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Old 08-30-2014, 07:45 PM
 
1,872 posts, read 3,686,354 times
Reputation: 2674

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I've replaced just about every light fixture in my house since I moved here a year ago. Almost all of the light fixtures had ground wires that were pushed up into the electrical box or cut off instead of being used. I installed a new fan today, and this is what I found after taking off the old fan:

The fan support was connected to a board sitting on the ceiling drywall between the rafters, and the electrical wires were loose coming through the hole (no electrical box). There is a ground wire there, but you can't see it because someone shoved it back up into the attic. There is some water staining, so I'm guessing the homeowner worked on this after a leak.

I went up into the attic and pulled back the insulation to mount an electrical box, and I see one just sitting loose under the insulation. I'm guessing the previous homeowner pushed the box out of the way and used the board because it was easier to hang the fan that way? I also counted 8 nails hammered into the ends of the board in an attempt to secure it, but half of them were bent because someone can't hammer straight. I already removed some of the nails in the picture.


I have a great house, but I could post new things I find every week that someone screwed up. I'm slowly updating the house. I recently removed a thin, stained glass window from a shower. The window had several cracks in it where you could feel air coming through it. There was a lot of rotten wood, so I had to replace the frame around it.

Feel free to share stories...
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Old 08-30-2014, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,105 posts, read 7,860,704 times
Reputation: 9775
Thanks for the photos!

I call that sort of work, crap done by Uncle Jake.

In every family or circle of friends, there's an "Uncle Jake" who thinks he knows what he is doing or is too cheap/drunk/stupid to care about doing it the right way.

The house I moved into had telco wires stapled along the coving in the hallway because someone couldn't cut a little hole in the floor and mount the wires along the exposed rafters in the basement. That's since been corrected.

I also found some "creative plumbing" under the sink. I suspect someone didn't know how to solder copper, so they tried gluing the wrong size PVC connections. That has also been fixed.

I'm in the process of pulling carpet. I can only do a few feet at a time. Uncle Jake went crazy with a staple gun and ran several 15' lines of staples going both ways. There are probably close to 1800 staples in the floor.

I'd like to know if the guy who did that was drunk or just totally stupid.
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Old 08-30-2014, 08:23 PM
 
1,872 posts, read 3,686,354 times
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I don't have a picture, but the previous homeowner mounted a TV on the wall in the bedroom. When I moved in and the TV was gone, there was an extension cord plugged into an outlet a foot up from the floor. The extension cord went through a hole next to the outlet, up the wall behind the drywall, and out a hole in the drywall where the TV was mounted. The extension cord was sticking out of the wall about 3" instead of there being another outlet there.
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Old 08-31-2014, 08:00 AM
 
10,090 posts, read 17,872,604 times
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I've pulled so much of that kind of thing out of my current house. The owner's father was a pretty handy guy. The owner, on the other hand, wasn't, and sometimes did stuff himself wrong, and sometimes hired other idiots to do it wrong. 14 gauge wire on a 20a circuit. Extra outlets added by running Romex out and around the front of the electrical box. Junction boxes left loose on attic floor. Abandoned and leaking saddle valves everywhere. Thankfully he never took it upon himself to work on the gas plumbing.
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Old 08-31-2014, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Sunny Florida
7,136 posts, read 12,104,250 times
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The previous owners had a plumbing problem that they "solved" by taping the pipes together with masking tape. Even I can do better than that!
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Old 08-31-2014, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
16,319 posts, read 60,516,002 times
Reputation: 21040
I've seen thousands of these!!! And everyone more splendid than the next. I could post a pic or two of some really stupid ones, but what's the point- it's not going to change. People are cheap and ASSUME they can handle a particular situation. Right or wrong, it worked for them- so the challenge is complete- even if it might have life altering affects down the road.

Every time I run across one I pissandmoan, use quite a few colorful words, then fix it.


One thing- you got the title wrong. DIY is just that- DO IT YOURSELF! No where in that does it mean- DO IT RIGHT!
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,105 posts, read 7,860,704 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunnydee View Post
The previous owners had a plumbing problem that they "solved" by taping the pipes together with masking tape. Even I can do better than that!
Yikes!

That's worse than one I saw where there had been a leak in the P-trap under the bathroom sink. They wrapped about half a roll of duct tape around it. ):

Granted, I use duct tape for a lot of temporary fixes, but that's not one of them.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:32 AM
 
24,841 posts, read 35,800,189 times
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We have had people ruin their water well from trying to work on it themselves.

Many drop the submersible pump and drop pipe down in the well.

Or, do not know how to release the pump.....so they just keep pulling.....with car jacks....front end loaders.
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:15 AM
 
657 posts, read 727,560 times
Reputation: 2287
House repair oneupmanship.
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:43 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
32,718 posts, read 76,576,611 times
Reputation: 40726
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meemur View Post
...where there had been a leak in the P-trap under the bathroom sink.
They wrapped about half a roll of duct tape around it.
geez! I thought everyone knew you need to use duct seal and electrical tape for that job.
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