Kill Me Now

Someone came to take a look and see if they could find the source of the bad smell in my apartment. He was a very nice young man, but they hadn’t really explained the problem to him so he didn’t have the equipment he needed. Maybe someone will be back tomorrow.

I took down some shelves so the workmen would have room to work at the source of the odor. I guess I’ll leave everything down until tomorrow. I’ve been thinking the problem might be a broken pipe, or blocked vent stack. The young man checked the roof, and he wondered about some work he saw, but he thought the stacks looked okay. Except …

One of them was filled with lots of things, including what looks like pieces of concrete!

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

3 thoughts on “Kill Me Now

  1. It’s amazing what some people will do, while working a construction site. I’m having my baths reno’d and for the first time since the house was constructed in about 1983, the vanities were removed. Under the one in the main bath, there was a hot air vent, which we knew was there because there was a grill on the kick plate where you stand at the sink. But when my contractor pulled everything out, he saw that not only was the hot air not channelled to the grill (so it just blew under the vanity any old way) but the opening as almost completely clogged with construction debris from 1983. I never worried about not getting hot air in that bathroom because it’s not on an external wall but good grief. Plus in the years it was a rental before we bought it, people had stood on the toilets and shifted them enough to leak water into the subfloor, and the landlord had never repaired them properly. They should have taken up the toilet and replaced the wax seal and mopped up the spill. But no.

  2. I’ve been meaning to tell you that when my hot water heater started going bad, it smelled like something had died in the closet where it’s located. The electrician said that when the insulation in the hot water heater gets wet, it stinks like that. So possibly the bad smell is due to wet insulation somewhere that gets into your vents?

    Hope you find the source, or that the scent goes away.

  3. Thank you Cara, I will bring this up and ask if this or something like this could be the cause.

    Julia, exactly. There’s a pipe in my kitchen that’s supposed to supply heat and never has. I don’t care because there enough heat without it and there would probably be too much with it, but based on what I’ve seen trying to track down this odor, god knows what’s going on.

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