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Your nightmare...

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Mustangman
Mustangman Member Posts: 113
I am a firm believer of using life stories as a learning tool. I know the jobs I made a mistake on, I never make that mistake again. I also believe life is a series of experiences, all of which have a lesson to be learned attached to them.
I would love to hear about the life experiences you all have had, and what the lesson may be. One of the hardest lessons I learned is also really gross.
This incident happened in my younger days when I thought I was a real hot shot plumber / heat guy. My boss gives me some blue prints for an expansion of a dentist office. All the work was to be done in this 3' wood framed crawl space that had suspended ceilings below that. It was a hard job to pipe as you needed all these services shoved into a tiny box. ( Air, water, vacuum etc ) so the dentist hand piece would work.
We were kicking ****. We had a majority of the work done in a few days. Considering you literally had to crawl over joist and it seemed like the dental chairs were a mile away.
The last service we had to connect to was vacuum. We had to cut into 2" PVC for tees to be installed in the vacuum line. It was anchored to the joist above. So.. my helper starts to cut the 2" PVC. All the sudden, 1/2 way thru the pipe snaps off and all this spit, water, blood and hunks of teeth falls directly on my helpers face and neck. I didn't notice the big sag in the line. Jim, my guy starts throwing up, then I didn't know sympathy barfing is a thing... It is. The smell ... omg it was horrible. There were 2 guys throwing up in a crawl space which has that suspended ceiling. What really sucked is the long ways to crawl to
get out. Words can't describe this experience.
This story really isn't over. We had to contact the office people, new ceiling tile. Without a doubt, this is the worst one I had. The lessons... yeah plural
Steve Noviello
Mad Dog_2Long Beach Ed

Comments

  • jep
    jep Member Posts: 16
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    A favorite saying:
    You never know what you are going to find!" . . . Or shorthand: "You never know!"
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 2,000
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    Ok.... @Mustangman , You win. LOL. Ouch.
    SlamDunk
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,779
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    I'm out.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    SuperTechSlamDunkMad Dog_2mattmia2
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 1,516
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    Yech You won the worst job condition ever
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
    Mad Dog_2
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,066
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    Wow This one has earned my highest award. You have made it the the "You Want To Here A Good One" page.

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

  • Mustangman
    Mustangman Member Posts: 113
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    Thank you Ed... I appreciate the compliment. I know you are close to my age. When you get this age you think back on the good and bad things you have experienced working in this trade for 45 years. Safety is something we do not talk about yet we deal in a dangerous trade everyday. I have seen some job site accidents that should have never happened. What trade is more dangerous? We deal with water, electrical, fuel gas at times all with in a few inches of each other.
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,779
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    Thank you Ed... I appreciate the compliment. I know you are close to my age. When you get this age you think back on the good and bad things you have experienced working in this trade for 45 years. Safety is something we do not talk about yet we deal in a dangerous trade everyday. I have seen some job site accidents that should have never happened. What trade is more dangerous? We deal with water, electrical, fuel gas at times all with in a few inches of each other.


    Ever run an engine lathe?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    CLamb
  • Pumpguy
    Pumpguy Member Posts: 663
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    When I was working at Nash, we sold some vacuum pumps for mortuary evacuation applications.

    We were one time asked to service some vacuum pumps at a hospital. Upon arrival, we were directed to a certain area where there were all sorts of body parts on display.

    Fortunately, it wasn't me that made those service calls.

    Now, vacuum poultry evisceration, yep, been there and done that, even have the baseball hat but could never get used to it.
    Dennis Pataki. Former Service Manager and Heating Pump Product Manager for Nash Engineering Company. Phone: 1-888 853 9963
    Website: www.nashjenningspumps.com

    The first step in solving any problem is TO IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM.
  • Mustangman
    Mustangman Member Posts: 113
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    I have not Ed. Sounds dangerous.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,075
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    I can testify that a dental office vacuum is really the most nasty pipe you might encounter.
    I worked on the remodel of several "opertories" in a dental building.

    There was one vac line that had to be replaced. Luckily i had to open the floor to get to all piping.
    There was a 1 1/2" PVC line dead ended with the end unsupported. Having cut some other lines open it was obvious what was still inside.

    I was able to plug the low end with wadded up newspaper, cut the pipe where it started to slope and then plug the loose ends again.

    If you follow the vac line back to the vac pump there is a collection canister that resembles a large water filter. These canisters are changeable and sealable to be sent off to a recycling site.
    They are looking for gold, silver, amalgam, and of course mercury.
    Really a nasty collection of everything you mentioned above.
    When the vac pump is running you can see all the goodies swirling around inside.

    There is very little water that goes into the vac line during normal operation. Only the water sprayed inside the mouth when work is done. So not a lot of water to float solids away.
    There are disinfectant solutions that should be sucked down the line periodically but not done on a regular basis.

