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  • #31
    Re: Apprentice mistakes

    I worked at a supply house in So Cal years back.On my way back home after work I saw a fella that would come in the shop from time to time.He was out side this house snaking a line,I stopped by shot the breeze with the guy he was just feeding this line in,well not ever doing this type a thing myself I go"just how much line are ya gonna feed in there? He replys "untill I find the stoppage!" I'm going "I can see from here to the house and thats alota snake" Just then the home owner comes running out waving his hands screaming yelling crying ect... it came up the john and just whaled everything in the bathroom pedestal sink ect ect... I gotta go now

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    • #32
      Re: Apprentice mistakes

      LOL...you guys know how to make me feel better about myself!
      Got a break from running cables and was a helper on the "Honey Dipper" for a day. Had to pump out a septic tank in Marin Co, CA.

      60 ft of steep downhill grade between pump truck and septic tanks, so we used a trash pump to aid the truck. 15 minutes go by, then no flow. He runs up to check the truck, not full yet, "trash pump must be clogged", he hollers.

      I shut down the pump and uncouple hose on discharge end, look up the hill at all that hose, wondering, "what the hell did I just do?" just as what felt like a water cannon hit me dead in the chest.

      LOL...I had no change of clothes, but at least I hadn't had my mouth open at the moment of truth.
      "...then there was that dusky gal in Bangkok...real crossway breeder I swear"

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      • #33
        Re: Apprentice mistakes

        I and another plumber once told a rookie to climb in a septic and pull the plug to drain it. We both helped him in to his wast line . Then the septic truck pulled up . I will never forget the look on my brothers faces, my brother in the septic and the one helping me lower him in. It is amazing the pranks we have pulled on each other over the years.
        THE GLASS IS ALWAYS HALF FULL

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        • #34
          Re: Apprentice mistakes

          I was a frickin' journeyman when asked to replumb 200- or 300' of distribution pipe in a ceiling . The ware house was an assembly line type operation that made lease little bitty circuit boards . They would go station to station until complete . Everything was run in the drop ceilings . No-one would move for me , There was 100 plus employees in thier . Due to the nature of the equipment , water couldn't be off for more than an hour , It was a 24 hour operation .I was told to replumb in cpvc .Finally came the time to make my tie-ins [Water is off] , wait an hour for the glue to set , which I don't gaurantee a system after just one hour for solvent weld. My ex employeer had no problem with the system being bumped up quick .Well , it was tough / long frickin' day , everyone edgy about getting the water back on .The isolation valve was far from the work. WELL, I inadvertantly missed a glued joint and water was poruing out of the ceiling ...........what a fiasco . Got into a big deal with my boss and told him to stick it . There is enough reason alone for me to test most systems with air , even plastics

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          • #35
            Re: Apprentice mistakes

            Originally posted by Crappy days View Post
            I and another plumber once told a rookie to climb in a septic and pull the plug to drain it. We both helped him in to his wast line . Then the septic truck pulled up . I will never forget the look on my brothers faces, my brother in the septic and the one helping me lower him in. It is amazing the pranks we have pulled on each other over the years.
            You are a bad bad man
            http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

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            • #36
              Re: Apprentice mistakes

              Matter o' fact, I could probably become a "senior member" of this board rather quickly, if I listed all the problems I've backed into since the early 90's.LOL
              "...then there was that dusky gal in Bangkok...real crossway breeder I swear"

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              • #37
                Re: Apprentice mistakes

                I WAS DOING A REMODEL, WE WERE IN DEMO, MYSELF AND MY HELPER, WE TORE OUT THE DRAINS UNDER THE HOUSE, BROKE OUT THE WYES THAT PICKED UP THE TOILETS, TOLD MY GUY BEFORE HE LEFT TO PULL THE TOILETS, THE WATER WAS OFF, BUT THERE WAS STILL 1 FLUSH LEFT IN THE TANK, HAD THE OTHER SUBS THERE THE NEXT A.M., MY GUY DIDN'T PULL THE TOILETS AND THEY WERE USED, ALL THE CRAP WENT UNDER THE HOUSE NOT NUMBER ONE, BUT THE HARD STUFF YOU COULD SMELL IT FROM OUTSIDE HE HAD TO GO UNDER AND CLEAN IT, FROM THAT DAY ON, HE LEARNED THERE IS REASON BEHIND EVERYTHING YOU DO ON THE JOB SITE
                sigpic

