When I did heating and AC, I learned to use two
wrenches, so as to concentrate the torque in a
small area. Also good to know where is the gas
shut off, for moments like this. Glad the gas guys
arrived in time. Most fire department guys know
how to shut off natural gas.
On Monday, March 3, 2014 7:37:04 AM UTC-5, Stormin Mormon wrote:
There should have been a shut-off valve right before
the flex pipe at the dryer.
Rubber mat at the panel can't hurt. How much good it
does depends on how good of an insulator it actually is,
what material it's really made of, etc.
As I recall, he was installing flex pipe for the first time, and very long
run of it. This is a person who refuses to look at the internet before
starting such a project condemning it all as "worthless." I couldn't
conceive of doing something like that without a *lot* of research on the
net. It would also come under the heading of the gas lines in that house
being dangerous enough and old enough to require someone experienced and
competent doing the job. I have no idea, really, why he thought he was
competent to do gasfitting work. Obviously he was not.
This person is mostly a "swapper" or "plugger" and tends to diagnose things
by replacing things he believes are at fault. Replaced a perfectly good
ignitor when the problem was a vent sensor. Was about to pull the dashboard
on his wife's car because the fan would not stop running, even after the
ignition was turned off.
I had to step him through the idea that the fan only gets power when the
ignition/acc circuits are energized and that the dashboard switch was an
unlikely culprit. More likely was some ignition relay or electronic control
module that succumbed to the cold and starting sticking.
IOW, a decent technical ability but not good diagnostic skills. One thing I
like about Usenet is that it's very easy to evaluate the problem-solving
ability of most posters by the solutions they recommend. Some people don't
bother to read the question thoroughly (although to be fair, many enter a
thread well after the "setup" has been described) and others don't consider
the circumstances of the OP. As you've noted many times, people often post
woefully incomplete descriptions of their problems. That doesn't stop some
people from offering specific solutions. (-:.
That may be difficult to determine unless I get one of the $160 mats
suggested elsewhere that will protect me to 17,000 volts. I'm thinking
anything is better than nothing and in any event, it will make standing
there more comfortable. 17,000 volts seems a little bit of overkill for the
On Tuesday, March 4, 2014 9:22:36 AM UTC-5, Robert Green wrote:
I work with some engineers like that. They're pretty good at design, they'll single mindedly focus until they solve the problem, however difficult.
And they think they're good at diagnosis, but they're a disaster. They fixate on the first idea, and then that same single minded focus prevents them from considering any other root cause, regardless of how much evidence says they're wrong.
The key to good troubleshooting is to resist finding the cause as long as possible. As soon as you know what's wrong, you are incapable of seeing the other symptoms that prove it couldn't be that.
It's amazing how many fields require that sort of focus, from criminal
investigation to archeology. I was reading about the mini-ice age that
occurred 13,000 years ago. Some people think it was caused by the eruption
of a huge volcano:
while others believe it was caused by a large meteorite or comet striking
the North American ice sheet.
There's considerable evidence to support both theories and I think that
eventually the cause will be determined when enough evidence is collected.
Even though a collision with a meteorite/comet probably melted and left no
crater, like a gunshot wound, there are lots of particles left behind that
can tell the story (in this case, it hinges on micro-diamonds and
"fullerenes" - which only form under unusual conditions. Ironically, it's a
little like a criminal investigation - the pieces fill in slowly but
<And they think they're good at diagnosis, but they're a disaster. They
fixate on the first idea, and then that same single minded focus prevents
them from considering any other root cause, regardless of how much evidence
says they're wrong.>
That's very similiar to how criminal investigators get a "suspect lock" and
doctors get a "diagnosis lock" and as you say, they stop looking for other
possible explanations. They fixate on bolstering the suspect/disease they've
"locked onto" and tend to exclude all other evidence.
<The key to good troubleshooting is to resist finding the cause as long as
possible. As soon as you know what's wrong, you are incapable of seeing the
other symptoms that prove it couldn't be that.>
Absolutely. It's a very common problem in troubleshooting and it's zapped
me more that a few times in trying to diagnose computer problems.
Most damage is done arm to arm, across the heart. Some from top to bottom,
but not quite as much.
Rubber mat is ok, but double layers of rubber gloves are better. Since
you're putting finger in there.
Why double layer? Talk to the ex-utilities employees that are on
disability for 'hurrying' a repair and NOT checking for pinhole leaks in
their gloves and then working on HOT hi-tension wires where the discharge
almost killed them.
Turn it OFF first.
Plus don't assume anything is off. use one of those cheap neon indicators.
You hold one end, or ground it, and probe around first.
