From Steve Dickhut:

Hi fellows:

We are ready to begin the IWKnights Electrical patrol! The IWKnights, and anyone who wishes to volunteer, are forming a number of crews to work our way through the IW grade school building wing as we replace the fluorescent lighting tubes (FTs) with LED tubes. Essentially, on a fixture by fixture basis, we are removing the fluorescent tubes and ballasts then splicing back together a few wires which were cut during the removal process and then finally reinstalling LED tubes of the same size as the FTs back into the fixture.

This project will save the parish a significant amount of money in labor and annual utility costs. The LED tubes are estimated to last 50,000 hours each.

With Mike DiScala’s initiative, Tony Koester, Ed Ferder and myself spent the last several days working on a plan to execute the project. We intend to begin work on Thursday morning (7/5) and we have arranged entry into the school between 8AM to 8PM daily. We can work later into the evening but the doors will be locked for entry after 8PM. Its possible this project could take the remainder of the summer.

We want to form two types of working crews – each has a need for ladder and/or ground work. Here is a description of the two types of crews:

Breakdown & Restore Crew (B&R) will consist of at least one ladder-man and a floor-man or two. These crews will begin breakdown work in each classroom by: removing and storing the plastic lens covers, removing the metal wire covers, removing the two fluorescent lights in each fixture, snip the ballast wires and finally remove the ballast from the fixtures (2 screws). Estimated time per fixture is – 10 to 15 minutes. After the Wire crew completes its work in each classroom a B&R crew will return and reverse its earlier process and leave the fixture ready for its intended use. FYI, this morning – with 2 ladder-men and a floor-man – we broke-down the fixtures in one classroom in a time period of just less than an hour.

The Wire Crew will also consist of at least one ladder-man and a floor-man. On this crew, the ladder-man’s primary job is to splice the wires back together which were cut when the ballasts were removed and then test the power by inserting an LED tube. The floor-man’s job is to keep the the ladder-man on the ladder. There is no heavy work – just handing or receiving tools and misc materials plus switching the power on/off. Estimated time to “jump the wires” is 15 to 45 minutes per fixture (the large discrepancy time is due partially to the condition of the individual fixtures).Tony Koester has prepared an instruction sheet which explains how to splice the wires.

Let me reemphasize these points, 1) there is no heavy lifting and, 2) we need floor-men as much as ladder-men. The key issue is to get significant volunteer participation and to form a number of volunteer crews. We would like to form 4 or 5 of each crew type which can coordinate a time to work together – say, 2 or 3 hours at a time.

Any questions or if volunteering time please call, email or text me at the following contact points:


Steve Dickhut

(314) 409-6774


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