                Robert

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                • #38
                  Re: Apprentice mistakes

                  I never made any mistakes due to the fact there was always someone else I could blame

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                  • #39
                    Apprentice mistakes

                    1. I was talking to my uncle who is a fitter with a sprinkler co. They where installing a system and when they installed there check valve on the Fire dept connection they had installed it the wrong way. Blasting water out of it into the street.
                    2. The first time I used and roll groover I could not get the pipe to stay on after about a hour I look at the paper work and big a day threader MUST BE ON REVERSE !!!
                    3. I was on a job with fire sprinkler installers, great group of guys with a new helper that was learning how to use a Ridgid 300 and how to make up fitting with it. Talking with him I looked down in his oil pot there had to me about 6 cast ell all spit for going to fare.
                    4. I was installing about 100 ft of new black pipe into a old system. So I cut in and add a union and a valve and started running my pipe from there. At the end of the job, I set up to do my pressure test and as fast as I add air it want down. Now its about 14 hours into a job alone and all I can think of is where the hell is this leak! So I pump it up with about 90 PSI and guess where me leak was? Anyone? The union that I never made up.

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                    • #40
                      Re: Apprentice mistakes

                      Rick

                      Check Your Private Messages
                      sigpic

                      Robert

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                      • #41
                        Re: Apprentice mistakes

                        1.) I was once on a job where we were roughing in twelve apartments a week with PVC DWV and Pex supply. At the time, all of the foreman were very busy blasting through the DWV so it was up to me and the other apprentice to install the one piece Lasco tubs. We would slap them in level them up and screw 'em down. I told the other helper to start drilling the holes for the faucets while I made them up. After I got a few faucets installed behind him, he came walking over to me with his head held low and said "I did something really dumb." I walked into the room where he was working and what did I see? Yes, he began the large hole where the 1/2" faucet was supposed to stub out. Our foreman was a little bit too steamed to talk to him for the rest of the day.

                        2.) At the same job, we had our apartments roughed in (DWV) and could not find out leak with soap on the air test. The foreman got pretty impatient and decided to fill 'er up with water. After we found the leak, my foreman stuck his hand up in the 4" tee to let the blow-up plug out and woosh, three stories of stacked water. The force of the water pushed his hand down and he began screaming "cut it, cut it!" While I ran off to grab a knife the other helper stood there staring at my foreman screaming. After I cut a hole in the blow-up plug and helped him pull his hand out, the othe helper said "dude, I thought he wanted me to cut his hand off, I didn't know what to do."

                        3.) I was not on the job at the time but my foreman and his helper at the time were a a large job setting the underground. At the same time, the steel was being set for the three story building. The helper's job was to get crushed stone and fill the trench with the Bobcat all day. On one of his runs, he backed into the steel almost sending the welder three stories down. The welder was quite unhappy to say the least.

                        4.) I was with another helper at the time and I was gluing a fitting onto the top of a wet stack. I had the other guy hold the stack up and shove it into the fitting because it was a bit too heavy to hold with one hand. While I was gluing the hub, all of a sudden I heard a scream and the stack dropped. Yes, he was looking up at what I was doing and glue dripped into his eye. I couldn't help but laugh after he ran off.

                        5.) I was plumbing watermains in on a very large job and was sweating the branches off the main into the apartments. I was working pretty fast because we had to get the work done on a very busy schedule. I was soldering above duct work and needless to say, molten solder likes to bounce off of cold tin and hit the plumber in the face. Ouch.

                        6.) On another large job, it was the job of a 34 year old helper who claimed to have been an electrician to fire caulk all of our pipes that penetrated walls. He came to my foreman and asked what he wanted to have done with the gray pipes. He proceeded to get yelled at. Those gray "pipes" belonged to the electricians and were not pipes at all, they were the feed to the breaker boxes.

                        7.) A helper at my place of employment came back after he wrecked the work truck. He had hit someone that was in his "front blind spot."

                        8.) I was working last summer during my time off from college with a few other college kids doing all of the sh*t work for a large job. We got a truck full of fiberglass showers that day and after we had them unloaded onto the 2nd floor, it was our job to slide them to the apartment where they were to be installed. The other helper what was working with me was a football player and was very good at pushing the showers around, he was not however, good at missing door openings. He blew a pretty good corner out of the front of one of the showers. The foreman was not very happy that day.

