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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    4,384
    about a month ago, i go on a call for a noisy circulator. i get there, find an old B&G with busted motor mounts, a seized bearing, leaking seals, and a broken coupler. The 90 year old HO says he tried to oil it. I can tell he did a thurough job because of the Exxon Valdez size oil slick on the floor. he says he shut the boiler down last night due to the noise. boiler is cold (this is important later in the story.) I hook up drain hose to the boiler and start draining. this was an old gravity system so it has a lot of water. i remove the pump and put in a new Taco cartridge circulator.

    i go to turn on the fill valve, and the HO stops me. he says that the last contractor that came to the house (35 years ago) cracked the boiler by filling it with cold water. I explain the boiler is cold sinces it has not been on for 12 hours. He will have none of it. He gives me a washing machine (double female) hose and insists that i fill it with warm water. i hook one of the hose to the boiler drain. i go to hook the other end to the utility sink. discover the sink has no theads. HO suggests i hook it to the water heater drain. even though i know there is no hot water at the bottom, i agree to the plan. i hook the hose to the cheap plastic valve and give the valve a twist

    valve snaps off in my hand. water spraying everywhere. i hurry to turn off the valve on top of the heater. it is rusted open. i find my pipe wrench and shut it off. water still spraying from heater. discover that valve is on the HOT water pipe. ask for location of water meter. HO says its under those boxes. move boxes, shut off meter, replace water heater drain with a real valve, turn on water. slip on previously mentined oil slick which has become 4 times bigger due to the water. refill boiler with "hot" water from bottom of tank. bleed radiators. write bill, give bill to customer. customer asks why the water heater drain valve cost almost half as much as the circulator. collect check. drag soggy self to van. take out notepad. make 2 notes to self "never touch plastic water heater valves" and "don't go back to this guys house"

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    About 6 years ago I had a commercial call once to a Ross Dress for Less that was kind of alone in a newly developed area.
    At the time, I was doing post checkups for Lennox on new Ross Dress for Less, Petsmart, Office Depot and Kinkos stores that had L-Series units installed. Most had DDC controllers with remote monitoring by a company in California.
    On this particular one, the remote monitoring company had also reported that the heat wasn't working in some areas. I get there, and there is no heat anywhere in the building.
    I figured that they didn't do the startup on the heat so I'll have to purge all the gas lines in addition to the normal controls configuration and operation check.

    I go up on the roof and there are about 20 Lennox L-Series units up there with some of the best gas pipe work I have ever seen. Everything on the roof is very high quality. I find that there is no pressure so I started looking for a gas shutoff. After turning all the ones on the roof on, still no pressure.
    Start following the main gas line, find where it goes down the side of the building, look over, and dont see a meter.
    I climb off the roof and go around back to take a look. Nice 4" gas line stops about 2 feet from the sidewalk, and there is no gas supply line in sight!

    I later found out that there wasn't even gas supply to the site, and the nearest gas main was over 1/4 of a mile away!

    Talk about an oversight, I bet some heads rolled for that one!


    I used to find all kinds of wierd stuff on those calls. The contractor that did the ductwork and set the units did some nice work, but I think they had untrained monkys doing the startups and configuring the control systems in them.

    The most fun was when I got to really get the installing contractor in trouble. One Kinko's in Fort Worth was on the newly refurbished bottom floor of about a 60 year old 4 story building. There were six 5 to 10 ton L-Series split systems and all the condensors were on the roof. when I got there, 2 of the untis had compressors that were not pumping and the other 3 had no visible oil in the sight glass on the side of the compressor. Looking over the installation, I found ALL of the suction lines badly oversized for the application. The refrigerant lines ran about 60 feet across the roof, all sloped away from the condensors. They then went down to above the cielings on the first floor.
    No traps in the suction lines at the air handlers. One trap in the middle of the 45ish foot vertical rise, 60 foot of horizontal lines on the roof that are sloped away from the condeners, and the lines are oversized so the velocity is low.
    I WONDER WHERE ALL THE OIL IS?!?!?!?!?

