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waterheaterzone.com
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I'll start:
Alright , this one is not mine personally but its close. The first shop I worked in and learned the trade there was a great shop in Long island, New York, one of the techs there had over 20 years experience and he was one of the best plumbers I ever met. He told me a story he called the "Poseidon Adventures". He and the boss man went on a call in Riverhead, a public building had a major sewer backup. These guys were used to doing 'country plumbing' drain calls (mostly septic tanks) so they proceeded to open a cleanout in the basement, they forgot that this was not a septic tank, it was a city sewer connection....it turns out the entire public sewer was blocked in the street and they neglected to check the man-hole before they opened the cleanout....

The floods of Noah came flying out of that cleanout! They ran out of the room and tried to hold the door against the onslaught of raw sewage...it didn't help, the sewage rushed down the stairs and flooded the entire first floor. I don't know how they managed to clean it all up, but that story will live on in that shop for eternity.
 

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Master Plumber
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When I was young I once tracked tar from the roof across the carpet of a new multi-million dollar home.

The GC was FURIOUS! I hired a professional carpet cleaning company to come out and they cleaned it right out. Cost me $150.

The GC got back, walked in and the spots were gone. He was floored. He told me he expected me to leave and never come back. The thought never crossed my mind.

Explaining it to my boss was no fun but he was good about it.
 

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I had a man working with me. We had to replace the main under this house. I did not want to carry a bunch of stuff under the house, so after we pulled the toilet and cut out the rotted place there was enough room to pass fittings and small joints of pipe through the hole. My helper had primed the fittings and pipe ends before passing them down the hole to me. We finished up, I came in and replaced the plywood around the toilet. Installed the new toilet, cleaned up and left. Well just as I was pulling out I noticed this funny spot on the side of the house. I stopped and walked over. It was purple primer! It was all over the white vinyl siding! He said he stuck the fittings and pipe out the window to prime them so he would not spill it on the floor. I had to replace the siding below the window at my expense.
 

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Professional Bullshioter
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We did a hospital shut down to cut a 10 x 10 x 8 tee in a main. Guys laid the fittings out and measured the cut out. shut it down and made the cut. Mated up the 10" tee on the 8" main:eek:. I ended up driving 200 miles for an 8" tee. From then on, I always remove the insulation and verify the pipe size before I even order fittings. Not really a mess. But a bonehead move none the less.
 

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Plumbing Contractor
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New kid on the test

I just got my plumbing license back in 2000 (Journeyman First then want got Contractors 4years later) A builder bought this house taht was drywalled but not finished. (original builder went bankrupt) We filled the lines up from the roof vent with a garden hose. (we capped every thing off and used the blow up plugs on the toilets to plug them off) We let the house sit over night went back the next day to check it. Everything held good! There was a new kid working with me and this other crew leader, went to the toilet flange on the second floor and let the air out of the blow plug. Water went every where. He ended up dropping a ceiling on the main floor. :censored::furious: Now I can laugh about it. :jester::yes:
 

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The worst was when I was still a first year apprentice, I was running the service truck for the shop and got a call to help take care of a problem on a new custom house the company was doing the plumbing for. I get there just in time to watch the fireman rolling up the hoses and pushing what was left of the walls into the basement to contain any possible embers. Turns out the journey man that was doing the job laid a lit torch down to go to the second floor to yell at the apprentice, and his torch started the place on fire bad enough it couldn't be contained. That one cost the company ninety grand.
 

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At a hospital down here.... They had a 6" cast iron main leaking in their basement. Line had rotted out.... Crack about 6 foot down the pipe. The line was about chest high sitting in the hangers. This main caught 7 floors of nothing but turds and love. Me and my helper set up pipe jacks underneath the pipe to catch the weight. I made the first cut with my rachet cutters. Some water poured out but it wasent too bad..... yet. Went to make the second cut and it crushed. I said s:censored:. I am fixing to have to cut this live sewer line with a grinder. About that time it seemed like every toliet on this main was flushed. I have never seen this much water fly out of a pipe. While I was grinding the pipe in half my help was standing wayyyy back as sewer splashed my face shield:laughing: I finally got the line cut. We set the new piece up and put the band-aids on. I was drenched in sewer by the time I made the last turn on my torque wrench.... smiling the whole time
 

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My first month of working we were doing a gas conversion. I open the side door of a van and what falls out but the oiler. A gallon of oil and metal shavings spilled out onto a two week old asphalt driveway that's not yet sealed. I wiped it up, threw dirt on it. I called my boss and told him what happened. He sent me to get speedy dry and simple green. After two hours of scrubbing it you would still see the spot and the oil had eaten away at the asphalt which you could now easially press a screwdriver through.
I don't know what happand with it. The spot is still in the driveway so I don't know if my company just paid the homeowner whatever amount for the damage or if they just denied it.

