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  • Apprentice mistakes

    This thread is for all of you who have a story to share about an apprentice (yourself or someone else) who made a mistake on a job that really made you look silly or cost you a lot of money. Please note - Safety mistakes are no laughing matter. Maybe next time we see our apprentice getting ready to do something that one of y'all have learned from we can save ourselves a headache.

    I'll go first - When i was an apprentice i was in a customer's bathroom with my boss after we had just replaced something on a toilet. I was squatted down near a sink watching my boss finish up - we both stood up at the same time and i heard a crack and a pop come from behind me. My belt had caught on the corner of one of those cultured marble sinks/countertop one peice deal. It snapped off the whole corner. Fortunately we found a perfect match for the countertop for $150.00 and i got the priviledge of installing it on my day off.

  • #2
    Apprentice mistake

    I had just been assigned my journeyman and it was my first day on the job. We were plumbing a new development. there was a problem beneath the slab in the wasteline that went to the street. My journeyman asked me to break through the slab and find the pipe. with all of the enthusiasm and energy that only a teenager can have I broke through the concrete and the wasteline with a sledge hammer and cold chisel... I got my journeyman showed him what I had done and he showed me how to repair ABS pipe.

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    • #3
      mistakes made by "someone i know" as an apprentice.
      Dont get me started.

      Installing a control valve in a cold water feed to a house.First time brazing only the downsream side.Result - flood.
      Second time installing valve backward.Result -no water.

      Connecting toilet suites to the hot supply in the adjacent duct.Warm in winter!

      Changing the blades of a 9" grinder with it still plugged in to power.Hold betwwen feet,squueze trigger while trying to undo blade.I guess thats why new grinders have dual action switches.

      Lay PVC storm drain in trench.Next day, after overnight rain, go to cut branch into drain underwater. Saw through pipe AND plastic electrical conduit
      which was illegally and unknown to me installed right on top of it after i left the previous night. Yes, there were sparks.

      Using step ladders to temporarily prop suspended drainage.Pipe between top and second rung.Hard to remove ladder when several lengths joined together.

      Drop spanner in newly installed toilet suites/basins.Crack - $$$

      Drop back plate of 8" copper tube expander in top of 15 storey riser.Yes I (I mean he!) had to cut out the bottom of the riser to retreive it.

      Unable to work out that Accetylene fittings are left hand threads. Boss this wont come undone!?

      Once "he" went to the wrong address for a small job.Who coincidentally needed a plumber for the same problem.Job done, payment received, client happy. Return to workshop to find boss angry that job wasnt done. One very confused apprentice. At least the boss laughed about it later.

      Taking the beloved , definitely not pedigree but very lovable dog to work.
      Dog owner client opens door, greets plumber and dog.Dog enters house, eats the cat food in bowl in kitchen, jumps in the swimming pool for a few laps, then gets out and decides to "get acquainted" with the clients dog.Luckily the apprentices dog had personality and client thought it was funny.

      Losing control of fully extended 3 peice extension ladder.Luckily it landed against a tree.

      I should stop now.
      Note:Names and details changed to protect the guilty.

      Comment


      • #4
        ok i am new at this (been doing it month now)i was told to go to the truck and get 20' of 3/4 cpvc i misunder stood but was sure i heard it right so i didn't question it. i walked to the truck witch is parked 2 blocks away and came back with 20 pieces of 3/4 pvc(that gets heavy pretty fast) when i get back everyone is laughing there but off at me but i learned what the differnce beteewn pvc and cpvc pretty quick but at 33 years old i should have looked at what we were doing and should have know that we didn't need 400 feet of pipe to go 15 feet oh well live and learn,and so far that has been my biggest mistake next to not knowing that cpvc uses a diffenrt glue the pvc but other then that so far so good
        9/11/01, never forget.

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        • #5
          This was the result of letting a new-hire apprentice install a residential boiler on his own after he swore he'd done "many boilers and manifolds";







          I'm sorry for the disturbing images.

          Comment


          • #6
            Oh my God, I almost threw up when I looked at those pics!!!

