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Jackmartin Member Posts: 181
edited February 2019 in THE MAIN WALL
I only write stories to make people laugh I get enough serious stuff every day. I had a job at a large school with a huge foot print. This is a school from the late nineties and of course they dug the crawl space down 4 feet. The good news is the space has a concrete walkway made out of 2by 2 foot concrete slabs. The grand beams have doors through each one and as crawl spaces go it is certainly one of the better ones. Sooooo, I have a diaphragm to repair on a Honeywell control valve at the far end of this massive crawl space, fortunately I only needed a few tools. I meet with the head caretaker, tell him I am going to be in the crawl space and jokingly ask him to not turn out the light. We laugh and he tells his assistant and she laughs too. I usually have a mag light on my belt ,but I was in a hurry and I couldn’t remember where I had put it and thought ,no big deal. I arrive at the far end of the crawl space get the diaphragm changed and just as I am to leave the unit the freaking lights go out. It is so dark I cannot see my hand 2 inches from my face. Oh ****, now I am thinking about what kind of stupid fool leaves home without their maglite. I get on my knees and feeling my way I start to crawl my way out, did I mention the grade beams have doors? My head seemed to have no problems finding the frames. I was groping my way out for at least an half hour and by the time I finally saw the light from the trap door I was not a happy person. I pop out of the hole with a bruised head and a temper to match. Unfortunately for the caretaker, he is the first person I spot and I tell him in no uncertain terms what I thought of the light trick. The poor guy is totally confused, he tells me no one shut the lights out they knew I was in the crawl space. Then we spot the principal of the school and the caretaker asks if he saw anyone go into their office. Oh sure says the brains of the outfit “ I saw the lights were on in the basement and turned them out, have to save money you know”. The caretaker tells Mr Education I was in the crawl space and he replies “ Well there was no sign to say leave the lights on”. What could we say in the face of such wisdom, I would repeat it ,but Erin might read this and it is not for ladies ears.
All the best Jack


    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,948
    Usually if the trapdoor is open and the light is on there is a reason.
    Many in admin are educated beyond their intelligence.

    Didn't you have a cell phone with you?
    Just opening my flip phone gives enough light to crawl,
    I need a light to find the buttons to turn the cell flashlight on though. :/
    rick in Alaska
  • sunlight33
    sunlight33 Member Posts: 356
    edited January 2019
    Next time just shout really loud and hope someone out there can hear you, or bring a walkie-talkie with you and place another one near the light switch.
  • flat_twin
    flat_twin Member Posts: 291
    Crawl space in total blackness? Yer givin me the willies! I had one flashlight failure in a crawl, just one. I always took two after that.
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 918
    @Jackmartin Thanks for allowing me to chuckle at your expense. That could easily be me
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
  • GroundUp
    GroundUp Member Posts: 1,282
    In my apprentice days, was a couple hundred feet down into a wide but short dirt floor crawlspace under a 1960's school. Doing demo down there, everything needed to be drug out to the access hole above. The place was lit up like a christmas tree so it never crossed my mind to carry a light. Well, being a know-it-all 18 year old jackwagon I happened to cut off a conduit along with my 5" sch 40 I was demo-ing and the lights went out. I'm a VERY claustrophobic person and do not do well in tight spaces already, but the same tight space in the dark makes it 10x worse. I'm not too proud to admit that I cried down there that day, and I carry a light with me everywhere I go since then.
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,282
    Those little Eveready head lamps are a great tool.
    Unfortunately it's always in the truck when I need it.

    Crawl spaces suck and are dangerous. leaking pipes, crawling over wires, cables, broken glass and broken brick, poor lights, no air, forgetting the tools you need, mice, rats, cobwebs

    Do I have it covered?
  • sunlight33
    sunlight33 Member Posts: 356
    Pretty much, or a gathering place for 100 cockroaches, saw that in a very old house bought by a coworker of mine, figured someone HAD to go in there sooner or later.
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,948
    About 10 years ago I went into the attic of a 100+ year old church.
    I have been up there enough times to know it is 87 steps/rungs to the clock tower.
    There is a high attic and lower side attics.
    I had head light, battery tool flashlight, maglight and cell phone.
    Going down a wood ladder built by dead men 100 years ago, to the lower attic with only the head light on, I could hear some squeaking/scratching off to the right in another attic area.
    This is like visiting a huge cave in total darkness.
    There have always been bats around this steeple. I did not see any during this visit. I did my electrical survey and went back down. Always looking for the bats and always having this eerie feeling that I was not traveling alone.
    Went to the restroom mirror and checked out for riders on my back....I was clean! (Saw this in some movie)
    After rewiring there is a 200 watt bulb every 30-40 feet.
    The switch has a lockable flipper cover on it which is bolted on if I am in there again. I still carry at least 3 other sources of light though.
    There are some high mount flood lights that must be re-lamped from the attic. Volunteers are hard to find for that job!
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited January 2019
    When I work on electrical circuits at property we own I put masking tape over switches and circuit breakers I don;t want switched. At least it suggests "LEAVE THEM ALONE"
  • 1Matthias
    1Matthias Member Posts: 148

    Those little Eveready head lamps are a great tool.
    Unfortunately it's always in the truck when I need it.

    Crawl spaces suck and are dangerous. leaking pipes, crawling over wires, cables, broken glass and broken brick, poor lights, no air, forgetting the tools you need, mice, rats, cobwebs

    Do I have it covered?

    At least around here, add in inch thick carpets of mold in the summer, asbestos, fiberglass, and the occasional possum.
  • Grallert
    Grallert Member Posts: 524
    Head lamp in my pocket.
  • mikeg2015
    mikeg2015 Member Posts: 1,183
    Can’t imagine doing this work without LED’s. Tool bag always has a headlamp, small flashlight and a cheap magnetic LED.

    Haven’t had the pleasure of a long crawlspace yet.
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,305
    I carry a Streamlight Stylus PRO. very bright and lasts a good while. I also have my cellphone.

    Two things which I absolutely despise in this trade are:

    1. Rooftop Units
    2. Crawlspaces

    Any architect or engineer who thinks either are a good idea should loose their licence!
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!