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#27954 - 08/07/03 01:06 PM What's the Strangest or Funniest Service Call?  
Bill Addiss  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,878
NY, USA
What's the Strangest or Funniest Service Call you ever got?

I figure with all of the people we have here there must be some Doozies !

I was away for the day recently and came back to a call requesting help for a 'buzzing' Kitchen Receptacle. She sounded very upset saying that it made a buzzing sound every few minutes and even turning off breakers didn't make it stop.

Hmmm, When I did get a chance to call her back she said 'you'll never believe it' I was thinking, ... Bees?? - I've had that one myself. But, no, Her son's beeper was in a container of some kind right next to the outlet and it kept going off every few minutes. .... [Linked Image]

Not the top of the list I'm sure.
What's your story??
(PG only please!)

[Linked Image]
Bill


Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#27955 - 08/07/03 01:45 PM Re: What's the Strangest or Funniest Service Call?  
C-H  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,497
Stockholm, Sweden
A bit off topic; I had the pleasure of going through the list of the service calls (all types, not just electrical) for the past six months for a gas station chain to categorize them. You can't imagine the number of strange problems like "Toliet chair stolen" or "Urgent: Flag stuck halfway on the pole. Won't go up nor down."


#27956 - 08/07/03 06:14 PM Re: What's the Strangest or Funniest Service Call?  
targetshootr  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 55
nc
while pigtailing alum with copper in an apartment complex, we came across a lot of dead bats inside outlet boxes. strange.


#27957 - 08/07/03 06:41 PM Re: What's the Strangest or Funniest Service Call?  
Matt M  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 93
Laporte, MN, USA
Had a service call to an old house. One of the fuses had blown, but when the customer replaced the fuse, it still didn't work. He had tried several new fuses with no luck.

I was assuming that he was trying to screw a 20 amp fustat into a 15 amp adapter or something like that. But upon seeing the panel that wasn't the case, it was a new 15 amp fustat in a 15 amp adapter so it should have worked fine.

As I stood there in front of the panel holding my flashlight with the customer right beside me, I unscrewed the fuse. Hidden from him, but visible to me I could see that a piece of bakalite thread had broken free and was holding the fuse out. One quick blow into the fusholder, fuse reinserted, the lights came on. The customer stood there looking at me as though I was a mystic LOL. What the he&&? he asked.


#27958 - 08/07/03 08:26 PM Re: What's the Strangest or Funniest Service Call?  
Anonymous
Unregistered

We got a call Wed the lady said she was worried about a receptacle that was making a funny noise. What kind of noise we said? She said "I don't know it just sounds like electricity". We had wired the whole house several months earlier so we immediatley rushed right out fearing it was an arcing connection.
When we got there she was on the phone and she ushered us in and led us to the suspect receptacle. We heard nothing and proceeded to pull the cover plate and had the receptacle half out when she returns and says "do you hear it?" we still don't hear anything then she puts her ear real close and says "I can hear it". So I put my ear real close and sure enough I hear a faint ticking. I said "Do you mean that ticking sound" as I look out the window to the irrigation timer mounted on the outside wall
opposite the receptacle. "Yeah that's it!" she says. Then I lead her outside and said "listen to this" as I point to the timer.Then she says "Oh I feel like such a dope" We didn't mind as we were relieved that we hadn't made a wiring error.
Of course there was the time a customer said that renters had destroyed half the wiring in the house and when we got there we discovered the problem: half the breakers were switched off!
And my own wife told me the TV was making a buzzing noise every few minutes-it was my pager laying on the dresser!
Brian

[This message has been edited by Brian Winkle (edited 08-07-2003).]


#27959 - 08/07/03 09:17 PM Re: What's the Strangest or Funniest Service Call?  
LK  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
New Jersey
I have three rooms where the power is there and then no power. You fixed our porch light 3 years ago and must have done something worng. I am not very happy with your work.
Well we went there, and sure enough no power to those rooms. We asked if anyone had been working there on the electrical system and she said no, you were the last one doing any work here. Started at the panel and found that a new timer was hanging on a nail next to the panel with a nm cable pulled out of the wall going in the timer and out of the timer. We put the timer on manual and suprise the rooms had power. When we asked about the timer she said the lawn guys put that there, but that is not electric it is for the sprinklers and they work, don't you know what you are doing.If you tell me this is going to cost me money, I am going to ask you to leave.


#27960 - 08/07/03 10:05 PM Re: What's the Strangest or Funniest Service Call?  
targetshootr  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 55
nc
ah, the old 'give me an estimate after you figure out whats wrong, then i'll fix it myself' trick.


#27961 - 08/07/03 10:32 PM Re: What's the Strangest or Funniest Service Call?  
Bill Addiss  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,878
NY, USA
Quote
ah, the old 'give me an estimate after you figure out whats wrong, then i'll fix it myself' trick.
shootr,
That's near the top of my 'could do without' list!!

Bill


#27962 - 08/07/03 11:21 PM Re: What's the Strangest or Funniest Service Call?  
elecbob  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 141
WA
A customer called and said electricity was coming through her kitchen window and shocking her. I checked the neutral and ground connections in the panel. The pipes were all grounded. The ground rods were percode. I followed the service drop from the weatherhead to the pole. The pole was engulfed in ivy. The top of the ivy was very ner the high voltage bushinf on the serving transformer. I called the utility and they sent a crew out pronto. They cut the ivy back and the problem went away. Evidently the ivy was conducting voltage to her underground water pipes.
Another one: Customer says floor outlet never worked in 25 years she had lived in the house. I traced the circuit back to a switch. I flipped the switch and the outlet was hot. She always wondered what the switch was for.
Another one: A customer lived in a house for 28 years. Says the kitchen lights won't work. They were wired to 2-3 way switches which had been replaced with single pole switches. They both had to be in the up position for the lights to work. Seems the cleaning lady flipped the switch these people hadn't used for 28 years.
Another one: Customer calls and says there's a strange noise coming from her circuit breaker panel. I show up and see a

square d split bus panel. Not the greates but I don't hear anything. She comes up and says "it only makes the noise some of the time. I thump on the main breaker and we both high tail it out of there. There was a huge hornet nest in the stud space below the panel. After the exterminator eliminates the pests I open up the wall and a significant amount of insulation has been chewed off the wires. An expensive repair job!
Another one: A customer complains that anwhen they use an outlet in a hallway it ruins their vacuum cleaner. I check and find that the outlet has been wired of a baseboard thermostat located above. Funny what 240 does to vacuum cleaners.


[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited 08-07-2003).]


#27963 - 08/08/03 04:45 PM Re: What's the Strangest or Funniest Service Call?  
Anonymous
Unregistered

"always wondered what the switch was for."

Now thats funny! Reminds me of the "Friends" episode.


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