First-Time DIY: Duct Tape ≠ Plumbing

2013-04-02 by . 10 comments

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Hello again everyone! When my wife & I bought our first house, we went right to work remodeling it. We started by refinishing the hardwood floors and updating our shutters to add some curb appeal. After the floor was finished, we moved on to begin remodeling the kitchen. While I don’t have all of my kitchen photos ready for you, I wanted to show you what I found while re-plumbing the kitchen.

Let me just explain that the previous owners turned the laundry room into a laundry/bathroom – adding a shower, sink, and toilet. They decided to have the washing machine and sink share the long drain pipe (left) and that the shower would drain straight down. The only thing holding these pipes together was the duct tape – no primer, no glue – just duct tape.

Long pipe (left) is from washing machine & sink

Long pipe (left) is from washing machine & sink

Corner shower drains straight down

Corner shower drains straight down

I replaced this incredibly nasty, 3-Way Sanitary Tee (what an oxymoron in this case) with a Flexible 3-Way Sanitary Tee connector. I used silicone sealant on the inside of the connector before tightening it all and on the seams afterwards.

So the lesson here is always use the correct tools for the job … and duct tape doesn’t always fix everything…

What’s the worst “quick fix” you’ve ever run across? Let us know in the comments!

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  • Yumnah Harb says:

    phew! Good thing you check the pipe drainage first before anything else, problems have prevented. Those tapes should be used on it. :)real estate Abu Dhabi.

  • Robert Guzman says:

    Wow that really is a shoddy bit of work, good thing that you caught it or who knows what damage might have been caused. I’m sure you and your wife can sleep safe now 🙂

  • Suzanne says:

    Remodeling house ourselves would definitely be an interesting thing that everybody would love to do it. I really appreciate your effort in replacing the sanitary tee and thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  • Mike says:

    I can beat that. Not home-improvement, but automotive. A friend of mine was gifted a used car, only to discover months later that the fuel line had been repaired with duct tape.

  • Jane says:

    You’re absolutely right. Duct tape is temporary small/tiny-leak-fix. Leaving your pipes in duct tape is like leaving your first- story window with nothing more but a plastic sheet when it’s smashed.

  • Joyce says:

    Great Article overall. I read your all the stuff and found very informative post. Thanks for sharing.

  • Cal Driver says:

    I saw this post and busted up laughing. You’re right–duct tape CLEARLY =/= plumbing. The worst “quick fix” I’ve ever run across was someone who repeatedly tried to replace a faulty sprinkler line with some PVC pipe without waiting for the pipe sealant to appropriately set.

    Yeah, that “someone” was me. I know better now.

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