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Kitchen mess or work of art?

Posted by taddpeake (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 28, 14 at 20:17

The people who built my condo 20 years ago were creative geniuses. They pioneered installing toilets without flanges and putting water lines 1/2" from the edge of studs with no metal protection plates (truth). They also created the masterpiece under my kitchen sink (photo below).

I have a licensed plumber coming in a couple of weeks to fix the trap, which was leaking around the coupling. I was able to hand tighten it enough to stop the leaking for now.

The reason I think I need a plumber -- I don't know if you can tell from the photo -- is that the trap is glued on one side so that it can't be removed, only loosened enough on one side to leak. It seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

Question 1: Since I was able to stop the leaking, should I leave the trap as is and cancel my appointment?

Question 2: If the plumber is coming anyway, does it make sense to ask him to redo the rest of this masterpiece so that there are not so many pieces, and so that it doesn't take up so much room?

Thanks for your comments.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Kitchen mess or work of art?

It looks functional and no longer leaks so I don't see the need for a plumber. Changing the disposal when it breaks will likly require replacing all the pipe in the pic but that;s often true.


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RE: Kitchen mess or work of art?

does it make sense to ask him to redo the rest of this masterpiece so that there are not so many pieces, and so that it doesn't take up so much room?

While it may not be pretty, there's really nothing wrong with it. It's under your sink not displayed above your fireplace, so who cares what it looks like?
And I don't see how redoing it will save you any room. It isn't like there are any extra twists and turns that you can get rid of.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.


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RE: Kitchen mess or work of art?

Definitely not a work of art, even by Modern Art standards.

You will eventually want to fix it because you will want to sell the condo sometime. However, if it's not leaking... you may want to focus on other things.

I pretty strongly disagree with the "There's nothing wrong with it" statement above, but it wouldn't be on my priority list.

How did this ever get past city code inspection?


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RE: Kitchen mess or work of art?

I pretty strongly disagree with the "There's nothing wrong with it" statement above

Can you be more specific? What is wrong with it other than it's ugly?


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RE: Kitchen mess or work of art?

Hi, jakethewonderdog.

"How did this ever get past city code inspection?"

The rumor is that there is only one building inspector for the whole state.


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RE: Kitchen mess or work of art?

To start with, there must be a baffled waste tee between the two bowls of the sink. In addition, the trap is glued on one side and detachable on the other (how did they even do that?) It should be detachable. There are probably more issues, but those two jump right out there. The creative use of fittings, multiple short pieces of pipe joined together, etc. are all things that shouldn't have happened.

Ugly isn't a code violation, but poor workmanship can be. We want to be sure that when giving advice, we call out poor workmanship -- and this certainly qualifies. It's not just "does the water end up where it's supposed to be?"

If I were a buyer or an inspector, if I were to see something like that I would get out the magnifying glass and look over everything... The owner may not be able to fix everything, but he/she can un-cobble obvious problems as they go.

Note my similar response to the water heater repair question on here: when it becomes obvious that something was so poorly done, the entire job becomes suspect.


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RE: Kitchen mess or work of art?

Thanks for all the replies. I'll take the advice to lower it on my priority list. If I need to call a plumber in the future for something else, that's the time to have them tweak the trap.

It never occurred to me that it might be okay to leave it as is. Since the main function of a trap is to provide a water barrier to sewer smells, not being able to remove it probably isn't a huge deal.

Thanks again!


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