The Official Plumber's
Hall of Shame

Presented by Dynamic Drains

Not every plumber is created equal!

Below are the pictures in this Hall of Shame as proof. We’ve compiled everything from the plain stupid to the outright bizarre “fixes” some handyman or even an unskilled plumber thought were a good ideas.

1. Just Plug it Off, What’s the Worst that Could Happen?


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When something is leaking you just plug it up, right? Yeah, sure, if you want this water heater to explode! There are countless news stories detailing the thousands of dollars in damage water heaters with capped off TPR valves have caused.

For some reason, this plumber still thought making a potential bomb was a good idea. Hopefully, a licensed professional caught this before it was too late.

2. Physics? Who Needs it!


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We will ignore the fact that this plumber used a connector meant for a gas line when they needed one for a water line, just to be nice. What we can’t ignore is the obvious mistake that even a kindergartener wouldn’t make. It doesn’t take a degree in physics to understand that water doesn’t flow uphill.

Aside from needing to go back to grade school, this plumber has turned an absolutely fine water heater into something dangerous. Without the water flowing down and out of the system, we have a potential repeat of the outcome in number one…an explosion.

3. There’s a Reason You Should Hire a Licensed Plumber.


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Just because someone says they are a plumber doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing. The owner of this tankless water heater found out the hard way that you should always hire someone with a license.

Improper setup caused this unit to melt its pipe from not having enough water in it. It’s fine though; I’m sure the owner is very happy they saved a little money by letting their friend work on it right about now. It just goes to show that you honestly do get what you pay for.

4. Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should.


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Were they trying to build a miniature water park ride? There is literally nothing right about this drain work. Seriously, who looked at this and said, “Another job well done!”

Looking at the bottom center piece, here’s another person that thinks water can defy gravity. Anyone can connect these pipes together, but that doesn’t mean the end result is going to be functional. Hopefully, this “plumber” can find another day job.

5. Anything Fits with Enough Force.


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Sure, let’s just shove these two PVC pipes together until they fit. No need to seal the connection or anything, it’s not like leaking water causes things to corrode.

Judging from the grooves in the plastic, this pipe had been leaking for a very long time. Thankfully, a plumber who knows what they’re doing was able to catch it before things got worse. Who knows what kind of damage that leak might have caused over time.

Unlicensed Plumbing Is Dangerous


Yikes! Those last five pictures were pretty horrific. It just goes to show what can happen if you hire underqualified plumbers to fix your pipes.

Without the proper certifications and training these unlicensed individuals can create an incredibly dangerous situation, like the water heater bomb that could destroy your home and the belongings in it. Not to mention the harm it could cause to you or your family.

In non-life threatening situations, these patchwork “fixes” and poor installations could end up costing you ten times as much down the road. Improper installation and piping can lead to leaks that cause extensive and expensive damage over time.


The Hall of “Well That’s Interesting.”

1. Sometimes People Make Mistakes. Big Ones.


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This main drain for the backwash line to someone’s pool was completely clogged by hardened calcium. Why? Well, there’s a reason pool stores exist.

Using the wrong chemicals can lead to some expensive and untimely fixes, like this one. So much for barbecues by the pool this summer! It’s a good thing there are skilled plumbers who can fix these mistakes.

2. It’s About Time this Pipe Retired.


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This piece of history is an old lead water line from the roaring 20’s. The pipe came from a city water meter, providing water to the residents of an old home. In its heyday, it probably looked great but time sure has taken its toll on this line.

Aside from being old, it is made of lead. Best to replace this one with something a little less contaminating, don’t you think?

3. No One is to Blame Here, But the Result is a Little Impressive.


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Here’s another melted piece of piping from a tankless water heater. This time everything was set up correctly, it was the heater itself that malfunctioned and caused the damage. It decided to just keep on heating up without any water running through the pipe, causing the image above.

Things are bound to break down now and again, it’s inevitable. You have to admit, though, seeing a burnt pipe like this is pretty neat.

4. Clogs Can be…Crappy, to Say the Least.


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Sewer lines see all sorts of things pass through their pipes. To spare your eyes the chocolate covered horrors, here are a few cleaned-up items removed from a clogged line. Thankfully, plumbers are more than willing to do this kind of dirty work.

Also, who flushes a key? What about that screwdriver? How do these things even happen? Maybe we’d rather not know.

5. Speaking of Crappy Things, How Would You Like to Take Your Bathroom Breaks in Lavish Style?


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Not so much a plumbing mistake, but a marble toilet…what? After-Chipotle escapades just don’t seem deserving of such finesse. It’s not like that golden seashell seat is opening up to reveal pearls, but who are we kidding. How could you not want a marble toilet in your home?

