ECN Forum
Posted By: e57 Confessionals... - 08/11/05 07:12 AM
Alright, there has been lots of talk about bashing, and bagging on other trades. May be it's time for some of us to come clean...

I'll start....

Once went through a 1" gas line with a 2" hole saw, after checking under the floor apparentley not well enough.

Drilled into the building next door with a 6' flexible bit.

Knicked walls with ladders, and tools.

Scratched floors.

Broken mirrors by over tightening fixtures to them.

Missed outlets and switches.

Out-right lied to inspectors... [Linked Image]

Anyone else....
Posted By: macmikeman Re: Confessionals... - 08/11/05 07:37 AM
Oh yeah, sent tip of spade bit up thru formica countertop. Once my crew was using our coring drill to core a 6" hole in a paved area behind Aloha Air Cargo, so we could put in barrier posts around our equipment. They drilled thru a rigid conduit feeder to the meat storage locker. It was Friday afternoon. I got the call from the field around 3:30 pm- quiting time. I had to go out and fix myself after hours so the 60 k worth of frozen meat stayed frozen.
Posted By: macmikeman Re: Confessionals... - 08/11/05 07:45 AM
More - I once drilled for toggle bolts thru a ceiling to hang a 4' ft flourescent fixture. The owner had told me only minutes before which direction to orientate it. I spaced out and started hanging the fixture perpendicular to that. Had to patch 2 holes in textured ceiling. I found ceiling paint downstairs. Nobody ever noticed the patch. Once pushed my foot thru a canek ceiling tile. Caught myself hooking up the hot wire on the neutral side of a receptacle outlet. Have cracked many glass covers of customer provided light fixtures by moving my screwdrivers too fast, setting the glass down too hard, dropping the glass from my ladder, I could go on all night but I will leave this post now.
Posted By: e57 Re: Confessionals... - 08/11/05 08:33 AM
I too could add:

Stood on stone countertop to hang fixture, end up on floor with said stone countertop.

I could go on, and on... Over fifeteen years worth.

On crew ^%&*up's:
No concept of level, square or straight.
Dropping light fixtures, cracks large picture window in process.
Drill through finished floors.
Lost neutrals setting computers a blazin'!
Service side short, knocks out whole neighbor hood.

And thats just one guy.... (No longer employed)
Posted By: Tiger Re: Confessionals... - 08/11/05 10:57 AM
I laid a clamp light on a berber carpet and forgot it. It melted & burned a spot about the size of a half-dollar. (I negotiated with the homeowner for $200 & she was was in an out-of-the-way spot).

I was driving a fork truck & ran into a machine with a cast iron handle. The boss screamed at his sons loud enough to hear over the machines, so I thought I was really going to catch it. All he said was..."Can you fix it?". I was a welder for 7 years, so I took it home & fixed it.

That's been my attitude ever since. If I break it, I fix it.

Posted By: mkoloj Re: Confessionals... - 08/11/05 03:24 PM
Anyone ever rip down a section of hvac duct with a scissor lift ??? I am hanging supports for cable tray and go up pretty close to the duct and had to manuever about a foot closer to the trusses to reach them and forgot to bAck up that foot before lowering the lift and crash there falls a 30' section of duct. [Linked Image from]
Luckily the HVAC guys were the most laid back bunch and say "Whatever don't worry we will fix it." I am expecting my boss to call screaming about the back-charge from them but that never happened.
Another time I am installing a phone line in someone's house and I cut my hole for my box and am drilling down with my Diversa-bit and I punch thru, I go downstairs into the basement to attach my wires but can't find the bit, Finally I go outside to have a smoke and right there on the outside there is my bit hanging out from behind the siding. Those are some unpredictable bits.
Another one that was great that a helper of mine did was when we were wiring a bank and I tell him to start numbering the cables from 1 on. Well he finished numbering the cables and we tape them up and do the run and when I am in the telecom clostet and start sorting the bundle I realize every cable is numbered with a 1, and out comes the tone generator. I am sure there are more that are conveniently slipping my mind now so I might have to get back to this one when my memory catches up.
Posted By: DougW Re: Confessionals... - 08/11/05 06:41 PM
Don't know where I picked up this bad habit, but my "regular" faults are in tightening connectors & couplings, and strapping down conduits. I always have to do a quick once-over to make sure I've screwed down ther setscrews.

