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Here's a quick, little test to see if you can spot what is wrong in these pictures. Some are quite obvious, and even funny, but remember, all of these photos are real. People actually thought these repairs and modifications were safe. Some of these repairs just look bad, but others are potentially dangerous, from floods to fires. Do you have the skills to tell the difference between a correct repair, and a ticking time bomb? Do you want to gamble with your home, and your family's safety that you do? Look at each of these photos and try to spot the problem, then move your cursor over the photo to see the answer.


This one is fairly easy, besides all of the exposed wires, this circuit breaker is horribly over-loaded. It is one short circuit away from a serious fire. Although technically, this drain does have a P trap installed, which it must to keep the gases from coming up the main drain line into the room, by installing it sideways, it defeats the purpose. This room will have a bad odor until it is corrected.
When the shut off valve quit working, they just added a second next to the bad one. A licensed plumber would have replaced the one that failed. By leaving the bad one in place, you run the risk of a leak at the valve stem. Notice the green corrosion. Instead of finding out why their breakers kept tripping, they decided to remove all of the circuit breakers and wire everything direct. Circuit breakers are designed to trip off when they detect an electrical problem. Without them, the risk of a fire is extremely high.

Here, they have used three P-traps when only one is needed. This drain will empty very slowly, if at all. This is a clear sign of a Do-it-yourself repair. This gutter wouldn't drain properly because it was sloped incorrectly. Instead of lowering the end with the downspout a few inches, they drilled hundreds of holes, thus defeating the purpose of having a gutter at all.
Here, a gable mount exhaust fan was installed directly through the roof. They used drywall board, fiberglass insulation, sheet metal, and duct tape to close the hole. From the looks of the wood rot next to the fan, they will need a new roof very soon. If you look are the large pipe on the left side of the picture you can see that the installer didn't have the right parts to connect the toilet to the drain, so they kept adding elbows until they were able to connect the pipe to the drain. This big loop will cause the toilet to back up very easily.

What can be said about this picture? Aside from the fact that water and electric don't mix, who really wants to take a shower by a 200 watt backyard motion detecting flood light. Here the owner repaired his own fence, but kind of went overboard on the length of the nails (unless he really dislikes his neighbor). If you're going to do your own repair, use the right tool for the job.
Again, the installer knew he needed to use a P trap on the drain line, but apparently no one told him they don't work when installed sideways. This time you see the classic double sideways P traps. Because the top of the double trap is almost to the bottom of the sink, this will be a very slow draining sink.

Yes, that's an electrical box directly below the sink's drain. Let's hope that PVC fitting above it never leaks (at least they got the P trap right). MacGyver would be proud on this one. When the sink drain began to leak, it looks like they attempted to repair it with a sllinky and two rolls of electrical tape. It still leaked, but slower.
Again, water and electric, not such a good mix. Plus, once that bulb breaks from getting hit with cold water, then you're wet, standing on broken glass, with exposed electrical filaments above your head. Unfortunately, the main support column for the center floor joists was just two inches short. They thought it would be fine to just jam in a few small scraps of wood they found laying around. That should support the entire floor.

This is a two drain kitchen sink with the trap installed BETWEEN the two drains. While it works for the drain on the left, it leaves the right drain is completely open into the sewer line. Nothing to stop the gases and smells from coming right into the kitchen. Here the installer took the easy way out, and installed the T.V. satellite dish right INTO the plumbing vent pipe. These pipes must remain clear and open to allow the plumbing inside the home to drain properly.
Here they used a flexible drain tube from an RV camper to permanently connect a drain inside their home. Again, you must use the right parts for the job. A quick trip to the Hardware Store could have prevented this mess. They could not have found a more incorrect item to use as a roof truss brace. You expect a brace to stop movement, but a hinge, by design, is supposed to allow easy movement. The correct part for this repair is even less expensive than this hinge was.

Why use just one electrical junction box, when 8 looks much better? Rather than adding a little more conduit pipe, and doing the installation correctly, they chose to just keep adding boxes until the space was filled. Here's the opposite to the other picture, why use several electrical junction boxes when you can cram everything into one. Does anyone smell something burning?
This is the result of lowering the ceiling in your shower when you retiled, without bothering to lower the shower head. I hope they never have to replace that head. Who needs an electrical outlet to plug something into, when you can just twist the hot wires onto the end of the plug. Did you notice how this dangerous short-cut is just 1/4 inch away from touching that black metal pipe?

What can be said about this picture? If those crutches ever slip out, the owner will need to use them for their intended purpose, and not as an awning support.

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