Maybe this is where Auguste Rodin got the idea for his statue The Thinker. Crappy jokes aside, this seems like quite the prized possession as well as a very luxurious addition to any bathroom. Whoever owns this will certainly want to hire a licensed plumber when it needs the pipes repaired.


The Hall of Fame

The Benefits of Hiring a Licensed Professional

The things one finds when plumbing can be rather odd. Whether it’s a screwdriver clogging a sewer line or someone’s literal porcelain throne that needs work, it’s important to hire a plumber with the skills and licensing required to get the job done right.

These individuals have undergone an immense amount of training to do their job safely and efficiently. Their work is going to pass inspection, aside from looking good while functioning optimally.

If you are ever unsure about a plumber’s licensing just ask, they’ll be more than happy to show you what they’ve worked hard to achieve. The best ones can even give you a list of references to verify just how qualified they are for the job.

1. Perfect Installation, Physics Included.


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The plumber that installed this water heater knew what they were doing. Notice how they used a proper drain line instead of a gas line, or how the piping leads downwards because they understand how gravity works.

Jokes aside, everything here is in its place and installed safely. The heater is even sitting above the garage floor to comply with proper code. That way if there ever is a leak the owner will be able to see it right away and make a call to the plumber for maintenance.

2. Now That’s How You Fix Some Piping.


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Look familiar? Probably not without a toilet connected to it. This is a lead riser for a toilet drain, commonly found in most homes.

Adding a flange to the lead riser can be a complicated DIY task, and choosing the wrong flange can lead to some significant corrosion as time goes on. An experienced plumber uses a brass flange, like the one below.

Why? The answer is simple. A brass flange will not corrode if installed correctly, leaving a connection that is not only solid but will also last for years to come.

3. Using the Right Material.


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Look familiar? Probably not without a toilet connected to it. This is a lead riser for a toilet drain, commonly found in most homes.

Adding a flange to the lead riser can be a complicated DIY task, and choosing the wrong flange can lead to some significant corrosion as time goes on. An experienced plumber uses a brass flange, like the one below.

Why? The answer is simple. A brass flange will not corrode if installed correctly, leaving a connection that is not only solid but will also last for years to come.

4. Professionalism at Work.


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We showed you this small two-gallon water heater to be used for an office bathroom a bit earlier, which is unfinished in this picture. Before completing the installation, there are a few key points that signify the professionalism a licensed plumber displays in their work.

The joints are soldered together in a nice clean fashion to create a smooth appearance ideal for piping. The plumber also knows their code, shown by the vacuum relief valve connected to the cold side. That valve prevents water from being siphoned out in the event of a leak.

After the soldering and connections are finishes, the plumber properly insulates the cold and hot side piping. Finally, the PVC connects the water heater to its source, and this unit is ready to pass inspection.

5. Behind the Scenes: Bathroom Plumbing Exposed.


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Just behind the toilet and sink in every bathroom sits something similar to this. That is where the water goes when it rushes down the drain and gets flushed away. Consider it the skeleton of bathroom plumbing in this commercial building. Once again, we see that there is no unnecessary mazework of piping and each connection is properly sealed. Clearly professional work here. Where does the water come in, though? Hint: It isn’t the middle section of PVC. After those pipes are put in place, the water line is added and insulated so fresh water can come out of the sink tap. A wooden frame is built around the work walls can go in place later, because who wants to see those pipes in an office building, am I right? Following the water line outside, we see that same professionalism from before in these clean soldered joints. Look at those! Smooth as smooth can be.

Finishing up this bathroom piping, we see that the pipe has been insulated and fitted with a pressure test gauge to keep the pipes from over pressurizing and causing a leak. Beautiful and inspection ready! What’s going on down below, though?

The concrete has been dug up to make a secure connection to the water main. This serves a double purpose, though. The PVC sleeve installed will add an extra layer of protection where the copper penetrates the concrete. That kind of thoughtfulness only comes from someone with proper training.

There you have it. Plumbing work by the hands of licensed professional to make this bathroom 100% functional. Now you have something to think about the next time you’re scrolling through your news feed on a bathroom break. Neat, isn’t it?

Don't Let Your Pipes End Up in the Hall of Shame!


From the worst of jobs to the best of them, and all the weird oddities in-between, it’s easy to see why hiring a plumber with the proper credentials is important. These licensed individuals have the know how to follow building codes and get the job done right the first time around.

When you choose to hire underqualified workers, the result can be a total disaster that ends up costing you more money down the road, or even leaves you with a potentially dangerous situation like the water heater bomb from the Hall of Shame.

Bad plumbing pictures are always worth a good laugh, but the reality is that those terrible fixes aren’t worth your time or hard earned money. Leave it to a licensed professional who knows exactly what they are doing.

Pipes become clogged or leak, mistakes happen, and units malfunction. It’s all a part of life, but at least you can rely on the experience of a qualified plumber to make things good as new again.

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