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Re: Funny Stories #69653 10/02/06 11:56 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 558
Rewired Offline
This one came up in conversation at the lunch table today, I almost forgot about this one..

Last winter we were working with a local construction company at the mental hospital here in the city, replacing the concrete bases of light standards in the parking lots and driveways throughout the complex.
The last one of that day, we pulled the pole off, set it off to the side and the construction company barricaded around the concrete base, which I might add only stuck out of the ground about 6-8 inches and had 4- 3/4" bolts sticking up.
Now we did get some snow that night and the lot was plowed and somehow the barricades must have got plowed in and over, and the base got covered with snow.. Also in the middle of the night someone came joyriding (tresspassing really) through the lot and must have thought they were going through the " small snow pile". WRONG.. The next day all we saw was tire tracks leading up to what was the snow pile, a now uncovered concrete base with all 4 - 3/4" bolts bent right over, and pointing in the direction of travel of whatever hit it, and a LOT of transmission fluid in the snow..
Also noticed where the "mystery vehicle" came to a stop ( after it went right over the base!), a set of "dually" tire tracks like that of a tow truck were also present. The baracades, GONE, dont know where they are to this day, and we never heard a word about anyone crashing into anything by the hospital, staff, passers by or the guilty party!


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Re: Funny Stories #69654 10/03/06 12:01 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 116
XtheEdgeX Offline
I was working on the control room of a new prison once. We were at the point of putting in the 2' X 4' fluorescent lay in fixtures. Another electrician came in to help me, and I told him that we were putting the fixtures together on the floor first, before laying them in (whips, bulbs, etc.). The fixtures had two ballasts that had to be plugged in with a factory installed pigtail, before wiring in the whip. The first one he did, he put the whip on, plugged in the ballasts, and then when he put the bulbs in, the bulbs lit up. I was watching him freak out. He grabbed the end of the whip and saw the wires just hanging there, not connected to anything. I was laughing pretty hard by now! The look on his face was comical. That's when I told him that they were the ballasts with the built in battery back up.

Edited for spelling

[This message has been edited by XtheEdgeX (edited 10-03-2006).]

Re: Funny Stories #69655 10/03/06 12:40 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 2
CTBigman Offline
Junior Member
About 20+ years ago, we were finishing a 3 story office building at a busy intersection in Groton CT. At lunch break a bunch of us tradesmen met on the unfinished 3rd floor for lunch. Outside there was a 2 man window glazing crew working on the windows in a boom lift. Right in the middle of our lunch they "mooned us" and gave us the bird.
I told the guys "watch this", grabbed my Pepsi bottle, filled it with water, poked a hole in the cap with my awl, put it in my tool apron and went up to the rooftop.
I walked over to the edge where the window guys were, leaned over and said "you think thats funny?, p*ss on you" I made it look like I was opening my pants fly and squeezed the Pepsi bottle full of water (sticking out of my apron) I soaked both of them, one of them was trying to use the other for a shield, funniest thing you ever saw, especially when I looked up and saw traffic stopped and people pointing up at us.
I had to show them the empty bottle or they would have killed me hehe!! when I got back down to the break room every guy was crying they were laughing so hard.
I don't think Earlydean was there but Im sure he heard about it (Hey Earl guess who this is!!)

[This message has been edited by CTBigman (edited 10-03-2006).]

Re: Funny Stories #69656 10/05/06 12:51 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 176
PEdoubleNIZZLE Offline
Well, I can't top CTBigman...

The funniest story I have, I was working temp jobs. A crew came to the temp agency and got me, a "retired" Master electrician (the electrician from the "stolen tools recovered" post), and 2 other guys who probably didn't know the difference from a screwdriver and a hammer... We'll call them Beavis and Butthead.

The job was at a warehouse being converted to some offices and retail space. Beavis and Butthead were supposed to be on clean-up, but they decided it would be much more fun to throw various emt fittings at eachother. One of the fittings landed in a sub panel with no breaker. The feeders were hooked up, btu not live. Beavis reached his hand in the panel to grab the connector, and I told him "Don't move, you can die."

I convinced him that it was live, and that if he moved, a spark would jump from the buss bars to his hand and kill him... or worse, paralyze him from the neck down. We kept him there for 2 hours and some odd minutes, coming up with different excuses... Can't find the main breaker, have to call the power company, channel 4 news is outside and we need to do a press conference (that was our lunch time).

After I "found" the main and "shut it down" I told him he had to move backward 3 steps. On his first step, I clapped my hands in a way that sounds like a spark (years of practice and perfection [Linked Image]).

Beavis was mad and left without pay, and Butthead just swept the (clean) floor all day. I made sure they never worked on any crew I got picked by after that.