    If possible I would try to suck a 5 gallon bucket full of water down the line before cutting open.
    A job where you wanted to wear gloves and glasses.
    CLamb
  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 594
    edited April 12
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    Just in case anyone is still smiling (but maybe a pang of guilt about it ) from the original post, now picture that it was probably someones job to go thru that spit/blood/tooth and fillings bits ... in order to get some nice metals. Its all tidy and mechanised now, of course.. but back then...
    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
    Mad Dog_2
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,103
    edited April 12
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    Ha ha..Ya gotta love it... The grossest thing I (& fellow plumbers that I know) have encountered.

    1) Cleaning out a neglected grease trap in The Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center. Lifting off the cover, I saw the most beautiful array of layered colors..red, green, brown. Once I began to scoop it out, the word RANCID explained itself!!!  I gagged and dry heaved the whole time.

    2) Snaking out water fountain drains...The Human Mouth is filthiest than a Dogs.. yukkk...the stink!

    3) Clearing stoppages in Dental Cuspidors..blood, pieces of human gums, broken teeth, green, black and yellow pus....nice huh?  The stench..   

    4) Plumbers I know: Cleaning out the Dead, sloughed off skin interceptors in Burn units. Those Poor People!!!  Straight out of Dante's Inferno....Snaking Funeral home drains and cleaning out the "meat traps." Ewww

    5) A plumbing apprentice loosened the flange bolts on the wrong side of the Check valve of a Commercial sewage ejector.  As I walked in the room to see how he was doing I got raw sewage water squirted not only in my face, but yes! Right in my mouth. This School was under renovation and no running sinks to wash my mouth out. I ran to a janitors closet...I grabbed Pine Sol, Borax, whatever I could find, took a swig and gargled for 30 seconds, spit it all out..Ran to the 24 hour bodega and grabbed Poland spring and rinsed for two minutes.  Never got sick, no Hepatitis or HIV, or cooties...Thank The Lord.

    6) Till this day...THE worst smell I have ever whiffed, and I've smelled Decomposing animals and Humans, is a Rotten Duck Egg, John Rich smashed on me when I was 13 working on the Horse Farm. They thought it was sooo funny. I had to rip my shirt off and vomited for 20 minutes.. Oh My GOD...Putrid.   

    Mad Dog 
  • Mustangman
    Mustangman Member Posts: 113
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    LOL . If you work in the plumbing trade long enough, you will run into some nasty ****. I once had a call at a brand new home for sink drain not draining. The guy who did the work walked off. He is a class act. If he is bidding a job, I won't waste my time. Anyhow, I am greated by the woman who owns the house and she is in tears. Very attractive blonde. So I am there to save the day! I go down in the basement and what a freaking mess. The sink on the 1st floor was the issue. I looked up at this nest of 11/2 pipe and realized he crossed a vent line with the drain. Everytime she ran the faucet, the vents flooded.
    So, I there with the homeowner going over what was wrong. There is a clean out right at the 11/2 line. So, I'm feeling great... found the issue, homeowner understands it.. I get my ladder and set it up, I've got a bucket.. Im ready. I noticed a drip of water on the clean out plug... that was a sign. I reach up and touch that clean out plug and the whole clean out comes flying out of the tee and hits me in the chest along with gallons of sewage...I couldn't get away from it. Remember the homeowner? She is as shocked as I was. I was covered from chest to feet in sewage. Not one of my finer moments. The lady insisted I strip down and she will wash them... now... that leaves me with no clothes on! Yikes. She saw I was uncomfortabe and said " Steve, I have a robe for you" I decided she could wash my clothes, less the underware and I would run home quick for new underware. Picture this.. A 250lb dude, in his underware climbing into a 1990 Ford F350 service body and Oh no shoes either which made shifting a ****. I call my wife and tell her to meet me in the parking lot with a blanket. As all women, she wants an explanation and details.. I just want a freaking blanket and a shower!! Honey
    When I get back to the job, she had my clothes folded and the entire mess cleaned up. We went back and repiped her drain lines a few days later. So tell me... how do you bill for that?? LOL
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,103
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    Snaking large diameter galvanized Storm conductors in Rock Center on OT. 1988. Atlantic Records HQ...Gold Records adorn the walls. Jimmy O' Brien, our Irish foreman had drilled a 3/4" hole in stack and he was slowly trying to control the flow of black Storm water waste. The back up was atleast 8 stories..5 psi. .

    We had protection out the ying yang, and had 3 - 55 gal drums to catch the water.
    He was carefully prodding the stack with 3/8" Threaded rod.. " Ohhhh F----" was the last thing we heard.  A 3/4" diameter missile of fetid black water shot 50 feet across the office to unprotected office space.  The Led Zeppelin Gold Records were power-washed to the floor.  Billy Klepper, Curt Robison and I fell on the floor laughing...all under 28 yrs old...Jimmy 55ish ran around trying to get the genie back in the bottle but it was futile...We knew it. .He couldn't FATHOM it.  "Gerry's (The Boss) gonna have my head...for F--- sake why are you idiots laughing???" Were all gonna get fired!!!  We laughed more like young ****...