I watched a homeowner flood his basement with sewage. Their was obviously pressure in the line so we were waiting for the town to verify it wasn't the sewer main (they get very angry if we lift a manhole cover here). He kept insisting we open it and just pump whatever came out into the road. After ten minutes or so he got brave, grabbed a hammer and knocked the fit all off himself. Fortuneatly for him it wasn't the main. He still wound up with twenty gallons or so of sewage in his basement to clean up.

I don't know if this one qualifies but we were doing a re-pipe in a house that had the copper stolen out of it. We ran the lines under a 4x6 beam supporting the house. The homeowner demands to know why we couldn't drill the beam for the new lines (the old ones apparently ran under it as well). We explain that the house is already badly settling because the beam isn't strong enough and further weakening it would be a bad idea. While on lunch we here a tool going in the basement. We come in after lunch and sure enough their are two 2.5" holes drilled right through the bottom half of that beam for us to run our two 3/4" lines through. We put the pipes through after making him sign a paper saying he had drilled the holes himself with his tools (he had his own angle drill and hole saw) after we explained to him why we couldn't do it. I don't think we've heard anything back from the guy so apparently it's still holding up.
 

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Jetting a line at a Home Depot (under building), completely drenched their break room with MUCK! Show the manager what happened and he says " don't worry about it I have a new guy that has developed a tardiness problem and when he gets here he will clean it up":thumbup:
 

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lol @ home depot. I guess thats their motto isn't it? You can do it and we can help?

:laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing:
 

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Kid left PVC glue on his 6 footer, his tool bucket directly under it.

After lunch, he made the unfortunate discovery that he forgot to tighten the cap and some schmoe bumped into the ladder.
 

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Purple primer, white vinyl floor:cry:
ewww, I did that once actually a couple months after I just started working. Luckily, it was the inside of the mechanical room for a huge apartment complex, so nobody cared.

Now I don't play with primer indoors unless i have 3 billion drop cloths at my disposal.
 

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Another hospital story. Was freezing and capping water lines in the crawl space betwenn the first and second floor. My rental freezing rig sleeve desided to fall apart while I had a plug formed on a hot water line, unfortunately while I was soldering on a cap. Plug blew and I'm crouching there trying not to get cooked by hospital temp hot water. Flooded two floors before they got the mai n shut off. GC and I figured we'd be worth about 5 cents when their lawers were done with us. While he was diverting the water down the hallway, one of the hospiital maintenance crew let slip that a similar incident occured about 2 months before. Close call. However, I'll never freeze a line again without a backup plan or two. First, sweating on an adapter and then screwing in a plug prevents a buildup of heat and pressure between the cap and freeze plug. Also, a wooden wedge fit to the size of the cut line and a hammer to drive it in is a good, if crude gackup.
 

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I was called out to look at a vitolic joint that had let go on a new 4" water main at one of the hospitals. The GC was a friend and was upset that the mechanical company he hired had this type of problem.

They had to evacuate 4 floors of the hospital including two surgery wards. Talk about a damned mess.

When we dropped a plumb bob to check the alignment of the hangers and examined the unistrut for scratches and scaring from tightening, we found they had installed them almost 3" out of alignment over a 10' section.

I don't think the manufacturer or ANSI approves of that much misalignment.

The good news is I bought two truck loads of tools and fittings for about 3 cents on the dollar when the crack heads went out of business.
 

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I was called out to look at a vitolic joint that had let go on a new 4" water main at one of the hospitals. The GC was a friend and was upset that the mechanical company he hired had this type of problem.

They had to evacuate 4 floors of the hospital including two surgery wards. Talk about a damned mess.

When we dropped a plumb bob to check the alignment of the hangers and examined the unistrut for scratches and scaring from tightening, we found they had installed them almost 3" out of alignment over a 10' section.

I don't think the manufacturer or ANSI approves of that much misalignment.

The good news is I bought two truck loads of tools and fittings for about 3 cents on the dollar when the crack heads went out of business.
You can also get leaks on Victaulic fittings from over-tightening the couplings, when they say forty five foot pounds they mean it.
 

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The seal had come out of the saddle so we had no way of checking breaking torque or installed torque.
 

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The seal had come out of the saddle so we had no way of checking breaking torque or installed torque.
It was more for general knowledge, years ago I did the biggest liquor store in Illinois, the sprinkler fitters had a leak on a Victaulic coupling right above a $300,000.00 conveyor system, and Victaulic sent out a tech with a torque meter to check the coupling, they were cleared of the damage to the conveyor when it was learned the coupling was torqued to 90 pounds.
 
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