Here’s a serious mistake that could be very dangerous. This is a picture of a gas furnace with an air conditioning evaporator coil above it. The gas pipe is made from black steel pipe and begins at the left. After running through a red-handled valve that is, thankfully, turned off, the gas pipe runs into the condensate drain opening for the air conditioner coil. [...]
Plumbing traps are like opinions: everybody has one. This sink should have one trap – no more, and no less.
It’s never a good idea to disable a safety valve by capping it. Perhaps this homeowner missed the MythBusters episode which showed how this mistake can allow the water heater to blow up.
Fashionable sinks haven’t sported S-traps for over 100 years. Like wearing white shoes after labor day, S-traps simply aren’t done. Of course, the lack of a high loop at the dishwasher drain is also a sad error. These mistakes will make little difference, however, to the poor soul who reaches a wet hand under the sink to turn on the disposer, only to [...]
This plumbing work stinks. Each plumbing fixture in a home connects to a drain/waste/vent (DWV) piping system that takes wastewater to the municipal sewer or a septic tank. Those sewers and septic tanks produce gases and foul odors that (unsurprisingly) we want to keep out of our homes. To do that, each fixture’s drain should have a trap that holds a small plug [...]
So you bought a gas range... Our intrepid homeowner switched from an electric range to a gas range. To accommodate the new range, any electrician could easily have changed the old 240-volt circuit to a 120-volt circuit, but our hero came up with a better way: Mangle the old range cord to make an “adapter.” Why is that a problem? Let us count [...]
A Sirius problem? A few things are wrong here. The most obvious is the plumbing vent pipe that supports a satellite dish. Our plumbing code calls this “flagpoling” and prohibits it outright. Plumbing vents shouldn’t support any other objects, including television aerials, satellite dishes, and, of course, flagpoles. Flagpoling can cause the horizontal portion of the vent (in the attic) to sag and [...]
The plumber knows he forgot something. He just can’t remember what. When plumbing a new house, plumbers must pressure-test the waste pipes to ensure that the system doesn't leak. Leaks might allow waste water or sewer gas to enter the house. So, when the drain piping is complete, the plumber inserts a test plug and fills the drain system with water all the [...]
Basement floor drains are supposed to *remove* basement water, not bring it in. One of the reasons that home inspectors run so much water during an inspection is to reveal problems like this one. The basement floor drain is connected to the main sewer line, which doesn’t drain fast enough. As a result, some water backs up into the basement. While this might [...]
Temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valves are critically important safety devices. When one fails or is improperly installed in a way that prevents it from doing its job, a traditional tank-style water heater can behave like a bomb (or a rocket). Here, a flush kit for a tankless water heater is installed upside down, placing a shut off valve between the hot water [...]