I love being evil [Linked Image]

Re: Funny Stories #69657 10/05/06 02:19 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,482
gfretwell Offline
I was working once in a huge "glass house" computer room that was fed by a 1600a 3p wye. They had 2 big water cooled MP systems with about 1000 remote users and the local batch work. (NIH Bethesda) These guys never shut down. In those days the power whips under the floor were Russell Stoll plugs on SO cord. Sometime around 75 someone decided these all had to be FMC but nobody makes a connector that attaches FMC to a RS receptacle so they pull out leaving the plug hanging on THHN. Well they were swapping the room over one 400a panel at a time while the customer was still up. Somebody yanked on one of the SO cords and we had a flash/bang under the floor and the room went dark. People were losing their mind and they put in an emergency call for "the electrician". By the time the GSA "building electrician" (also plumber and trash can tech) showed up we had isolated the problem to one 400a panel and had that main turned off. He went downstairs and cranked on the 1600a breaker. The room came up and they were furiously working to get the systems up and back online. By the time he got back up there they just about had everyone online. We told him the tale and he immediately said we must be wrong and flipped on the 400a breaker... Boom ... dark!
By then the DP manager was bouncing off the ceiling. Dummy goes back downstairs and cranks on the breaker again. In the mean time we had found the FMC that shorted and just had that 60a 3p turned off. The whole room came back up and they started IPLing again. Dummy shows up in the computer room again, we show him the breaker that was causing the problem, tell him about the FMC and the connector, he again tells us we are full of crap, That can't be right, flips the breaker on and BOOM.
The data center manager called security and told them "if that janitor comes back up here, shoot him!"

We LoTo'ed the breaker and went on with our conversion.
NIH got a contract with a real Md licensed contractor after that.

Greg Fretwell
Re: Funny Stories #69658 10/05/06 09:34 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 984
ghost307 Offline
Once upon a time I was working with another tech at a firm with a HUGE computer center...and an even bigger sense of self-importance. We were working on an MG set that powered the system and wouldn't maintain a constant voltage. We told the IT guy to WAIT until we said that we were done before starting the computers and reloading the tapes that he had made before yesterday's crash. As soon as we ran the MG set to find out what the problem was, he saw that the power was back and had his people start reloading their data. Once we saw the MG in operation, we started troubleshooting. Each time we shut down the machine to work on it, Mr. Manager was in our face screaming that the system had "crashed again...and it's ALL YOUR FAULT!!!" This went on 5 times until we finally had the problem fixed and went to tell him that we were done; he could reload his data. His snide comment was that he had outsmarted us by NOT loading the tapes because he knew that we were just going to crash his precious computer again.

Too bad he didn't listen the first time...when we told him to wait until we were done.

BTW, each time he came over to yell at us we decided to work a little bit slower.

[This message has been edited by ghost307 (edited 10-05-2006).]

Re: Funny Stories #69659 10/05/06 12:43 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,482
gfretwell Offline
That "precious computer" might be costing him several thousand dollars A MINUTE when it is down. If you have a big bank that misses the nightly check "capture" and doesn't get the cash letter back to the fed in time it could be a million bucks.
They do have a reason to want it back up.

Greg Fretwell
Re: Funny Stories #69660 10/05/06 10:47 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 228
JCooper Offline
This one actually happened to another tech in my company, but it is worth sharing. He was doing a PM on a card access system at the world headquarters for a re-insurance company. The doors leading into the server room had magnetic locks on them, which require an over-ride on the inside of the door, typically a pull station or break glass device (break the glass which releases a button held closed), so he tested the break glass right next to the door, or so he thought, too bad it was the EPO for the ENTIRE UPS system (which was not identified), he said all you heard were computers spinning down and most of the lights went out. At the end of the day the customer actually thanked him because they always saw the red button on the wall but didn't know what it was, still not something I would want to be responsible for.

Re: Funny Stories #69661 10/06/06 12:38 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,482
gfretwell Offline
"EPO" stories are pretty common. NIH disconnected all of theirs.
Ever seen a Halon dump? That is a whole lot more exciting. Sort of like a bunch of little tornados in the room. Floor tiles hop into the air and everything that was not nailed down flies around.

Greg Fretwell
Re: Funny Stories #69662 10/07/06 07:14 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 101
jraef Offline
My ex-partner Gene told me a great story from when he went into Communist China in 1971 shortly after Nixon's "Ping Pong Diplomacy" trip when we re-established business relationships with them. He was sent over to manage the electrical installation of a new MDF plant being built from the ground up.

A lot of the components were coming from Russia, and they had a 50-60% out-of-the-box failure rate. So he implemented a 100% inbound test program for all electrical components, i.e. circuit breakers, contactors, light fixtures etc. As he would find a device that didn't work, he put a string tag on it that said what was wrong and if he couldn't tell, he just wrote N.F.G. and tossed it in a pile. The Chinese workers, not accustomed to wasting so much precious stuff, went through the piles to try to salvage or get replacements from the Russian suppliers. One day they approached him with one of his NFG tags and asked, through his translator, what it meant. He said "No F##king Good", waiting for their response. They just nodded politely and left. 2 days later the translator came to him and said "I can translate the first and last word, but I am having trouble with the middle word". He had apparently never been taught slang but because they are taught to respect their elders he hadn't admitted his problem on the spot, chosing instead to research it. So Gene made a circle with his forefinger and thumb of one hand, then passed the middle finger of his other hand through it rapidly in succession. The translator copied the motion, nodded in acknowledgement again, and walked off. About 1/2 hour later Gene walked by and saw him in a group of translators apparently debating the meaning of this hand signal with puzzled looks. Then one of the Chinese electricians walked over and they showed him the sign. He burst out laughing because HE understood immediately! Turns out the term NFG translates into Chinese slang almost verbatim!

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