IIRC, the strapping thing comes fom one of th efirst shops I worked for. We'd mark box & HR locations, mount boxes, run pipes, then, as the last thing, we'd strap the pipe down... my foreman said he'd had to re-locate pipes too often to strap it right away, so he'd wait until all the runs to the room were done before nailing them down.

I have to make sure that I finish strapping before I call the run done.
Posted By: BigJohn Re: Confessionals... - 08/11/05 11:09 PM
Caught myself hooking up the hot wire on the neutral side of a receptacle outlet.
Did one like that the other day: Starting the day after only three hours of sleep, I caught myself putting the equipment ground on the hot side of the receptacle.
That was one of those "Holy &*!%, what else have I done wrong??" moments.

Posted By: e57 Re: Confessionals... - 08/12/05 12:33 AM
All must pay penance with 4 hail Tesla's and ask Edison or Westinghouse for forgiveness and guidance. (Depending on your particular denomination.)
Posted By: e57 Re: Confessionals... - 08/12/05 12:34 AM
Oh, forgot... Some reading of the big book. (The NEC.)
Posted By: HotLine1 Re: Confessionals... - 08/12/05 12:38 AM
Bought a few water coolers before I found that the circuit (120 volt) was connected to the red leg/high leg/bastard leg. Guy that installed it was sent packing.

Fell off scissor lift that I raised to throw debris into dumpster as I got off without lowering the platform; reverse 90 degree gainer dive. (28 stiches in my head)

And on & on & on......

Posted By: renosteinke Re: Confessionals... - 08/12/05 04:14 PM
You had to start this thread, didn't you!

I just ran t-stat wire to the evaporator instead of the condenser....what was I thinking!
Posted By: Electricmanscott Re: Confessionals... - 08/13/05 12:56 PM
Not guilty on all charges your honor. [Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by Electricmanscott (edited 08-13-2005).]
Posted By: Tom Re: Confessionals... - 08/13/05 02:30 PM
I was changing out some panelboards at the local volunteer fire department. One of them was a 120/240 delta. Shooting the breeze with a couple of fireman while connecting up the circuits. Not paying attention, I just plugged in all those single pole breakers in a line. Luckily, I only melted their VCR, for some reason, it didn't get along very well with the 208 volts.

Posted By: maintenanceguy Re: Confessionals... - 08/14/05 08:36 AM
This one isn't mine (ahthought I've had hundreds)

We just bought a new F150 this past week.

The first day, the guy who gets the new truck carefully parked it in the lot away from all the other trucks. 3 minutes later, several of us see one of our other guys back out our old bucket truck and slam into the front of the new pickup. He wasn't expecting a truck to be there since we all park on the other side of the lot.

The guy who has been waiting years for a new truck ran out of the shop cussing and screaming. If he wasn't 5'3, I think somebody might have gotten hurt.

We'll get it fixed.
Posted By: mvpmaintman Re: Confessionals... - 08/14/05 06:51 PM
driving along in a scissor lift, one of our guys found out why you should lock the slider in. He headed down a reamp top an overhead door, the brakes caught to slow the lift and the slider kept going.


Setting on a conveyor belt working on the moror above me, had someone else force the motor on. Yep he got the worng one, I went about 30 feet beofre he heard me yelling (lost my radio).


Like anybody I could go on and on, I keep a set of punches in my toolbox from a die I was setting up once to remind me to think. A .375 die will not go through a .365 hole even with a 300 ton mechincal ram behind it.
Posted By: luckyshadow Re: Confessionals... - 08/14/05 10:36 PM
I remember once when out doing a service call alone .Before leaving shop was told "remember to tie off the ladder"
well was only going to be on the roof for a minute or two. Yep - you got it. Ladder not tied off , Electrician on roof , as ladder falls over ! To make matters worse no radio or phone, Just me yelling for somebody to call the number on the side of the truck.
Posted By: Elviscat Re: Confessionals... - 08/15/05 01:58 AM
I was drilling near a panel 30+ circuits worth of romex stapled to the surrounding joists, so I was very careful to check the backside and move the romex out of the way, forgot to do so on the 5th joist and hit two live peices of romex

