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Episode 1: Help!! My Billa Smells like Poo/Death!!

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Help!! My Billa Smells like Poo/Death!!
subtitle: Smell-Proofing your Billa's Plumbing

A Similitude

Part 1

"i love the way your apartment smells!" it's what my friend John says every time he comes over. i tell him it's just superior pheromones, but he knows better. he knows this billa's been on the long, smelly road to snuggly-soft spring-freshness.*

the toilet was flushed.
the garbage was out.
the sink drains were covered.
the bathroom fan was on.
the kitchen fan was running.
yet the the billa smelled like sewage.
open, raw sewage.
the putrefying fumes wafted up from the deep recesses of the village; a foul, underground network of poo and lies. it always found it's way to me. through the floor drain i thought. i meditated long and hard on how to block that floor drain, and launched many unsuccessful attempts. then, the biggest billa brainwave ever (inspired by the olde journals of french micro-physicist, geordi la forge):
i knew what i had to do was create a subspace field which would function like an infinitely thin --but rock-solid-- forcefield between me and the environmental phenomena i wished to avoid!
it was so simple but it changed my life forever: i could create my own version of a subspace field using nothing other than... 

plastic cling wrap.

For best results and to maximize overall cling, spray a mist of water on the floor before applying plastic wrap. 
Blocking of a floor drain is very unwise if there's any chance that large amounts of water could possibly be flowing onto the floor (e.g., as a result of laundry leakage or plumbing ruptures). This could be catastrophic beyond your wildest nightmares and not covered by anyone's insurance (not yours, not your employer's, and maybe not even your building-owner's).* (all asterisks[*] refer to the blurb at the bottom of this post)  
UPDATE FROM EDITOR: see this new post for other smelly-drain-stopping methods which are just as effective and way less dangerous than this one! :) 

but for some reason, the stench of methane gas and rotten eggs would still visit at random times.

through long and drawn-out months of investigation and people telling me to just move to another billa, several significant factors were discovered.

the following are my findings, broken into five readable parts which you can read over several sittings as you troubleshoot your own billa. [click below to continue reading]

exhibit 1: plumbing

the smell seemed to be coming from everywhere.

everything looked good when i checked my sink drain. no openings. the

sink drain even had a p-trap to prevent back-flow of smells.

but take a look at the silver finishing ring which sits at the bottom of the drain pipe.

it was in no way sealed down. it just lifted and slid up the chrome pipe like nothing. and this chrome pipe coming from the sink was half an inch smaller than the plastic pipe it connected to in the floor! the odour of poo and death had an open door into my life.

note that the fumes that wafted from the sink drain were mysteriously more awful while i was using the toilet (see exhibit 3).

anyway, a little tape fixed that.*


but the invasion persisted. and so did everyone telling me to just find another place. but i had other visions of freshness and a delight for my billa.

searching deeper and deeper, i found the following.

exhibit 2: the laundry drain.

it was the same story, the gap.

and again, the fumes that wafted from the gap in the laundry drain were especially awful while i was using the toilet (see exhibit 3).

anyway, a little more tape fixed that.*

if doing this, be sure to make sure your flexi-drain tube is tightly fitted to the washing machine and the ring-clamp is tightly fastened... because draining gets a little more intense once the gap in the pipes is closed (it has nowhere to suck air in as the drain "gulps").*
but the invasion persisted, especially while using the toilet.


exhibit 3: suction and diffusion

both the bathroom sink's drain pipe and the washing machine's drain pipe were successfully taped up, and that nasty floor drain was isolated. but as mentioned above, the wafting fumes were still finding their way into my house while i was using the toilet.

i could never accept that the poo/death coming out of the drain during toilet-time was my poo because blackwater (from toilets) and greywater (from all other drains) are supposed to go down completely separate pipes. i couldn't possibly have been smelling my toilet through my drain.

and besides, this odour was just not my brand.

but one afternoon while processing a fibonacci sequence, it finally dawned on me:

when i was using the toilet, the fan was on. and this created...

no less than just enough suction to awaken the beasts in the realms below the village, just where the grey waters meet the black. there, where the two waters meet, they swirl with everything awful and wrong. the beasts which emerge from this mad soup are then summoned by their master's whirling blades. these blades are referred to in legend as 환풍기 (or, bathroom ceiling-fan, standard).  --village lore

this also explained why i would smell poo/death coming from somewhere whenever i used the kitchen exhaust fan, the air conditioner, or the hot water heater...

it had nothing to do with using the toilet! rather, the household fans were ironically drawing foul smells into the apartment. eureka!

but everything was taped up. 

how could these beasts, these fiends of waters black still be finding their way in??

To Be Continued...

Smelly Billa 

why stink?

Johnny Random경기도  평택시, 2009
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* the advice in this and in other Smelly Billa posts is not intended to be taken as professional or universal advice. while i've only enjoyed the benefits of (and have never encountered damage or distress as a result of) the above procedures, i cannot endorse these things to be universally effective or safe in every billa, nor be held responsible for things gone wrong. please assess your own situation wisely and with the counsel of elders, and proceed at your own discretion and risk. as an additional note, all taping-up of stuff in my billa described above was actually done by an "engineer" (엔지니어... the plumber who didn't believe me). the plumber's visit was arranged by my employer and through my landlord. it is always best to go through higher channels when fighting such beasts. after defeating one, it could whip around on its way down to the abyss to slice you in half with its razor-sharp tail, and take you down with it (i.e., you could get the smell out of your house but end up flooding your whole building and be hooped for ever and ever). Please be careful.

1 comment:

  1. Part 2 of the post mysteriously disappeared but there was one worthy quote of note to transfer over to here:

    wevegotseoul said... "There is an actual company that will come to you house and instal drain covers so that it doesn't stink."


    nice. thanks for the note. this is potentially MUCH safer than plastic wrap, and the guarantee involved sounds like some sort of peace of mind will come with it. probably getting what you pay for (for the said price).

    for those of you far away from centers that might be able to perform such an operation, stay tuned for similar (recently-discovered) devices which can be purchased in the neighbourhood which, although they aren't guaranteed or as heavy-duty, have a similar effect and are only 2500 won.