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Re: Field Observations - Stupid things I've seen

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Talking about stupid plumbers...........

About ten years ago, we had designed an apartment building with underground 
parking where the wood main beams spanned close to thirty feet. There was 
plenty of height so the joists were shown to rest on the main beams. It was 
anticipated that the plumbing waste lines would run between the floor joists 
over the main beams and there was a special note on the plans calling for the 
plumber to run the waste lines between the floor joists to a wall.

Well, I got a frantic call from the builder one afternoon and was he beside 
himself. The builder was a particularly good builder and always knew what was 
good construction. He immediately realized a problem had developed. He had 
gone to the lumber yard to pick up some hardware. During the time he was gone 
the plumber, in his ultimate stupidity decided to not read the plans and to 
run the waste line through the middle of the main beams at the center of the 
span of the beams.

Did this brain dead plumber drill a hole through the center. No! He took a 
chain saw and cut a notch slightly deeper than the wood beam. Naturally the 
builder was a little bit more than mildly concerned. He wanted to know what 
to do.

I told him to order a new beam, shore the building up, remove the damaged 
beams and to install the new beams and backcharge the plumber. He did just 
that! However I have always wondered if the plumber learned anything at all. 

I have seen many plumbers on a job with a chain saw. I have always taken the 
time to inform them that if they cut any framing it will be at their risk. I 
sometimes think of the safety factors in the Code and wonder why they are so 
high. After all airplanes are designed with a 5-10% safety factor. But when I 
think of the plumbers (Electricians and H.V.A.C.) with chain saws I can see 
that quality control is lacking for our industry.

John Ott