Doing electrical demo I cut both phases of a live 208 volt 40 amp circuit while standing on a 10 foot stepladder, it turns out that there were three panel feeding the place and I had thought it was safe because I had turned the main in what I thought was the only one off

putting up some light fixtures, screwed the threaded post that holds the shade up to far into the bar and only got a few threads on the nut, it stays in place anyway, few weeks later family is eating dinner and CRASH! shade comes down and dents dinning room table, customers were nice enough to pay for damages as long as we come out and re-hang the (amazingly unbroken) light shade

[This message has been edited by Elviscat (edited 08-14-2005).]
Posted By: hankj Re: Confessionals... - 08/15/05 03:29 AM
I had a job to replace 6-strings of batteries in a 10,00 amp telephone power plant. We had finished 5 strings over a period of six weeks, and we had the last string ready to go on charge at 6 AM on the last day. Everyone was a little bleary eyed after working all night, and it was my task to connect this last string to the 800 amp MG set we used for a charger. I connected the 4/0 charge leads, started the unit, and began cutting out the field resistance. Just before the reverse current relay operated to close the charge contactor, I glanced up at the voltmeter - it was headed the WRONG WAY! TOO LATE! The contractor slammed closed, fire shot out of the arc chute and bounced off the ceiling, there was a terrible noise as the generator tried to reverse the 75-hp drive motor, and then, mercifully, the motor controller over-current trip did it's thing.

Hooked 'er up backwards...

I always did a polarity check after that!

Posted By: foestauf Re: Confessionals... - 08/16/05 12:08 AM
Accidently ran a piece of 8-2 through an HVAC pleneum.
Still to this day the folks A/C wire runs right into and out of the center of the AC box:-)

Blew up a Square D metermain sitting on a t-pole:-)

Watched an HVAC guy pull out an A/C disconnect, put it back in and watched as two phases joined in eternal matremony.
Some idiot trim guy instead of hooking it and as LOAD LINE LINE LOAD he did LOAD LOAD LINE LINE.

Watched a service guy destroy a ladies meter-main combo panel, guess who paid for that.
Posted By: Sixer Re: Confessionals... - 08/18/05 05:58 AM
Years ago, I was working on some fluorescent lights in a kitchen - if I remember correctly, it was a bank of about 8 4-foot tubes (4 ballasts). I had removed the wires and later on wanted to check the circuit hot. I touched the wires together, forgetting about the load attached - got a spark that was enough for a couple of pieces of molten copper to drop to the floor, leaving some burn marks on brand new linoleum. Ended up deducting almost the cost of the job off my invoice.

Another time I had stepped in some roofing tar, and one of the very few times I decided not to remove my boots, managed to track it onto a customer's brand new off-white carpeting. Spent a few hours scrambling to remove the tar with a rag and paint thinner, strand by strand, before the customer came home from work. I must have done a good job though, as the customer never did complain about it - mind you the customer has never called me back again for more work either!
Posted By: KBSHORTS Re: Confessionals... - 08/18/05 10:26 AM
Probably not enough room here to list even the greatest portion of mine over the years but some highlights,

damaged undergroung TV and telephone lines,
patched up and buried. several incidents

computer rooms unplanned shutdowns. OOPS!

holes where there should not be holes. white toothpaste will work for wall repairs

smoke let out of just about anything electric. ashamed to say

I agree some penance is in order but isn't that big book reading a little severe?
Posted By: Attic Rat Re: Confessionals... - 08/18/05 01:12 PM
... Jeez,..where do I begin??
1. Spilled white paint all over shrubs and side of house beneath a service entrance pipe I had to paint while in the act of trying to free a ladybug that'd gotten stuck to the wet paint.
2. Whilst pulling wire thru a basement ceiling,broke a water pipe connection(it was already very corroded)and flooded the basement..water was coming out of the high-hat holes.
3. Whilst trying to drill up from the basement into the hallway wall for a receptacle,I mis-drilled and came up 3" shy of the wall in the hardwood hallway floor,..with a 7/8" auger bit.
4. Whilst wiring a single phase disconnect switch that someone else had already started but left and hadn't tagged the wires(supply and load came thru the same nipple,all black THHN)I inadvertently wired phase A to line,and phase B to load on the same side of the 2-pole switch..Main on...check,...Disconnect switch to on...che-- BOOM!!
5. My helper smashed an arm off of a Waterford crystal chandelier,(the fixture was still on the floor in it's crate)when he was attempting to remove the fan brace box from it's packaging,and the 4" round box comes tumbling out,and in slow motion I am on the 6' ladder screaming "Noooooo" and there must have been a tear in the space time continuum at that moment,because my voice seemed to sound slowed down,and remember falling thru the air as I lunged for the falling metal projectile..I didn't catch it,and he stood there in his own urine,because he'd literally soiled himself..I got up off the floor,and he thought I was gonna yell,..I didn't but I had to explain to the H.O. about the broken fixture and the wet spot on the rug... True story..
Posted By: mkoloj Re: Confessionals... - 08/18/05 03:11 PM
The helper had an accident huh ??
From that day on I would have him wearing a pair of adult diapers so as to avoid that mess happening again.
Posted By: e57 Re: Confessionals... - 08/19/05 12:26 AM
KB, you do the crime, you do the time.... Right? [Linked Image]

