The Top Voted DIY Disaster 20131 February 2014
The DIY Disasters competition has been seeking out Australia’s worst DIY plumbing gaffes for more than 15 years as part of Reece’s ongoing efforts to highlight the risks of ‘giving it a go’ without the assistance of a licensed plumber. For the first time, this year’s competition invited the public to get involved by voting for their favourite entry via Facebook.
As a result, Michael Downing’s amusing laundry plumbing surprise was awarded the 2013 winner from 10 other DIY Disasters finalists.
Michael discovered his plumbing disaster when called to fix the source of a mysterious leak at a client’s new home. He traced the leak back to the laundry sink – and that was when the fun began. “We cleared out the cupboard under the laundry sink, found that someone had cut a plastic milk bottle in half and taped it to the drain as a replacement for a missing section of pipe,” said Michael. “The owner had just bought and moved into the house and needless to say wasn’t too impressed.”
According to Michael, the discovery was one of the funniest DIY plumbing disasters he’s come across in his 18-year career, but also reinforces the risks involved. There have been hundreds of entries over the years and the competition remains an integral part of Reece’s efforts to highlight the frightening implications of going it alone on plumbing jobs.
All too often, people don’t realise the risks to both safety and health that DIY plumbing jobs pose. Most think they are saving themselves money but don’t realise that doing the plumbing themselves can end up costing more in the long run, not to mention putting lives at risk, causing damage and ultimately devaluing their homes. Other finalist entries in this year’s competition highlighted the many sanitary and explosive risks of amateur plumbing attempts. Matthew from Victoria’s entry highlighted the explosion and burn risks of home made or repaired hot water and heating systems. Matthew’s client was puzzled as to why the heater in his newly renovated home wasn’t working, and his living room ceiling simultaneously turning an ominous shade of black. Upon further inspection Matthew, (in a similar manner to our winner Michael) had found this client had used a plastic milk bottle on the flue terminal. The client was convinced that flue cowls were ‘a rip off’ and are only used to stop water getting in. Just another reminder that plastic bottles should never be used in a plumbing situation.
All 10 DIY Disasters finalists received a Big Dog Pack valued at $500.