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My First Day with Mechanical Maintenance

I feel like I should apologize, both because it has been so long since I last posted a blog entry and also because tomorrow makes 3 weeks since I actually worked with the mechanical maintenance crew. That's telling, but it was a very good day. For the record, the day was Friday, April 4.


I started the morning with Rolan, learning about boiler plant operations and testing the water in that system. I was very impressed with the amount of knowledge he has about how that works and how very blessed we are to have him on our crew. I learned math and chemistry are very important to his every day work. It was through his daily testing that allowed him to realize we had steam trouble in the MSC, and continues to inform him of how much water is lost due to that leak each day. And the chemical make-up of the water now becomes a challenge due to the volume of city water being injected into that system daily. Rolan did tell me he does the same thing with the chiller plant when that kicks into gear in the warm months.


From there I went with Travis to the pool to test the water there. He showed me the filter room and how he tests the water chemistry daily, just like any other swimming pool. I have to admit I am very concerned about the condition of the pipes providing service to the pool. Some of them in the filter room appear as though they'd come apart if sneezed on. But what really concerned me is the pipes that can't be seen. There are several large pipes that constantly run water from the drain at the bottom of the deep end, and I don't think there is a way to access those pipes without going through the bottom of the pool. I hope I'm wrong about that, but I don't think so.


For the short time left before lunch, I went with Rolan and Travis to work on replacing lights in the "garage" part of the Ackerley building (soccer locker rooms and concession stand/restrooms for the soccer pitch). Both ballasts needed replacing.


After lunch I went with Greg to the Baughman building. Greg had me running electrical wire in the conduits from the attic down to each outlet. My IT background working with data wiring made this my most familiar task. A couple of hours pushing and pulling on wires felt good and made progress for the building.


Finally, after the afternoon break I worked with Ron on the air conditioning duct work in the Baughman building. He and Matt had spent quite a bit of time building the trunk ducts, so by the time I got with them, it was installation time. Ron showed us how to calculate the size of trunk line needed for the number and size of outlets that were in use, as well as explaining why adjusting the size of the trunk line is important.


So Matt and I crawled through the attic on each side of the trunk, hanging it and extending it to each side of the building. We got about 60-70% of that work done in the last few hours of the day.


I have to say it was a good day because there were lots of people up there with lots of activity making lots of progress. Look for a building update blog post coming soon.


Jim M

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