KVA transformers used to keep 'lunch' warm. 2x150 watt incandescent bulbs, in temp light sockets, set in a metal milk crate worked to warm soup. One of the 'ol timers had a toaster fashioned from nichrome wire & zip cord.

Liquid nitrogen was great for a quick chill on a brew.

Never tried a steak on an infrared heater though.



John
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,955
Likes: 34
G
Member
Caper (Harold) may come in here with the hot dog cooker story soon.


Greg Fretwell
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,498
T
Member
Originally Posted by gfretwell
Caper (Harold) may come in here with the hot dog cooker story soon.

120 V on two forks?

This Swiss guy demonstrates the process using 220V from a transformer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Kynts3xoek

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,955
Likes: 34
G
Member
Yup that is the one but it was a couple 16d nails or just the ends of stripped solid conductors running on line voltage. I actually had a Presto hot dog cooker that worked that way. They were on the market for a few years and just disappeared.
There are always a few on Ebay tho.

The conversation on Prodigy started getting silly and there were ideas for a turkey cooker.


Greg Fretwell
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 599
J
JBD Offline
Member
Originally Posted by gfretwell
I actually had a Presto hot dog cooker that worked that way. They were on the market for a few years and just disappeared.


Used one regularly.
Its fate was sealed by the arrival of the microwave.

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
H
Member
Greg,

I see that they already beat me to the punch about the hot dog cooker. Do you have any of those old *P* stories anymore. I did save them but they were on the old floppy discs and I can't read them anymore.

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,460
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Cat Servant
Member
Life takes some funny twists ...

Anyone care to guess who has been asked to fix this pipe job?

I appears someone directed management to this thread - and they've suddenly decided to have it fixed.

Mind you, they took great pains to emphasize their 'no photos' policy, and to tell me just how awful the previous contractor was.

Not that old dogs ever like learning new tricks. I haven't even started, and I'm getting second guessed about the materials I've requested. This "super size heavy industry" firm is actually sending someone to the box store with a credit card to buy the exact count of fittings - rather than let me pick up a box or two at the electrical supply house!

Now that's a way to save money laugh

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,460
Likes: 3
Cat Servant
Member
Yup,the struggle continues frown

They want timers added. They want the stuff placed higher, lower, or not put in at all. They want it fixed, but nothing changed. The hack work they fired the incompetent contractor over is now sacred, and they don't want the obvious support issues addressed, for fear that it will cost more and take time. They want me to do "Dept A" now, later, or not at all.

It's amazing how quick folks are to say 'my way or the highway.' I think they've become so accustomed to untrained hacks that they simply can't imagine what good work looks like. Ask any engineer here- the guys doing the work are little more than retarded chimps with tool belts. Safety is paramount- but don't bother us with that pesky NEC thing!

Hundreds of these things to do, and they want me to 'scavenge' parts?

I submit that this place has had so many bad experiences with bad contractors simply because .... they want hack contractors. They're a bad customer.

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,390
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Reno:
I once was called by an owner of quite a few office buildings in the local area. I looked at some plans, and gave them a cost to do the tenant fit-up.

My foreman called me day one, hour one and asked me to 'get over here'.

Seems like the 'owner' liked to use OLD boxes, BX, devices, etc. Told my guys to deduct the materials.

The kicker was when I saw a partition wall that they cut above the base plate & moved to one of the new locations, and said 'just splice the wires'.

We all left!!


John
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 943
Likes: 2
N
Member
Originally Posted by HotLine1
Reno:
I once was called by an owner of quite a few office buildings in the local area. I looked at some plans, and gave them a cost to do the tenant fit-up.

My foreman called me day one, hour one and asked me to 'get over here'.

Seems like the 'owner' liked to use OLD boxes, BX, devices, etc. Told my guys to deduct the materials.

The kicker was when I saw a partition wall that they cut above the base plate & moved to one of the new locations, and said 'just splice the wires'.

We all left!!


Do you have any idea what happened after that?

Joined: Apr 2002
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They probably got the trunk slammer back. The 'lady' was a little miffed that I walked, but....not my style to participate in hack work.

BTW, I submitted a letter to the Twp that we did no work, and please remove my co. as the Lic. EC on the job.


John
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 984
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G
Member
Getting your name off of the paperwork was a smart move.
Now nobody can blame you for a half-baked job that someone else did after you left.