    No one got fired. Insurance paid.  RIP Jimmy, it doesn't matter any more..Say Hello to Gerry (RIP)  for me.  Mad Dog 
  • Mustangman
    Mustangman Member Posts: 113
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    ScottS...Get your facts right.. to be a plumber " cold is on the right, crap runs downhill (Always) and payday is on Friday.
    ScottSecorMad Dog_2
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 2,000
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    No way as bad as @Mustangman above but this one comes to mind.

    I like to try things on my own home when they are new.I do this because I prefer to not try something new on a customers house.
    PEX was new around the time I purchased my first house. Uponor,( Wirsbo back then ),was the thing that was new then. An old trusted friend who ran the supply house suggested it. He's still a friend.
    This first new home had almost paper thin walled copper tubing. The water quality had taken it toll.
    With the kids in diapers and working fifty plus hours a week, then coming home to do the pipe replacement, well, I disturbed my house hold to replace the water piping with PEX. If you have done your own home you know how this can be a big PIA.
    After completing the upstairs and connecting to the crappy copper water main for the night I went to bed.
    At about three AM I woke up. I don't know what made me wake up but I did. Was it a premonition?

    I went down stairs dressed only in my underwear finding water spraying all over the basement.
    Without skipping a beat and dressed not to impress I shut the water off. Repaired the leak in about an hour with water on the floor and water dripping from the rafters all while in my tightie whities.

    The copper didn't like the pex adapter. The copper was to weak to accept the fitting. It was just tooo thin walled.
    Im a pex believer now.I woke up to a catastrophic nightmare.
  • Mustangman
    Mustangman Member Posts: 113
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    Hey it happens. You realize there are probably people out there who would pay to see you soldering, on a ladder with the whitie Tighties? Just had a thought.... god forbid you use too much solder and some drips off...heading toward the whitie tighties. A bad deal.
    Steve
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,103
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    We've all had hot little balls of molten solder roll down our shirts.  Mad Dog 
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,740
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    Mad Dog_2 said:

    We've all had hot little balls of molten solder roll down our shirts.  Mad Dog 

    I have a scar on the back of my hand because it was also holding the torch so I couldn't brush the solder off right away.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,779
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    Mad Dog_2 said:
    We've all had hot little balls of molten solder roll down our shirts.  Mad Dog 
    The first time I tried to solder pipes I had it drip on the tip of my middle finger and under the nail. 

    Good times.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Mad Dog_2PRR
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 2,000
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    Hey it happens. You realize there are probably people out there who would pay to see you soldering, on a ladder with the whitie Tighties? Just had a thought.... god forbid you use too much solder and some drips off...heading toward the whitie tighties. A bad deal.
    Steve

    I was so focused on getting the job done I didn't think to change. Just zoned in and got it done. Didn't want to inconvenience the family by waiting till morning. I didn't think of what a sight it must have been up on the later in the basement.
    Luckily, no new scars from the soldering. Seems the solder scars have all been brought about when fully dressed.
    The burn scar when solder got under my wrist watch, that was another time. Probably the worst one.



    Mad Dog_2
  • Mustangman
    Mustangman Member Posts: 113
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    INTPLM... freaking ouch on the watch band. No way to flick it off... just had to take it huh? That sucks. I enjoy watching younger guys solder. ( although now all they want to do is Propress ). I normally do a couple joint and show them... then guide them thru where to put the heat, how much solder is enough etc. Vertical joints seem to give them the most trouble. As you pro's know... its all about the heat and where to put it. My worst burn was from pipe welding. I was in a rush and a bit over confident in my abilities to weld a joint I had to lay down to get the bottom. A big ball of molten flux dripped off and got me right in the crease of the inside of my elbow. Mr cocky decided not to throw the welding leather jacket on.. Did you know that burns get infected really easy? They do... still have the scar.
    Steve
    Intplm.Mad Dog_2
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,103
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    Silver brazing molten drops are even worse..Burn deeper. I got one down my denim shirt. Burned a hole as deep as a small pea...owwww!  Ha ha.Mad Dog 
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,779
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    Mad Dog_2 said:

    Silver brazing molten drops are even worse..Burn deeper. I got one down my denim shirt. Burned a hole as deep as a small pea...owwww!  Ha ha.Mad Dog 

    I've never been burned brazing luckily.
    Learned enough on soft soldering to not let that stuff drip on me.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 2,000
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    I went to a job interview many years ago. One of the reasons I was hired so I was told, was because of the scars on the back of my hands. I looked and really hadn't noticed. So much for knowing it like the back of your hand.