            The person who let this so-called 'apprentice' work on his own and perform work which has the potential to threaten peoples lives in a number of ways should have their license taken away, burned, with no possibility of being renewed. That is if they even have a license.
            ---------------
            Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
            ---------------
            “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
            ---------
            "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
            ---------
            sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by AZPlumber
              This was the result of letting a new-hire apprentice install a residential boiler on his own after he swore he'd done "many boilers and manifolds";







              I'm sorry for the disturbing images.
              This is a test, A test of the central stupidity system. Please lay down the solder and step away from the .....Uh.....yeah, that thing. Whatever it was. ROTFLMAO
              info for all: http://www.hoistman.com http://www.freeyabb.com/phpbb/index....wwtoolinfoforu --- "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bob D.
                Oh my God, I almost threw up when I looked at those pics!!!

                The person who let this so-called 'apprentice' work on his own and perform work which has the potential to threaten peoples lives in a number of ways should have their license taken away, burned, with no possibility of being renewed. That is if they even have a license.
                Agreed absolutely. This is how I found the mess after the homeowner called my shop and asked me to take a look at it. She had this job done by a rather (obviously) shady contractor who left his apprentive to do the work after both had assured the homeowner they were "experts" at installing residential hydronics. She says the contractor left his helper to install this monstrosity without ever once coming back to check his work. She did'nt know a thing about it and thought everything was just fine, until they left, billed her.....and the heat came on but was un-controllable (too hot or too cold depending on t-stat setting) because the zone controls were also mis-wired to the T-stats and trans, the relay was'nt wired correctly either (which I just ended up eliminating) and the pump was installed backwards. Here's the kicker.....this contractor was recommended to her by a REALTOR! The homeowner says during the install, at one point she caught the guy standing there for an hour reading the instruction manual, lol, and when grilled he finally admitted it was only his first boiler install alone and his "boss" told him to do it.

                The guy refused to deal with her or return phone calls and she did'nt have another 1500 or so she'd been quoted from others to re-install this. I agreed to wait for payment until she got her money back through the courts (which she did).

                EDIT;
                Oh, I'm sorry Bob, I did apologize though. I hope I did'nt totally ruin your breakfast lol.
                Last edited by AZPlumber; 04-08-2006, 12:23 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  This was on the hot outlet of my water heater when i bought my house. It was promptly replaced. It figures that a plumber would buy a house that needed $10,000 worth of plumbing work.
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    Shower stall install

                    the rough opening called for a 3/0 shower and it was framed 37" to allow for drwall. A 3/0 shower will not fit in a 3/0 opening no matter how much prying and cracked the stall.

                    Fortunately, this became a schooling in shower stall repair.

                    Lesson learned: when in doubt try to frame openings slightly bigger usually easier to work with than working with opening too small. This can be costly if framing window and door openings wrong and cut headers too small.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I looked at those photos for 5 mins.
                      I know your plumbing is a little different, but that made no sense to me.
                      Last edited by Australian Plumber Josh; 04-09-2006, 07:52 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It makes no sense to anyone here with half a brain either Josh
                        ---------------
                        Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                        ---------------
                        “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                        ---------
                        "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                        ---------
                        sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Theron
                          This was on the hot outlet of my water heater when i bought my house. It was promptly replaced. It figures that a plumber would buy a house that needed $10,000 worth of plumbing work.
                          Looks like you got some great flow out of that piece of work Theron, with it being completely kinked. Gotta love that "connection" too, whatever it is supposed to be, lol.

                          On another note, I HATE those copper flex lines. Go with the stainless braided variety or just hard pipe the damn thing.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Australian Plumber Josh
                            I looked at those photos for 5 mins.
                            I know your plumbing is a little different, but that made no sense to me.
                            If you're referring to my pics, it made no sense to me either, and neither to the muni inspector who looked at it before I re-installed the mess. But what was done basically is the boiler was plumbed backwards, and the "manifold" is non-existent lmao.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I think that connection on my heater had every type of metal you can get in a plumbing fitting - copper, brass, galvanized, black iron, electrical tape ...

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