Customer secrets

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Old 05-30-17, 03:36 AM
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Customer secrets

I had a client who was in town for the long weekend and had no power in the basement living/laundry quarters, and their refrigerator in the garage was out. They were in a bind and asked if I would mind spending my Memorial Day fixing their problem Sure, what else did I have to do with my free time.

Before I started I asked if they had had any modifications done to the electrical system. New lighting fixtures, new switches, new receptacles. They said no.

OK, basic pull everything and check. It was a direct short since the breaker would trip immediately. I finally got to a j box in the drop ceiling which had 4 cables in it. Disconnected all, marked the hot and connected one at a time. Third cable was the culprit. I could not find where it went. All the lights, receptacles, refrigerator, etc were working fine once I reconnected everything.

THEN, he let me know the two driveway lights were not working, which explained where the cable went. He also said he had the heads replaced a week ago. Arrrrgh!!! I just left the cable to the lamps capped off and told him I would come back later and diagnose it.

Holiday rates are the boss !! I could have done it in two hours, but it took 4 hours to get to where he KNEW where the problem was.
 
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Old 05-30-17, 03:58 AM
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I would let him know that he wasted your time and charge them accordingly.
 
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Old 05-30-17, 04:26 AM
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Back in the early 90's I took a job to paint the aluminum siding on an old house. The man had inherited it from his mother and was sprucing it up to rent. Had my young teenage son helping me. His job was to hand wash the siding on the porch while I did the rest. He came got me off of a ladder and said he couldn't do it, I became a little irate and and went to show him how but as soon as I hit the siding with the sponge I got shocked!

So we pulled off the job and I called the owner. He had an electrician come out to find there was a short against the siding. Later I found out that his mother routinely got shocked so she wrapped the storm door knob and the mailbox with duct tape as a fix. He knew there was a shock issue but removed the ugly duct tape [left the residue] and had figured that was good enough
 
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Old 05-30-17, 01:01 PM
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Oh, this gets better. Sadly funnier. While at the lamp posts I tried to figure out the wiring sequence. One cable in (UFB) cool. One cable up the pole (NMB) and one under the asphalt in 1" black water pipe, again (NMB). All connected together at the first pole twisted, wrapped with tape and a gallon milk jug inverted over the connections in the wet dirt. Hey, gotta hand it to them, they tried.


When they pulled the old lamp heads off, they pulled the NMB and scraped the bottom on the edge of the sharp pipe. It didn't fail immediately, but with moisture, bare ground and abraded hot wire touched. Needless to say it was a quick job after that.
 
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