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Costly Mistakes #14828
10/02/02 08:48 PM
10/02/02 08:48 PM
Electric Eagle  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
Alpharetta, GA
Did you ever have a job that was just going too well? I had that dream project yesterday and today until about 12:30. The project was to retrofit 28 recessed cans into an old house, the customer was a dream to work for and the pay was top dollar.

Yesterday went great, 21 cans no problems. Today one of my helpers stepped part way through the drywall ceiling, no problem the homeowner was having drywall patched and repainting anyway. Then it happened, I was on a ladder talking to a contractor on my cell and drilling with a 6' Diversabit. I wasn't paying attention and drilled through the 100 year old heart pine floor upstairs. OUCH! And it was me that did it, no yelling at a helper, just me. The customer was very nice about it, but I bet it'll cost me a fortune to repair. I guess I'll find out in the morniing when I meet a floor guy to get a quote.

This is going to push me to raise my prices about 10% to cover things like this. I went years without having any costly mistakes, but they've been occurring much more frequently lately. Most have been very minor ($10 or $20) and this was definately the worst, but I'm going to start a reserve fund. The bad thing, or good thing depending on your view, is that none of these mistakes will come anywhere near meeting the need for insurance to pay due to a $2500 deductable. But I hope I never need to use the insurance. Let my pain be a lesson to all to make sure you get paid enough to cover the mistake you never make.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Costly Mistakes #14829
10/02/02 09:06 PM
10/02/02 09:06 PM
go-go  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 42
throw the cell in the truck and strap a pager on. less distracting.

Re: Costly Mistakes #14830
10/03/02 12:55 AM
10/03/02 12:55 AM
Sean WB  Offline
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 111
South TX
Thanks for the advice. I have had a few close calls. almost destroyed some old pine shelves today trying to get out a 35 year old panel in a beach house. It seems the salty air just swelled the wood real nice and snug. (not to mention it was framed with with 2x6's) [Linked Image] I had to get the trusty sawzall and a demo-blade. well you know the rest [Linked Image] My hand broke the impact from the locked up sawzall to the pine.
"oh , thats just factory smoke coming out of your new panel, it comes with all new electrical equipment " [Linked Image]

I did not get as think so badly as you shocked I did.
Re: Costly Mistakes #14831
10/03/02 05:38 AM
10/03/02 05:38 AM
sparky  Online Content
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,344
does your contractors insurance cover such things?

Re: Costly Mistakes #14832
10/03/02 06:03 AM
10/03/02 06:03 AM
Electricmanscott  Offline
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
Holden, MA USA
Just two months ago I accidently knelt on a brand new $1200.00 cooktop which of course broke the glass top. This was for Mrs Painintheass. She was ok about it though. My insurance covered it only because it happened after it was installed and not during installation. I drove to another state and got a new one and also did a couple hundred dollars work for nothing. Regardless of the cooktop incident I would never work for her again. On the ladder+ talking on the cellphone + drilling with a six foot bit+ not paying attention = formula for disaster. Live and learn I guess. I hope you wouldn't ream your helpers for doing this as we all make errors in judgement.

[This message has been edited by Electricmanscott (edited 10-03-2002).]

Re: Costly Mistakes #14833
10/03/02 11:11 AM
10/03/02 11:11 AM
sparky66wv  Offline
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
West Virginia
I dropped an under-cab light (fluorescent) onto a range and chipped the enamel big time.

It cost me about $50 for the repair, and I didn't even break even before paying myself on the job. Out-of-State Retirees... (or "ferrin' old f@rts" in WV speak)...

I've also dented the top of a range once while retro-fitting a range hood (including venting through 6' of horizontal soffit without being "invasive") , but was never asked to repair or pay for it.

I'm in constant fear of damaging something at the Greenbrier Houses. Even a simple fingerprint will result in backcharge. I hate to see what would happen if I really messed something up! Simply dropping a screwdriver onto a porcelain sink while installing one of eight vanity sconces would off-set my entire net pay on the job!

Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI
Re: Costly Mistakes #14834
10/03/02 11:38 AM
10/03/02 11:38 AM
WNYJim  Offline
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 39
Rochester, NY, USA
Forget your mistakes, remember the lesson.

Re: Costly Mistakes #14835
10/03/02 01:56 PM
10/03/02 01:56 PM
DaveB.inVa  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 6
Nickelsville Va
I drilled a 1" hole through my cousins roof one time. He was helping me (first mistake) and was positive that I wasnt going to go through the roof. I knew it was bad when I pulled the bit out and saw sunlight. He was cool with it though...

Re: Costly Mistakes #14836
10/03/02 02:41 PM
10/03/02 02:41 PM
elektrikguy  Offline
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 132
was installing a box on the underside of the front desk of a 5 star hotel. Of course the easiest place to mount was on the inside of the front. Talkin and mounting with you guessed it, screws too long. Brand new mahgony hand crafted from somewhere. Front had intricate designs. ohhhhh man. Still remember the feeling when my aprentice goes "man, the screws are coming through the front". At first I thought he was joking but then the look on his face said it all. Learned a valuable lesson, as should all, that making friends instead of enemies of the other contractors pays dividends. Finish carpenters pulled me out of that one.

Re: Costly Mistakes #14837
10/03/02 02:53 PM
10/03/02 02:53 PM
pauluk  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
I dropped a half-full roll of T&E (Romex) through the ceiling of the last big rewire I did (the Bacton House).

Fortunately, it was already rotten and due to be replaced anyway! Phew! [Linked Image]

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