Ghost307
Joined: Jan 2005
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Likes: 3
Cat Servant
Member
I've been practicing "guerrilla craftsmanship." That is, I've started with the easiest fixes, and been quietly doing them as I please.

Guess what's happening? They like what they see, and I'm getting a bit less micro-management.

For example, today I took one instal that had clearly been done by someone who had never held a bender before. All the pipe wiggles were in an attempt to hang the pipe from a bit of strut - while still leaving the box swinging in the wind. Simply by using beam clamps, I was able to replace the 'worm' part with a simple straight piece - and everything was supported.

Another heater needed but a 7/8" offset in the pipe to look nice and neat. (That's what happens when you have a mix of deep and shallow strut).

It seems to be the little things that count. For example, I've been using a cheap toner to find breakers - something never done here before - and marking the pipe at the device with the circuit ID. In 20 years, no one has thought to do that. It's been all 'guess and flip.'

I've had more than the usual bunch of naysayers to contend with - in fact, part of me suspects the only reason I got this job was so folks could watch me fail. Instead, the critics are losing credibility.

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
H
Member
John,

That is the first thing I tell contractors around here. If you didn't do the work, contact the building dept. to see who did. Make sure your name is not on that permit. Even if you started it, but someone else finished it, again, call then write a letter stating that you are no longer the contractor of record. You don't want you name caught up in some legal suit if something goes wrong.

I also tell the EC's around here, if you bid on a job, think you have it, and submit a permit to the GC, check in now and then to see if the work was done. Sometimes the GC will take your permit with your lic. on it, and let someone else do the job.

If I see a job that looks really bad, I check the permit to see if there is a lic. EC on the job. Sometimes there is a lic. EC signed permit, but the job is so, hacked up, I would call the EC to see if he really did the job or not.

Joined: Jan 2005
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Cat Servant
Member
As I go about working on these heaters, I am struck by the great variety of competency shown by the various tradesmen. Some clearly knew their stuff; others, it seems, had never worked with stranded wire before. Bending pipe? Clearly some of these guy's first time as well- and without any clue about fastening to structural iron!

I've learned that this CUSStomer actually had multiple contractors doing these installs. They have no kind words about any of them - while this same grumpy customer does all it can to interfere with my doing my work.

Example: I'll be working on a heater at the east end of the complex, when someone will get upset about a heater running in the south 40- so they'll have me drop everything to immediately answer the complaint.

Technically, I'm not there to clean up the pipe; I'm there to add timers to the circuit. These folks would have me hang another box in free air!

A few of the heaters need to be relocated. I'm having trouble persuading these folks to get a REAL plumber to move the gas lines- they seem to think 'anyone' can thread pipe.

I've been marking the pipe, right at the timer, with the circuit that powers the unit. That's been a real furball of its' own.

Imagine: 20 years in operation, and no one has seen any merit in identifying circuits. I think I've started something smile My use of a toner is scoffed at, though I've challenged anyone to show me a better way. Hot gloves? They proudly showed me a new pair they keep locked away, 'just in case' OSHA ever asks; forget about actually using them!

I can't understate the seriousness of the mess I'm dealing with. Several folks have lost their jobs - one at the middle management level - partly because of their campaign against me and my work.

For example: a heater I had reported as 'completed and working' failed to light the other day, when a cold snap came in. The cause? About 50 ft. of 3/4" black iron gas pipe supplying it had vanished. Gone. Professionally removed - this, in a plant rife with abandoned lines and mysterious wires.

Little things like that - and the plain neatness / competence of my work (when compared to the previous efforts) are winning folks over. Not that I'm bragging - my work is nothing exceptional - but the previous stuff was so bad.



Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,273
T
Member
Reno...

WRT labeling...

I was shocked at how often old work was not labeled. I simply presume that the boys ran out of time or it was no prority for their bosses.

In service work, just that alone has kept me on a job ten times as long as expected. The client had a fouled up lighting situation -- not to be believed. Based upon prior service electricians (my own fellows) the client expected that three days would get them by.

However, once the client's management found that I was mapping out all of their circuits, cleaning up all of the old work at the same time addressing dead high bays -- all over the place -- they wouldn't let me go.

The firm was making 'cake' from such a long service call. So my star was rising.

My advice to all service electricians is to leave the work looking better than when you found it. There is a LOT of trash work out there! Once you're on site, expand your scope of work, with permissions, which normally come fast and easy. Such work expansion never upsets your boss -- quite the opposite, in fact.


Tesla
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