Local plumber wins $5k for DIY disaster story

A Middleton plumber has won a $5,000 prize, after sharing a ‘DIY plumbing disaster’ he encountered while on the job.

Matthew Logmans won first prize in the DIY Disasters competition run by Reece plumbing, with his photograph of an unexpected contraption he found in the home of a 98-year-old man.

The man had been heating his bath water with an element connected to a plank of timber. 

Matthew found his winning entry when his client’s daughter called him to install a hot water service in her father’s home.

Having had no access to hot water for 20 years, it was taking the elderly man one hour and 45 minutes to warm up his bath with his homemade heating device.

“The man had performed this ritual every night, without the use of safety switches. If the element had slipped off, the electricity would have gone straight into the water,” Matthew said.

“He is lucky to have come out unscathed.”

Coming in at second place with a $1000 prize was a hot water system with electrical connections in direct contact with a leaking tap.

Third place went to a cooktop regulator installed back to front, with a plastic bag used in place of a sealant (the DIY-er was wondering why gas wasn’t coming through).

For photographs of Matthew's winning entry, and the second and third place entries, simply click or swipe to the right on the photo gallery above.

Matthew said, throughout his 10-year career, he has come across some quite interesting and alarming DIY jobs about once a month.

“We see crazy things all the time, but people don’t realise the risks involved in DIY,” Matthew said.

“They try to save a dollar, but the safety implications are not worth the money saved.”

The competition has been run for six years, with the aim of highlighting the risks of ‘giving it a go’ without enlisting a licensed plumber.