Ah yes, been there, done that with mixing 100 gallon vats of color film
developing chemicals. Now I am a great fan of nitrile surgical gloves under
the gauntlet style rubber outer glove for noxious chemical work. But as
arthritic as my hands have become, I can't imagine being able to do any sort
of fine mechanical work "gloved up" like that. I've been looking at OSHA
rules and regs to see if they have a standard for rubber insulating devices
and they have nothing BUT standards:
Insulating equipment with any of the following defects may not be used:
A hole, tear, puncture, or cut;
To which I say "duh, really?"
Agreed. That's another interesting point. The A/C installers didn't kill
the main breaker when they installed a new 240VAC breaker for the outside
compressor. I was concerned about doing controlled shutdowns on my PCs but
they said it wasn't an issue. Obviously it's possible to install new
breakers without using the main 100A breaker or the service disconnect.
Got a very nice one with an adjustable sensitivity setting thanks to
Gfretwell's recommendation. Stuck some neo mags on it and now it lives
attached to the cover door of the panel. I figured if I made the circuit
box its home base I would never be tempted to proceed without it. Tossed my
Radio Shack Mircronta neon voltage tester because it was a piece of junk.
Thanks for your input, Robert.
Most panels, it's no big deal to add a breaker
with the mains on. And yes, having a voltage
indicator or neon is great idea. I have some
thing like that in my tools. I often double
check with VOM to ground.
Certainly it could help in some circumstances although I doubt that any
home electrical panel would need such safeguards (assuming that anybody
tinkering with the panel isn't a total arse). But if you must then you
might as well buy the real thing and not take chances that your choice
won't do the job:
Protects to 17,000 volts for close to $200. I am not sure which is the more
disqualifying of the two. I only need 240V protection and I'd rather not
have to spend $200 for a rubber mat if a much less expensive one would
provide at least *some* greater protection than a concrete floor with a
French drain running right underneath that area.
No one has asked what the added mat would be covering. In my house, it wou
ld be on top of carpeting with an underpad above a wood floor. Adddint the
rubber mat would not have any effect unless I was working on voltages of s
everal thousand volts. Double rubber gloves is good, long-sleeved shirts t
o cover the arms up to the gloves also important.
<No one has asked what the added mat would be covering. In my house, it
would be on top of carpeting with an underpad above a wood floor. Adddint
the rubber mat would not have any effect unless I was working on voltages of
several thousand volts. Double rubber gloves is good, long-sleeved shirts
to cover the arms up to the gloves also important.>
Good question - sorry for the important omission. It's covering a concrete
floor that has a French drain running all along the perimeter of the
The problem with double rubber gloves is the loss of dexterity. Even single
rubber gloves make life difficult when working inside close spaces.
Seriously? Did her husband know or learn later how little faith she
had in him?
The closest story I have to this is from college, one of our fraternity
members was always elected House Manager. Sometimes they knew nothing
about repairs and just called a repairman, but many years they knew more
than that, and my roommate was house manager and I was very impressed by
him. I'd never known anyone before who knew what he was doing.
So one night first-year students were invited over for rush, and Don
hated rush events (and meetings etc.) and because it was old and
rusting, he had removed the metal shower on the third floor so that only
the galvanized pipes were standing there, and a bunch of us are talking
and the pipes are rocking back and forth, only an inch or two, but I'm
thinking Maybe that's bad, But Don knows much more about these things
than I do. And less thana minute later one pipe breaks and water is
going everywhere, and Don goes to the basement and turns off the water,
and gets to spend the whole evening repairing the pipe and doesn't have
to talk to the first-year students at all!!!
I don't know if this was partly intentional or not. Hard to believe it
would be but Don was a complicated guy. From a tiny town, St. Peter
Minnesota, population 8500 then (11,500 now) , maybe grew up on a farm,
enrolled in (and graduated from) U. of Chicago, built his own record
player amplifier, mounted speaker in the closet put a hole in the wall
for the sound to come out (Infinite baffle, he said it was) to listen to
classical music. Built a jammer so the guy across the hall couldn't
listen to his rock music. Rich'd change stations so Don would change
frequencies on the jammer. Rich never found out what was going on.
Enlisted in the army after college, 1967, Viet Nam, became a drill
instructor. Before or after that, he parachuted in behind enemy lines
to do special ops. Came back alive in one piece, I'm told, but I
haven't talked to him since the end of his fourth year.
Yes. He was far more concerned that she told ME about it, though. This is
a guy who suggested that I mount a 12VDC gel cell to the bottom of my DeWalt
drill using SCREWS through the black plastic battery case!!!!! And DEFENDED
that strategy quite vociferously. I asked him to produce one site where
anyone had mounted any sort of AGM battery by screwing into the battery
case. Ot Nay Oo Tay Right Bay. The kicker? He's a Mensan. Solving brain
teasers does NOT equate to having common sense.
Some people are like that - my Mom's brother built his own house by hand
whereas my other uncle couldn't hammer a nail into a 2 by 4.
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