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#41750 09/07/04 08:40 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,419
Likes: 3
Trumpy Offline OP
It's been a wee while since this subject has been bought up.
And we have had a few, new Members come in since it was last posted.
Like the rest of you, I did an Apprenticeship as an Electrician, to get to where I am now.
Anyone have any funny stories, of mistakes they made as an Apprentice?.
Having done two Apprenticeships (the other as a Liney), I've got heaps to share here!.
But to kick things off:
I had jointed a couple of Underground cables before this actually happened, so there was no excuse really.
Anyway, I prepared these two ends of the cables, 120mm2 4 Core as it was, I chopped all the wires to length and nicely staggered.
I must say that the U/G crew had already buried the rest of the cable and there was just the bit where the joint was left, about 6ft deep and 3ft wide.
I slipped the heatshrink over the cores and started up the solder pot, which was run by LPG back then.
This was in the days before Crimp sleeves, at least here it was.
In no time I had the whole job done, got the blow-torch out and shrinked the heatshrink over the cores and then it hit me!.
Where was the length of Heatshrink that covers the whole joint?. [Linked Image]
I had a sinking feeling,in my throat, like never before.
No length left on the wires and you have to have Adhesive-filled Heatshrink on all U/G joints.
Man did I get screamed at!.

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 106
First time I ever wired a multi-tap HID ballast was for an outside sign at Lockheed-Martin headquarters in Bethesda, MD. I would love to know how I wired that thing, somehow I knocked out one entire three story wing of the building from one little 20-amp lighting circuit.
All I can remember is the smoke and the building manager's giant purple pumpkin face screaming at me!

Power to the people
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 681
While working on a house next to Donald Trump's house, I was asked to drill the beams for running cable. I wanted to impress my boss as this was my first job with him. He told me to make sure I looked on both sides of the beam so as not to drill through something I shouldn't drill through. It was taking some time, so I looked at a few beams at a time.
All of a sudden there was a loud pop with a flash - then the whole house went dead. I had drilled through the main panel feeder [Linked Image]!!! Never did that again.


Pierre Belarge
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,419
Likes: 3
Trumpy Offline OP
Pat and Pierre,
Nice to see that you guys, (like me) can laugh about things like that happening, during your time as an Electrician.
Here's another, from my files:
Within 2 weeks of starting with the PoCo here, I was required to re-string some 11kV
That wasn't a problem, but I reckon that the flash that came from the crossed wires that happened after I did the whole thing un-supervised, did!.

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,419
Likes: 3
Trumpy Offline OP
Other side of the coin,
I work as a Helicopter Pilot next to 220kV and 110kV lines.
We are bonded to the lines and the Chopper is of a special design.
It's a Team effort!.

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 106
I heard you helecopter electricians existed, but I thought it was one of those urban myths. Have you posted any pictures of your work here? I'd love to see some!


Power to the people
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline
2 1'2" hole saw through a gas line, didn't hear the loud hissing sound until I stopped the drill!

Trumpy, is the a special auto-rotation procedure for being bonded to HV line? Drop the line before the chopper, or vise versa?

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
Are you looking for mistakes I made or my helpers? As for myself, I was running the job. My first house wiring job without the boss. Everything was going well as we finished up the job, hanging lights and turning everything on. Except 1 string of lights. Somehow I forgot to hook up 15 recess lights in a large family room to the rest of the circuit. This house was a ranch! No attic. No Basement. Luckily by dropping down the recess cans and a little creative snaking, I was able to run a wire almost accross the ceiling dow to an ative circuit. The same circuit that I was going to hook into in the first place, except in a different spot about 50 feet away from where it was suppose to be. DUH! I always double checked my wiring from that day on.

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,419
Likes: 3
Trumpy Offline OP
No I've never posted pics of us guys doing the EHV thing, but stay tuned, I'll get Patrick, our On-the skid Tech to take some pics next time we are are up with the flying ergs!.
e57, Auto-Rotation,as any Chopper pilot will tell you only happens at the lower Revs, when coming into land, you feather your blades to catch as much air as you can, some chopper pilots here have actually been known to switch off the engine, I've done it before, but not in a non-Gas Turbine Craft, I aren't that sick of living!. [Linked Image]

Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 138
I was wiring all of the controls for a fuel station in Northern California. I had installed the plywood and spent a day mounting the subpanel, four turbine relay boxes, the tank monitor, communication d-box for the fuel dispensers, iso box for the turbine return, everything. For some reason, I was drilling a locate (1/4" bit) through the wall. I remember it was difficult to drill, but I had measured to verify I wasn't hitting anything important, so I stood on that drill and pushed hard. After popping through, I pulled the bit out and along with it, came a 1/4" stream of water. Lot's of pressure, and boy was it making a mess inside. I drilled a hole right into a 1/2" water line! I ran to the street and turned off the meter. I was bummed because I had a full day of hanging components on the plywood. Luckily, with the help of somebody else, I was able to remove the plywood with everything mounted to it. I cut open the wall and installed one of those rubber compression things to seal holes in pipe.

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