How combustible methane could accumulate a condo unit
This has relation to the Serendra gas explosion that I explained in my blog yesterday. In my opinion, it was not LPG, but sewerage methane that exploded. The image below (left side) was taken from a condominium in Makati after the renovated. The image at the right was taken after I made corrections. The left photo shows how methane could enter the condo unit as a result of lousy plumbing job under the lavatory. It also shows the correction that needs to be done. So, look under your lavatory and sink and check it out if you see something like it and have it corrected, or else take the risk of gas fire, explosion, suffocation, or poisoning. What goes down from the units to the septic tank is not methane, but what goes up is a pure combustible methane that can explode when ignited.
In my opinion, the Serendra Blast was not LPG. All wastes from your toilet, lavatory, and sink goes down through pipes and down to the septic tank. Septic tank produces methane gas and it also goes up through the pipes and will enter your unit if the plumbing in your unit was lousy like the one you see in my actual pictures.
Now you see, colorum (unlicensed) real estate practitioners like agents, interior designers, engineers, plumbers, electicians -- DAMN THESE ARE DANGEROUS. I advocate the eradication and law enforcement against colorum, but the Philippine Government does not care, media does not care, real estate developers does not care -- as they say: IT'S MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES.
I've been a licensed real estate broker since 1998. Not so long ago, Mar was chief of Dept of Trade and Industry, under this agency is the Bureau of Trade Regulations and Consumer Protection (BTRCP). Most real estate services require licensing in BTRCP. It was during his time as DTI chief when colorum real estate practitioners grew in exponential proportion, and their number have already reach a point that it is very difficult to eradicate. You see now, Mar handled the investigation of the Serendra blast but never looked at the angle that unlicensed real estate practitioners who did the piping installation, renovation, inspection, and leasing agency could possibly be the reason of the explosion. If I were a real estate tycoon and I need a whitewash, I would call on the right guy.
There are only three sets of persons who can be held liable: (1) the leasing agent, (2) the building administrator/engineer, (3) the renovation contractor. First, find out if these persons are LICENSED in the practice of the profession. The tenant and unit owner cannot be held liable because they are mere end-users or consumers of these real estate services.
My advice to the Condo Homeowners Association is straightforward. You are the last line of an organized defense. Protect your selves and your families. Make sure that people doing services in your condominium are LICENSED. I am talking about brokers, leasing agents, property managers, renovation contractors, building administrators, plumbers, building engineers, and electricians. Make sure they are licensed. The Homeowners Association must not allow themselves to be over-powered by the influence of the Developer because these Developer are fond of using colorum for cheaper labor cost and exploitable services. As members of the homeowners association, the bottom line is, you are the end-users and end-consumers and you need to protect yourselves. If your developer and real estate agents did not disclose that your building is sitting on top of the fault line, it is time you discuss it as a community and come up with plans. Don't be victims.
QUESTION: So this scenario is also applicable to houses. if the Serendra has a U-Pipe, then what causes the explosion is LPG?
ANSWER: Yes. This anomaly i can be in condo units and also house. The Serendra Blast investigators did not know what to look for. They did not have this theory until I exposed it here. I was wanting to investigate what is left of the explosion. I will be looking in particular for that pipe under the lavatory and the sink. But I don't think it is possible now, especially if they wanted to white-wash it and push the LPG theory down our throat.
You know, modern centralized LPG piping systems (if ever it is functional in Serendra) have auto shut-off mechanism -- continuous leak is almost impossible. They have to tell this technological feature of the Serendra fittings. I was surprised they didn't.
QUESTION: Is this scenario visible by the naked eye by just quickly looking at the lavatory or sink?
ANSWER: No it is not, especially if your there is a drawer type cabinet under your lavatory or sink. This anomaly is very common in drawer type space saver cabinet under lavatory. You have to crawl down and look for it down there. See this picture below.
QUESTION: Sir John, is it possible to maliciously convert a condo unit into a bomb?
ANSWER: Yes. Very easy. Refer to image one above. Simply unscrew the plug at the bottom of the U-shape pipe to release the water that prevents the Methane from entering the room. Once you remove the water that served a natural barrier between your room and the septic tank, Methane will enter your room and the room will become a ready explosive in just an hour. The only thing that is lacking is a detonator, a park, an igniter, if you light a cigarette, BOOM. If you wanna die by suicide of Methane poisoning, simply unplug the cap, close your windows, turn off your exhaust, and sleep, you will never wake up the next day if you inhaled too much of it. You see, if you complain of being always sleepy while inside your condo unit, call me up for a Safety Inspection Service (it will not cost you that much), there might be something in there that you can't see. I have a gas detector professional gadget specially for that purpose.
QUESTION: Rltr. John, we are conducting professional consultation about the upcoming Congressional Bill that seeks to require all condominium units to be installed with Gas Detector Device, which will be implemented via LGU. What can you say about this?
ANSWER: The Republic Act 9514 of December 2008 (Revised Fire Code of the Philippines) is already a sufficient legislation. There is no need for a new law. Most buildings are already installed with smoke and fire alarms. The homeowners just have to UPGRADE technology and specifically use early warning devise that can detect various types of dangerous gas aside from smoke. Let the private sector sell the devise in various models and let the buyers choose -- there is no need to force the buyers to buy it from LGUs.
If there is anything else important that I forgot to include in this article, or if you experienced a real estate transaction that is anomalous, scam, fraudulent scheme that you want me to document and expose for others to be warned, or if you want to donate to the war chest of real estate consumer rights advocacy, please feel free to email me at JohnPetalcorin@Gmail.Com. If you want to comment about this article, there is a provision for this purpose that you can find below.
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