Tough new job

I had my first full day as a solo welding inspector today. I had to inspect patches applied to the interior of a 84 inch pipe that is part of the Brightwater Project. ( Yes only politicians could name a sewage pumping system "Brightwater")

To grasp the scale of today's outing there is math required.

I had to inspect from Pipe 901 to Pipe 1085. So simple math means I inspected 184 pipe sections. The pipe at the far end is Pipe 1142. So the full run is 241 pipe lengths.

Each pipe is 84 inches (7 feet) in diameter, and 60 feet long. So the full run of the pipe is 14,460 feet or 2.73 miles I started in Bothel, at the West end of the pipe, 120 feet underground, and spent 8 hours walking uphill towards Woodinville. I had 3 ports to inspect every 40 feet. They welded patches over ports in the pipe used to inject grout around the pipes.

By the time I got to pipe 1085 I had caught up to the welders and it was simpler to walk to the far end than to backtrack.

While walking out I had to stop myself from doing math. I would get to pipe 1102 and think " Great only 40 pipes to go". and then in the back of head a little voice would say "That is still

2,400 feet". Ugh!

As you approach the East end of the pipe you see daylight and your hopes rise...until you realize you have to climb 60 feet of scaffolding to get out.

I was in that pipe for 8 straight hours with no break. Luckily I brought some granola bars and can hold my bladder.

I will probably not work Friday to rest my legs, but they are planning to send me to Boeing in Everett Saturday and Sunday for some more inspections. Weekends pay time-and-a-half.

I guess I am an official inspector now. I still can't do certain inspections until I get my Special Inspectors Card from WABO, and I have to get my 1st aid/CPR card and OSHA 10 cards before I can go into the Seattle Tunnel Project.

An exhausting day, but it felt good to do something well. The Project manager from King County was quite happy with me so they want me back next Thursday, and the Wednesday after that for follow up inspections.

Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
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Did you find you were missing doing the actual welding yourself? Sounds like a really job though. I don't suppose you know where you are likely to be required next. Good luck with it. JB

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This really is tough. I agree.

Reply to

Not so much, and I found it interesting that I could sense the personality of the welders by looking at each of their signed welds. After 300 welds I felt like I knew the whole crew, but didn't physically meet any of them until the end of the day.

Boeing in Everett, doing visual inspections on some structural steel.

Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler

On Fri, 21 Sep 2012 09:16:27 -0700 in sci.engr.joining.welding, Ernie Leimkuhler wrote,

How many flaws did you find?

Reply to
David Harmon

Sounds like fun. A little 2 mile hike underground is always good exercise :)

Reply to
Pete C.

Out of 300 welds I failed 44, but most only need minor repairs of small sections to pass. The majority of the flaws were undersized fillet welds, but there were a few holes and pits, and a few undercuts.

The few that were still leaking will be completely removed and re-welded. They have to inject a special urethane foam to block the water while they weld the patch. The leaks are easy to find because of the calcium deposits that form after the water evaporates. Some of the guys went overboard with the grinding and gouged in too deep.

I head back next Thursday for a follow-up inspection.

Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler

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