Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Why Duct Tape Does NOT Fix Everything

I've heard so many times that duct tape can be used to fix anything. Here's proof that's not always a good idea:

I apologize for the poor photo quality. But what you're seeing is the drain for our washing machine. The black hose on the right comes from our machine, and was apparently duct taped to the drain. I never noticed until now, because it worked fine.

This morning, I put a load of laundry in and went upstairs. Thankfully, I stayed in the kitchen, and I left the basement door open (yes, we finally have a basement door after three and a half months...but that's another long story), so when water started gushing a little while later, I heard it immediately. Who knows what might have happened if I'd been in another part of the house or closed the door.

I ran downstairs and discovered that the duct tape connection had come loose, shooting a geyser of soapy water all over the wall and floor. Clearly duct tape does NOT fix everything. Since our basement is unfinished, it's not a big deal--though Steve is obviously at work and I don't want to leave the clothes sitting in soapy water all day long. I took the photos to send to him so he can tell me over the phone what to do.

Just one more thing to love about this old house...


Combs said...

I don't think that's quite fair. No one has ever said duct is a permanent fix for anything, and it obviously worked for a while at least. So lets be fair to duct tape, and those of us whose lives are quite duct taped together.

Amy said...

see, but this is a perfect example of what frustrates Steve most when it comes to home improvement projects. people have no idea what they're doing, so they give something a "quick fix" which seems to work. unfortunately, it doesn't work long term, and it's been so poorly done that it ends up creating MORE headache and hassle for the person who comes down the road and 1) WANTS to do it right the first time and 2) KNOWS HOW to do it right the first time.

people who don't know what they're doing with home improvement should not be allowed to touch their houses. this right here is up to exhibit Q or so :)

Combs said...

This is very true, and unfortunatly applies to the vast majority of the population out there, but then we live in a quick fix world. Everything needs to be done now, and it doesn't matter if it's done correctly because we no longer know the difference. I've spent many days angry at my dad who addamently refused to let me get away with doing things half way, but it paid off in the end. It's amazing how much money you can save when you work on your own car. Mom hates that it takes us so long to do things around the house, but she know's that when it's done it'll be done. No one wants to take the time to do it anymore, and I don't buy the excuse that people don't have time. If you have time to go out for happy hour everyday, you can find the time to unclog your drain. Honestly duct tape and large home appliances don't mix. I can't see exactly what you're looking at in the picture, but it sounds like all you need is a new bracket or hose clamp to attach it to the drain. It's a five dollar fix at most. I was just kidding around about the duct tape. It probably worked for quite awhile, but as soon as it gets wet, it's done. happy house fixing.

Anonymous said...

We had the SAME problem! As a result, we had to cut away about half of the wall in our laundry room because it was damaged by the water and we had no idea because it was leaking into the wall and not into the room itself. Our wall is still not fixed because now we found out we also need to replace the hot water pipe to the washing machine. And our house isn't even that old :) Our big problem was that we have a brand new washing machine and the pipes are made for older machines and they are not compatible. We ended up buying an extention which completely fixed the problem- no more duct tape!

I hope you were able to get it figured out. The extention might be what you need as well. Good luck!

Jules said...

What is it with old houses? We had a major pipe in the basement held together with duct date. One time (during a really bad rain) it busted (i.e. came untaped). It was quite a sight to see my poor husband trying to hold it together with his hands while getting completely drenched. He had to replace all the piping.