Anyway, all, I am very impressed, many would not owe up to lesser of some of these. But it goes to show, we're all human. Dumb things happen all the time, sometimes we are inflictor of that dumb thing.
Posted By: gfretwell Re: Confessionals... - 08/19/05 02:28 AM
Not exactly what you guys do but when I was in the computer biz I was hooking up a string of 3420 tape drives. Not important what is in them but they are served with a proprietary AMP connector, 3 phase w/ground square deal, on a 14 guage cord. Female plug into a male on the drive.
It turns out over the 20 years these drives were in the field and all the no name knockoffs we had, supplying cables, you COULD miskey the plug. It also turns out the first disconnect in the 3803 serving the cable is 100a. (U/L stands by the listing)

Well the last words I said were "fire in the hole" as I plugged it in.

I am not sure exactly what the chain of events was but I did seem to have a bolted fault that was not being cleared by the branch circuit O/C device.

The plug was bouncing around on the floor shooting flaming copper balls. The UPS alert was going, the CPU alarm on two 3090 processors was going, smoke alarms above and under floor going, then the Halon claxon started that "baaap ... baaap" thing. I picked up the cable by the sheath and beat the fire out but I had a heluva time getting the little blonde computer room manager to go abort the Halon. She was just frozen with eyes the size of a white hat
Finally after I just screamed "You got Halon? ... You are fixin to see it!"
an operator broke the glass and flipped the switch.

Definately will get your heart rate up.

[This message has been edited by gfretwell (edited 08-18-2005).]
Posted By: wa2ise Re: Confessionals... - 08/19/05 09:02 PM
When I saw the title of this thread, I thought it might be about confessionals in Catholic churches. [Linked Image] These used to be closet sized booths that had sliding partitions between the sinner and the priest. Questions on how to install lights, outlets, etc. What section of the code addresses confessionals...
Posted By: Alan Belson Re: Confessionals... - 08/19/05 10:21 PM
"Father forgive me, for I have singed."
Posted By: Larry Fine Re: Confessionals... - 08/20/05 01:53 AM
"Father forgive me, for I have singed."

"Say 10 hail Murrays and singe no more."
Posted By: mxslick Re: Confessionals... - 08/20/05 06:27 AM
On the oops parade for me:

Miswired a motor for a film projector once. It ran ok on test, a little noisy which I had dismissed as used motor, old age. Got to change it again when it burned up a day later.

One horrid make of projector console, totally fried wiring when I cross phased the power to the lamp rectifier. Ouch.

And when working for EC here in So Cal., lifted a shared neutral and fried a microwave and the electronic controls on a very expensive refrigerator. Double ouch.

And way back, fried my best screwdriver and burned buss in my parents Zinsco panel trying to seat a 2p 40amp breaker. My dad was sure I'd bought the farm! (I was 16 at the time.)
Posted By: e57 Re: Confessionals... - 08/20/05 08:22 AM
I think everyone has a lifted neutral story.... But this ones good!

First few days in a service company learning the ropes with the owners brother.

Watching him work, custer service blah, blah, blah.

So he's working, and I'm just helping out. As hes in the panel, he starts giving the lecture about lost neutrals, "Always follow the wire you're disconnecting, so you don't pull the wrong neutral..." And he looks at me for an answer, "So you dont over-voltage something and blow it up." I say. He goes back to pulling the circuit out, then, "Oh %$*^! Go inside and see if anything burnt up! I can't believe it, I just pulled the wrong one!"

So I go inside, and find the home owner sitting in front of a smoking computer in a look of total horror.

Lucky he was the owners brother, but then again, he'll never live it down....
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