A Funny yet Sad Plumbing Moment

5 reasons your bathroom smells like a sewer

I was recently asked by a journalist from the Courier Mail, what is the funniest thing I have come across as a plumber. I had to ponder for a moment because there have been some pretty funny moments, but some have also been strange and sad.


My dad has the best stories having been in the industry for over 35 years. One of the funniest but also possibly saddest stories depending on how you look at it was five years ago when Jacol Plumbing refurbed the male and female toilets in the ING Building on Edward Street, Brisbane. The toilets were refurbed one floor at a time.


These toilets have a code on the door so that only the staff members on each floor can use them. Early one morning, while I was waiting in the truck and dad delivered some fittings to one of our apprentices onsite, a terrible smell wafted from the foyer of the building.


My dad asked the apprentice if he had cut into a sewer pipe to cause the dreadful smell in the foyer. The apprentice shook his head and lead my dad to a pot plant in the corner of the foyer, and there on the floor was a pile of human poo. My dad couldn’t believe it and said who would have done that? To which our apprentice explained that a random homeless guy had tried to get into the toilets and because they didn’t know the code, chose the foyer near the pot plant to do his business. The cleaners were on their way to clean the area and fumigate the foyer. This was 5am in the morning, before most workers would arrive for work.


Apparently it had happened before. When my dad told me in the truck, I couldn’t stop laughing. And then I felt compassion for that poor person who must have been really aching to get to a toilet and unfortunately chose the wrong building. Sadly and ironically, the homeless person got their revenge and the whole incident could have been avoided if the toilets didn’t have a code.