                        9.) As an energetic helper, I was at a job where we had to dig up a well line and fix a leak. We got close to the line and as the low man, I had to do the shovel work. I went at it like a madman and failed to see the pool line that ran across where we were working. Our ditch filled up with water pretty quick. Pool pro and a few fittings and in internal plug got the line fixed but I still felt like a moron. I think the new guys with shovels/sledge hammars have all had something like this happen.

                        10.) Having never used a hand threader before, I was told to thread some 1/2" gas pipe while my foreman went off to lay out where I was to install it. After a while of not being able to thread the pipe, he came back and yelled at me. I was trying to start the threads with the wrong side of the hand threader.

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                        • #42
                          Re: Apprentice mistakes

                          Job in a chemical plant.
                          Running a potable water main, purified water & compressed air lines with 2", 1-1/2", 1-1/4" & 1" fittings.
                          Asked the new "experienced" apprentice to gather and clean a list of copper fittings, went off to work with a few other guys on laying out/setting up the hangers (unistrut/clips).
                          Came back a half hour later, he see's me coming and says "almost done!".
                          The entire pile of fittings had been cleaned on the outside of the hubs.

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                          • #43
                            Re: Apprentice mistakes

                            I've made many mistakes in the beginning all the way up to today, but the good thing is I try not to repeat those same mistakes.

                            I make the most mistakes when I'm tired, or I just do not give my body the rest it needs to go farther but as you all know...you go when the money is there.

                            It feels good to wake up in horrendous pain after pulling a 16 hour day seeing the stack of checks laying on the desk for deposits.

                            It's truly better than anything in a form of pill, I swear.


                            When I was first transitioning into plumbing, I took classes for welding instruction and worked at a metal fab shop that built firetrucks from ground up. The shop boss was a SOB and he needed to be; being 1/64" off and bend that metal up 9 times and that just grew to a 1/8" quite easily.

                            He had to do his job but he made everyone a nervous wreck, including me. We used hydraulic shears, press, punchout equipment.

                            I broke a brand smacking new $1400 die bending a 4" piece of metal on a 14' die. They cut that die down and made two dies out of it; forgot to set the stops on it.

                            Sounded like an explosion when that chipped a small piece off the die. Everyone knew I was getting laid off after that event.

                            Shot me into the plumbing field as I knew I had good mechanical skills....just needed to be in the right enviornment.
                            Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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                            • #44
                              Re: Apprentice mistakes

                              1. hanging at the shop one friday after work when a "journeyman" called in and asked to have a bail of rags delivered (the job was accross the street). Brought the rags over to him to the bathroom. He was clearing a stoppage in a 4" main that ran under a multi unit complex. When I walked into the bathroom there was sh*t water all over the walls (of a bathroom in an office). He ran out of line so instead of adding another spool to his snake he pulled it back and put a blow bag into the line. The water shot out of the other toilets and the sinks. Created a terrible mess. For some reason the unit next door (a tuxedo rental place) had a floor drain located in the middle of their showroom. The tuxedos also got a bath.


                              2. Boss sent me out to a job to find a leak in a water line in a single story house. Part slab part post and pier. The "journeyman" sent out before me was thrown off the job. Apparently the boss (who originally went to the job) forgot to tell the plumber not to break the stained concrete slab because the house was listed as historical. He saw water coming out from under the slab in the living room so broke the floor in the middle of the living room to see if he could find the leaking line.

                              The worst part is after I ran some isolation tests I discovered the leak wasn't from that part of the house, it was a line going to some hose bibbs in the back yard. Just had to cap the line to them. The water he saw coming from under the slab was rain water seeping from under the slab. When asked how to repair the stained slab the owner told the mason to just patch with quickcrete and use shoe polish on it afterwards.

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                              • #45
                                Re: Apprentice mistakes

                                My favorite was when I was helping the boss fix a jammed sump pump. We pulled the lid, pulled out the pump and cleared off all the dental floss and tampon strings. He then plugged the sump back in to see if it was clear. The pump was clear but we both got a shower in the Sh*t that was still caked up un the impeller.

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