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 Dunce of the Year
Author: 120volts (CA)

Well, it was a tough day at the office...

I was installing a Kohler two piece toilet for a customer. Easy peasy. Got the toilet base in, cut the bolts to size holes, hooked up the supply line, cleaned up the floor and got up to reach for the two white caps for the bolts that were sitting on the vanity. Well, I'm still not sure how it happened, but I accidentally bumped one of the caps and it went right into the tank to toilet hole! I mean, it was a hole in one from 3 1/2 feet away!

I could see it a few inches down the hole and it seemed slightly wedges. I used a coat hanger to pull it out but it ended up going deeper inside and now out out sight! It was 'round the bend and about 7" in out of sight.

Luckily I hadn't turned on the water supply line, nor chaulked the base. So I removed the toilet and held it vertical so gravity would help me shake it loose. Nothing. I took a shop vac to it. Still nothing. I tried using the snake from the opposite direction and you know that was futile.

I was ready to call it a loss and was going to eat it and just go buy a new toilet for the customer.

But I eventually moved the toilet onto a garage table as I had someone hold it vertical. I used my endoscope and I could see it wedged in. With some assistance of holding the camera, I operated with a hooked coat hanger. About a dozen tries and still nothing. But after almost an hour of this, we were finally able to get it out!

I plugged the toilet holes with towels and painter's tape and I put the caps ten feet from the toilet and on the floor until I was ready to put them on again. My customer even hid all water bottle caps from me.


By the way, my customer was my helper and was such a GREAT sport about it. I think he actually enjoyed the adventure and was so jazzed about the use of the endoscope. He'd never seen it in use like this. It definitely saved me $300 from my stupidity.

What a day.

Yep, I hands down get the Dunce of the Year Award for not covering the toilet holes.



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: Dunce of the Year
Author: bernabeu (SC)

one day i'll write the " ! turrrrrrrrnn it oooofffffffffffff ! " story

THAT was a dunce tale




(whatever your imagination conjured up pales against the actual story)




picture an 8" main wide open with 100psi behind it for 10+ minutes while a motorized valve is MANUALLY cranked closed

- - - -

Retired U.A. Local 1 & 638
"Measure Twice & Cut Once"

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 Re: Dunce of the Year
Author: sum (FL)

sometimes things happen that is beyond one's control. Sometimes it's avoidable. I get mad at myself when it's avoidable and yet I let it happen due to laziness. Like the time I had to lower a sanitary tee connection in the kitchen in order to get it to the right height for the disposer. I opened up the wall, measured and made two cuts in the 2" cast iron pipe. I then removed the cut section, with the upper 2" CI hanging. I was holding the upper pipe to stop it from falling, then I looked around for something I can use to hold it in position, I usually take a piece of electrical wire and wrap it a few times around then attach it to another nail or screw at a nearby stud. I let go of the pipe, it didn't move, then I stood up and walked to the garage to look for something, and 3 seconds later, the upper pipe came crashing down, hit the lower pipe, and created a crack on the lower pipe, a vertical crack that I can see that extends down below the concrete slab. That stupid mistake made me cut up the concrete slab and replaced all the way down to the 90.



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: Dunce of the Year
Author: hj (AZ)

How about a 10" one? Closing it was difficult, but OPENING with the full force against the gate was even harder. And, I always completely assembled the toilet and tested it before I even unpacked the bolt caps.



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: Dunce of the Year
Author: bernabeu (SC)

ok hj, 'full' story:

my job was checking the 8" s/s flanged 'hi rack' 200+ feet long water supply main and all its branches (167 of them) for closed and capped prior to testing

me and my partner walked/climbed/checked this 'racked up 16 feet hi' pipe for 2-1/2 DAYS

ALL WAS GOOD

the supply valve was 8" motorized reduction gear drive due to the pipe's 100 psi design working pressure and need for multiple start / stops throughout the day's operation

i got the honor of pressing the open button

the valve cranked open with a mighty roar which did NOT stop

softly, way way in the background, we heard 'turn it off' 'turn it off ' TURN IT OFF louder and louder

i hit the close button and the reduction gear went up in a puff of smoke

TURN IT OFF TURN IT OFF louder and louder

we grabbed the manual emergency crank and cranked 'er shut (about 10 minutes)


fast forward: the pipe turned out to be absolutely capped and tight EXCEPT for the blind flange on the very END which left the pipe WIDE OPEN pouring over the parking lot below and washing several cars into the Ohio River


Union Carbide, Inc. was not entertained nor was Pullman-Kellog

My foreman, however, found it hilarious and actually DID make me wear a dunce cap for a whole day.





- - - -

Retired U.A. Local 1 & 638
"Measure Twice & Cut Once"



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: Dunce of the Year
Author: 120volts (CA)

All of a sudden I don't feel so bad now with all the major mishaps you two went through!

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 Re: Dunce of the Year
Author: hj (AZ)

Remember, these happened over a period of 65+ YEARS, but there are a lot more.

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