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Saturday, April 29, 2006


The plant is shutdown for the weekend due to economics. Much as I would love to take it easy and catch up on a few projects, we're too busy for that...

First thing when we arrived, there were four lube oil pumps to be replaced on the gas turbines. The new pumps arrived too late in the outage to get them replaced before start-up, so a crew of contractor mechanics are doing that this weekend - with no support from our maintenance staff.

The motors on these pumps had to be disconnected electrically this morning and will need to be re-connected tomorrow at some point when the pumps are back in place. Fortunately in a previous life (Navy) I was an electrician. Also fortunately this is not a union workplace, so I can do these things without someone screwing me. Unfortunately, I really don't like doing that sort of work anymore, and I also don't get a break from my regular tasks while I'm busy doing someone else's.

Night shift found a couple of nasty pools of oil but could not locate the source of the leaks in the dark. Today after pulling the lube oil pump motor electrical leads, we found and corrected the oil leaks, and then cleaned up the mess.

One of the leaks occurred in a compartment that has a massive fan ventilating it, and the oil drops flew *everywhere* inside. The walls and ceiling were dripping. What a mess. We ended up getting a bug & weed pump sprayer and filling it with detergent, and shooting everything, then going back with a wet/dry vacuum to suck up the water/oil mixture. Afterwards we wiped everything down with absorbents. Yuck. Wasted two pairs of gloves in there.

We're also busy doing a lot of clean-up. Our contractors during the outage were pretty good about cleaning up after themselves, but there's always trash around - which usually ends up getting sucked into the cooling tower. It's better just to put it in a dumpster if you can find the time.

We still need to find time to add oil to the tanks that leaked, which means humping a 55 gallon drum over and finding the pump and fittings to get it in. *Sigh* I'd really enjoy a day off, but got $ greedy and signed up to cover for another guy who is attending some training. So right now I'm only on day four of fourteen straight 12 hour days... Ugh.

I wish I had more energy and time... I haven't lifted in a month, and I can feel the fat building up on my gut. Makes me feel queasy. It took a lot of deprivation and effort to get that fat off in the first place. Oh well. Lots of cCottage cheese and big weights can overcome anything I've done to myself in the past month with free donuts and pizza.

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