It’s no secret that do-it-yourself solutions can save you a lot of money, but this tends only to ring true if you really know what you’re doing. Otherwise, your home projects, even a simpler one, may result in disaster — and a very sheepish explanation to the contractor you hire to clean it up.
Even your friendly neighbor, one of the handyman types, is not immune to this. The thing is, many of the so-called handymen are just helpful folks that won’t turn a blind eye if your toilet is clogged or if your TV is no longer working. They will be quick to help and will come over at odd hours of the night just to do it. However well-intentioned, they may only end up destroying the plumbing around your house, leaving you with broken pipework, clogged toilets and dripping faucets that cost a fortune to fix.
Let’s face it, although your helpful neighbor is a great guy and has often fixed your faulty toilet, maybe it’s time to call a professional plumber. After all, they have the job for a reason and, what’s more, they can guarantee their work and always have the professional tools and equipment for the task.
If you still want to try fixing the faucet yourself, you should be prepared for some disastrous situations. Do-it-yourself solutions sound great on paper, but those makeshift pipes won’t last long, and that faulty washer shaking across the floor won’t get you too far.
Let’s explore a few of the best worst DIY jobs we’ve heard of to date:
Everything and the Kitchen Sink
Having a dripping pipe is an all-too-common kitchen nightmare and many of us has seen it firsthand. When it first happens, it seems a quick fix, right? You just grab a sealant, a hex key, a wrench and your all set. Of course, like all do-it-yourself projects, everything is nice and fine on the paper, but once you get under the sink, everything changes. You will instantly find out that you don’t have the right wrench type in your toolbox, and the pipe needs to be replaced.
What’s more, the local hardware store is closed for the weekend and you desperately need a quick fix. One fellow did just that: he developed a complex contraption of almost everything he could get his hands on. From old electrical cords to paper glue, duct tape, and cardboard, this plumbing solution has it all. While it may work for a couple of days (maybe), this solution will make matters worse in only a few weeks. The pipes will likely burst, causing massive leaks in the kitchen, destroying appliances and furniture. This solution, and others like it, are documented for posterity here.
Hot Water Solutions
Taking a bath in cold water is no treat but this do-it-yourself plumbing disaster was named Australia’s most awful plumbing solution in 2014. A 98-year-old man residing in Southern Australia wanted to have a hot bath. The problem, however, was that his home did not have a water heater for more than 20 years. His solution was simple: place an electrically-powered rod (connected directly to the power supply) in the bathwater. The rod was held in place by a plank, and according to the amateur plumber, it only took 90 minutes to heat the water to a comfortable temperature.
Toilets get clogged all the time. And when it happens, it’s usually bad. They are difficult to repair, require a lot of work and expertise. You need to have right tools and equipment and should never try it by yourself. However, there are some amateur plumbers who will try it out. Bad fixtures, poor materials, and inadequate tools will make your toilet an overflowing disaster. You can end up creating a mess that, most likely, no one will want to clean up. What’s worse, flushing again will only make matters worse and will leave your bathroom virtually impossible to use.
If you plan to tackle a plumbing job yourself, make sure you learn from some of the more (and less) common mistakes and know when it’s time to throw in the towel. If things get too hairy, or if ever you’re in doubt, call a plumber. Since gushing water is no treat for anyone, most contractors like A1 Service Plumbing offer 24-hour emergency repair services.
Flaviu Mircea is a freelance writer and professional student who contributes articles and insights into everything from social and business trends to home improvements and repairs.