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36 Plumbing Nightmares That Will Make You Cringe

A plumbing problem is no laughing matter—until it's solved. Home inspectors share their favorite plumbing fails.

1-Bad-bath-tub-trap-repairCourtesy Structure Tech

That’s not PEX

Here's a perfect illustration of just about everything that shouldn't be used for plumbing repair. Is that electrical tape? Painter's tape? ShooGoo? This tops the charts for home inspector nightmares.

Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

2-Plumber-PuttyCourtesy Structure Tech

Mystery leak sealant

That's a whole lot of plumbers putty. Maybe they should have just fixed the leaks.

Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

3-Backwards-Toilet-TankCourtesy Structure Tech

What the wall usually sees

How does a tank get put on backward? Someone needs to read the instructions next time they install a new toilet. It's not one of the 12 home improvement projects you should never, ever DIY—but maybe it should be!

Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

4-Black-Tub-WaterCourtesy Structure Tech

Strange brew

Yikes! Time for a water quality test. And maybe look into water softeners.

Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

5-PS-TrapCourtesy Structure Tech

P-trap nirvana


This sink drain takes more twisty turns than an Eschar wall hanging. All that's needed now is a flex pipe at the wall. Then, to make the drain work, just lift the sink out and tilt it... every which way? There are better ways to connect a sink drain.
Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

6-Corroded-steel-pipeCourtesy Structure Tech

When copper and steel collide

It's called galvanic corrosion, and it can be prevented if you connect dissimilar pipes the right way.

Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

7-No-drain-at-bath-tubCourtesy Structure Tech

The drain to nowhere

In order to work properly, a drain actually has to be connected to something. This mistake ranks right up there with weird toilet designs from around the world.

Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

8-ABS-PVCCourtesy Structure Tech

Don’t fall for this trap

Maybe this workaround works—maybe it doesn’t. Is the whole system properly vented or not?

Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

9-JosephPasaturoBathCourtesy Structure Tech

Employees MUST wash hands!

Time is money, and this set up allows for multi-tasking. If you really want to save, here's the best TP for your plumbing.

Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

10-Crazy-DrainCourtesy Structure Tech

Rough in—Really Rough

We can’t even come up with a theory on what’s going on here. Perhaps some instructions on how to connect a sink drain would be helpful.
Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

View Slides 11-20
Originally Published on The Family Handyman