Thursday, March 24, 2016

Oh, snap! Is that crap!?

The joys of replacing cracked, rotted pipe is far better than laying in the soft grass while puppies and kittens climb all over you trying to kiss your face!

Okay, that is a gross exaggeration. It is horribly disgusting and something I NEVER look forward to. The thing about duct tape used as a leak stop is that you can't see what is really going on under there, so when you cut the pipe near that spot it's a crap-shoot as to whether or not it will simply crumble and fall out of the ceiling.

And that is what happened...

It all worked out due to the 3/4" plywood on the floor where we were working. A layer of plastic topped with the plywood does a great job of protecting the tile floors from both solids and liquids.

so, one more night and we saved the easiest for last. A 5" storm line that was repaired with 4" PVC and yet more duct tape (I have a feeling a previous maintenance guy got a case of duct tape for free or dirt cheap!).

I realize that we saved the storm for last and it's going to rain tonight, but rain water is better than, well, you know...



Monday, March 21, 2016

aww crap, nights again! (pun intended)

One of the things I love about my job is the fact that it I am often doing something different. One of the things I hate most about my job is that it includes working nights from time to time.

while in my younger years I could work all day and then through the night without a second thought, when I did that last year I had a very scary drive home. You know the kind, I'm sure. Screaming out an open window into the freezing air, air conditioner maxed out, music so loud it's too distorted to understand whether it's classical, rap or the engine exploding.

this time I will take the financial hit. It will only take 4 nights to upgrade all of the cracked and duct taped sanitary piping, so I will have an extra day to get back to day shift by next Monday.

I will post a picture of the old, duct taped pipes as I find it awesome to see those types of repairs left as a permanent solution. This should be a very interesting week to say the least.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Learning new things

Being a plumber I have become comfortable in my knowledge, but I always look forward to learning something new. This time it's ductwork. Don't get me wrong, I know mechanical plumbing but the duct side of it is new to me. It reminds me of my first day of apprenticeship school!

The great thing is a coworker has been exceptionally kind in getting me started with learning how to lay out, put together and install ductwork.

It's a great opportunity I do not intend to give up on, and I look forward to being more valuable to those I work for.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Boilers Are So Easy! oh, wait...

We seem to have run across something I have never experienced when installing a couple of Lochinvar boilers, that being psychotic regulators.

It was noticed on startup, that 'chugging' of the exhaust which accompanied a bouncing, yellow flame visible in the sight glass. It was a cold day so the exhaust reminded me of a steam locomotive, puffing down the track.

It was found that if the vent was removed from the regulator the problem would disappear. While a coworker was talking to the boiler manufacturer, they mentioned up-sizing the regulator vent to alleviate the problem. No change. Increased it to 2" going out, still no change. The 'chimney effect' was thrown about but it went by the wayside.

After a call to the regulator manufacturer the same coworker did find that the existing ones were far bigger than necessary, he ordered new ones and we installed them. The problem is about 90% gone now, where you can hear a slight fluctuation coming from the regulator vent. Before you could see the exhaust shaking, now you wouldn't know.

No matter how easy it is to install boilers, the simplest of things can make it a nightmare.

Water Heaters, Oh My!

So, the customer sized, purchased, and hired us to install 2 new heaters. Sounds simple enough, until you do a startup and find the incoming gas regulator is far too small to handle the new water heaters.

After getting the gas increased to 2psi and tested/inspected, they are finally up and running!

Lesson here? Never trust the customer to know what they are doing. Sounds harsh but I find it to be true more often than not.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Buy your OWN darn coffee!

My wife told me of a news report today regarding how much money was spent by the house in coffee, donuts and other pastries. Here's the story.

The one thing I get the most frustrated over is the debt, that massive figure that grows by the second. No matter how great we are as a people, no matter how responsible and upstanding we are, our legacy that we are leaving to our future is the debt we are creating. This is what we leave our children, grandchildren, neighbors children, etc. Let me tell you, the debt really doesn't care your race, sex, religion, or political status. One day everyone will have to come to terms with it.

If the government can 'create' anything, it is debt. Hands down, no question. This small amount that the story references  is nothing though, at least that's what the politicians say. Just a drop in the bucket... stopping this would do nothing to the overall picture, right? I disagree and very much so! What is a bucket of water made of? yep, many drops of water! Good for you if you guessed that one! I say that you have to start somewhere, or you will never get going. I sincerely believe that if all unnecessary spending was stopped we could stop accruing the debt and start paying it down instead.

 My wife stated that her company would provide coffee for employees (not excusing the behavior of our elected officials, but in general discussion) and take it away when things got tight within the company. Problem is, this situation would be like the employees using the company credit card to buy everyone coffee and thinking they have the right to do so. Also, the g'ment wouldn't think to slow spending in tough times. For them it's a reason to raise taxes! 'I know, let's raise taxes to pay off debt but raise the spending limit along with it. I mean, really. What the h-e-double hockey sticks do we need a debt ceiling for? Why cut spending when we can just steal more money from tax payers?'

Here is the problem. You cannot tell a politician that it's not his money (remember you didn't build that?). This is what absolutely bends me about politicians. They will make excuse after excuse about the national debt and their out-of-control spending while at the same time penalizing, fining, jailing, and harassing those that make minor mistakes. If the government was held to the same standard (or ANY for that matter) as Ford, BP, or any other private company there would be no deficit. There would be no massive taxation. 

How about instead of cutting military benefits you stop THIS kind of utter stupidity! Why is the military the go-to when it comes to cuts in spending? Better yet, why is it the ones facing death and coming back with PTSD, limbs missing, and other issues? The ones that volunteer, sacrificing time with their families to protect and defend our way of life? Why not some of you up on the hill take a hit on something? How about the pentagon? The personnel there could use a pay cut, or less benefits. Hey, how about you bring your own lunches and get rid of all the cafeterias I see in these buildings!

So, to sum up:
Politicians lie, think it's their money, spend it stupidly, they only create debt, they hold everyone but themselves accountable, they won't cut the wasteful spending, they WILL cut benefits of those that deserve it most, and finally, I seriously have no idea how they can lie to our faces, do what they do and still get reelected... Oh, you want an example of this? How about...

"We have to pass it to see what's in it!"