What’s That Smell ???

Today in Guangzhou it was 27°C and clear

Men’s room sinks at South China Normal University, built 10 years ago

The first thing you notice in a Chinese bathroom is the smell. It stinks. The main reason for this is that they do not install p-traps on their plumbing. Very surprising as a p-trap is inexpensive and the Chinese are fanatical about their health. We have been in 4 and 5 star hotels and they didn’t have p-traps either.

A p-trap creates a water barrier preventing the methane gas created in sewage from entering your house. Not only does methane gas smell, it is flammable. Just ask my brother Jean about his colourful demonstrations of this fact.

Hotel room sink without a p-trap

Hotel room sink without a p-trap

Our apartment was no exception even though it is less than 10 years old. Our sink and bathtub were p-trap less. Most days it was not so bad but on a windy day it was horrible. Thankfully, a toilet has a built in p-trap, sometimes you can see it by looking at the side of your toilet under the bowl.

I managed to make my own p-trap on the sink for $2CAD. It is not good looking, but it smells great. Problem is the sink drains into a 3-inch pipe sticking out of the floor. A rag helped stop the gas coming out of this pipe.

My plumbing 101 creative p-trap. My Dad would be so proud !

This open pipe is connected to the toilet and bathtub drain.

The bathtub could not be fixed. We always stopper the tub when we are done using it. Any handy man worth his salt will know that there is still one more leak where gas could infiltrate into the bathroom. Luckily, it doesn’t seem to let in a noticeable amount of methane.

China, a land of contradictions. People will wear surgical masks around town to keep from spreading their germs to other people yet allow their own gases to serve as potpourri for anyone sharing the same drain waste stack.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Andrée
    Mar 29, 2012 @ 01:47:07

    Does your gases really smell like potpourri? I’m impressed!


  2. Juliane
    Mar 29, 2012 @ 21:12:43

    What an intriguing and oddly educational blog!!!


    • chou chou
      Mar 31, 2012 @ 11:37:33

      I tried to lite the gas coming out of the tub to put the video on the blog but it didn’t work. I guess you don’t need me to do your plumbing jobs now that you have been educated…


  3. Trackback: China plumbing supplies,EBT,http://www.ebt-china.com/ - Plumber Videos

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