Go to How Not to Build an Addition Index! This page includes notes on methane gas.


As eventful as it had been, my day was not over yet. When I got home, a familiar and unpleasant smell greeted me at the door. I groaned. I would have pounded my head with the palm of my hand to chastise myself for stupidity if I had not already been inflicted with enough pain in that vicinity.

One whiff and I realized that the odor I had been bothered by was gas seeping from the gaping holes I had cut into the main drain stack. Even in my less than coherent state, I remembered that the primary gas produced by sewage waste was methane. Methane is also known as NATURAL GAS. Natural gas has a tendency to ignite or even explode when a spark is set to it.

My muscles and my head called out for me to rest. (They say there is no rest for the wicked; there is no rest for the mentally deficient either.) I only passingly considered calling the fire department to handle the situation. Well, it hasn't blown up yet, I thought. Holding my breath, I rushed into the house and plugged the main drain with a kitchen towel. I threw open the windows to ventilate the house. I was careful to avoid unnecessary sparks by switching any lights; I could imagine no more horrible death than to be blown to smithereens in a house full of fart gas.

When I could breathe the air, I moved away from the window and went to work. I slipped either end of the plastic tees into the mission transition no-hub shielded couplings. These I subsequently attached to the metal pipes. I did not forget to plug the open tees, nor did I forget to collapse on the sofa when I had finished.

When Robin came home from work that afternoon, she saw my bloody, corpse-like form stretched out on the couch. She thought I was dead until I raised my head. "My goodness, Bill, what happened here?"

"Well..." I began to explain.

She whisked the pillow from beneath my head. "Can't you be more careful; you got blood on this pillow!"

I whined pitifully, but it was to no avail. Robin dragged me into the bathroom and gave me a good scrubbing down. When she commented on the odor, I did not tell her that it was the remains of dissipated methane gas and that I had almost blown up the house. To keep her from becoming unduly alarmed (and to keep her from thinking she had married a moron), I let her believe that the foul stench in the air had come from me. In any event, I was compelled to explain to her the nail hole in my head. There was too much evidence to gloss this one over.

As I told her a story that could not inspire her with confidence, I made a point of mentioning the Mission transition no-hub shielded couplings. Her eyes immediately glazed over; I realized I need say no more. I was back in good graces.

I was ready, if not particularly willing, to begin work on the next phase of the plumbing operation: the drain pipes leading to the fixtures.

Next Page

Waste Drain
Pipe Cutter
Mission Transition
Methane Gas

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About the Author:
W.J. Rayment built an addition on his house, and in the course of the project learned from his many mistakes. This on-line compendium is his effort to help you learn from his experience. The advice and stories are often humorous, sometimes silly, but always informative. for yourself or as a gift for family or friends.

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