    [Edited by mark beiser on 01-31-2005 at 11:26 PM]
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    North St Paul MN
    Posts
    858
    One of our techs goes on an overtime no-cool call, at night. As the homeowner is giving information over the phone, he asks our guy "do you have a flashlight with you?"
    Our guy says yes. "Good, you're going to need it, the whole neighborhood has a power outage."
    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Eastern Washington
    Posts
    2,990
    He musta been as happy as I was one night. I was the only guy on call, on a cold winter nite with a lot of calls left to get to. I went to the next no heat on the list, "urgent" he said. I walked in the house and was hit by a 90* heat wave. He had the fireplace insert stoked up and the place was nice and warm. I would have turned arround and left right then, but it was out of my way about 10 miles and I was allready there.
    TB
    Everyone knows something I don't.

    2 Chronicles 7:14
    14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    newton,mass.
    Posts
    6,109
    Got a call for a new computer room unit that we installed being out. Drove over 40 miles to get there within the 2 hour show up time. Arrived to find everything OK, asked the computer room guy whats going on and he tells me it was only a test. They wanted to know how long it would take for us to show up.(55 min.). I told him don't plan on me showing up again you're a jerk.

    Also had a number of calls for no heat only to find gas meter turned off and locked. Oh can't you take the lock off and start it? Pay your bill and i'll come back and start it,and by the way its C.O.D.
    "Nothing else can poison our culture, corrupt our society or ruin the character of our people like unearned money or unearned opportunity." -- James R. Cook

    "Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever." Thomas Edison, 1889.

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    4,384
    Originally posted by vmc1161
    Got a call for a new computer room unit that we installed being out. Drove over 40 miles to get there within the 2 hour show up time. Arrived to find everything OK, asked the computer room guy whats going on and he tells me it was only a test. They wanted to know how long it would take for us to show up.(55 min.). I told him don't plan on me showing up again you're a jerk.

    Also had a number of calls for no heat only to find gas meter turned off and locked. Oh can't you take the lock off and start it? Pay your bill and i'll come back and start it,and by the way its C.O.D.

    did you tell him to call 911 and test the fire and paramedics response time while he's at it?

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    newton,mass.
    Posts
    6,109
    Craig1; That would have been a real good reply, but this guy was such a jerk he might have done it. There was no thought on his part about us losing money, pulling off one job to rush to another job and then turn around and go back. If only I had known where his car was parked, he would have had an emergency.
    "Nothing else can poison our culture, corrupt our society or ruin the character of our people like unearned money or unearned opportunity." -- James R. Cook

    "Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever." Thomas Edison, 1889.

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,285

    Guy calls me up

    He says that he bought one of our gas boilers and connected it himself, he liked it a lot, it was good on gas, it was quiet, it always heated everything evenly, it cost less to heat last year with it than with the old boiler, but he had one question....



    What's the 8" round hole in the top of the boiler for?

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    east kansas
    Posts
    8,027
    OH CRAP!

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Eastern Washington
    Posts
    2,990
    ROTFLMHO!!!!!!
    TB
    Everyone knows something I don't.

    2 Chronicles 7:14
    14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    S.W. PA
    Posts
    3,298
    Father in law recently purchased a wood burning stove and wanted me to install told him i dont do wood for him or anyone call another company. He proceded to install unit by himself installed a 30 ga damper in flue pipe
    I told him it was not a good idea to remove it but hey what do I know, the guy at lowes said it would be fine, it was left in about a week later he called and said his house was filled with smoke. he got fire put out and inspected unit well who'da thunk it but the posts on damper burned off damper fell down and blocked " the hole on top "

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    155

    Cool

    A few years ago, on a Friday night, get beeped to one of our restaurants that one of the 5 dining room a/c's is not running. I asked the manager if she could wait until the next morning, but she adamantly replied that I was needed asap. I asked her to check stat and breakers before I took the 50+ mile ride and she said she did. Get there and find no control voltage but line voltage at contactor (5-ton package unit). Go to stat and see it is switched off. Show manager and tell her unit runs much better when it is switched on. She practically begs me to write on the invoice anything other than "switched thermostat on". Happily oblige by writing up and charging for a 3 phase condensor motor. She was happy, I was happy (commission), boss was happy- win,win,win

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Maryland's Eastern Shore
    Posts
    892
    um, jay, please tell me you didn't...

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