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Thread: Starling that thinks he's a duck

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    Starling that thinks he's a duck

    Had a problem today that just cropped up. Was able to flush the water closet all morning long without a problem. Then mid afternoon had just taken care of nature's call and flushed the toilet. Water came up in the bowl almost to overflowing. Couldn't figure it out. Tried the plunger and it didn't do anything. Went up on the roof and shoved a stiff rubber garden hose down it about 15 feet. Tried it again. Still was moving slow. Went into the basement and removed two cleanouts and looked inside. All clear. Went out in my shed to another cleanout and put the hose in there and let it go for about a half hour. Flushed the toilet again Still slow. So I began to think, main line is clear, house lines are clear, got to be in the toilet. Got a closet auger and ran it through - nothing came out. OK, had a spare wax ring. Pulled the toilet and what should I see - a bird stuck half inside the toilet trap. Pulled it out re-installed the toilet. It all works now.

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    Hayzee..I thought electricians always tied a string on the bird before they shoot it through a pipe....LOL

    For those of you who are not electricians or tradesmen and possibly didn't understand my response, in the electrical trade when they are installing long runs of conduit they often use a little foam plug called a "Bird". The bird is inserted into the end of a conduit along with a small roll of string with the opposite end of the string attached to the starting end. They then use high pressure air to shoot the foam plug through the conduit and once it comes out the other end they can use the string to pull a rope through, which they will then use to pull the wires into the conduit.
    Last edited by LazyPup; 04-24-2008 at 10:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LazyPup View Post
    Hayzee..I thought electricians always tied a string on the bird before they shoot it through a pipe....LOL

    For those of you who are not electricians or tradesmen and possibly didn't understand my response, in the electrical trade when they are installing long runs of conduit they often use a little foam plug called a "Bird". The bird is inserted into the end of a conduit along with a small roll of string with the opposite end of the string attached to the starting end. They then use high pressure air to shoot the foam plug through the conduit and once it comes out the other end they can use the string to pull a rope through, which they will then use to pull the wires into the conduit.
    Funny. I never heard of this before.

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    Actually the thing that goes through an assembled conduit run is called a "MOUSE." Look in any Greenlee catalog and you'll see a gizmo that has two rubber washers, a piece of iron wire and a foam plug in the middle. This is threaded into a conduit with a long nylon string attached at one end. Greenlee supplies a high vacuum vacuum cleaner that pulls this mouse through the conduit. A high pressure air line can also be used to "push" this mouse through the conduit.

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    Speaking of mice and critters getting stuck in plumbing, we had kind of a nasty one this spring. I thought I had cleaned up our weekend house really good last fall so that the mice that inevitably come in wouldn't find anything to eat. They will even eat stuff like small pieces of soap and dish detergent. One of the little varmints apparently fell down the drain of the bathroom sink where I had taken out the sink stopper that goes in the drain. Moral of story: When closing up your house for the winter, put all the edibles away and make sure there no open plumbing outlets for very small critters to fall into.

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    Out of morbid curiosity ... how does a bird get stuck in a toilet trap?

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    the bird evidently need a place to roost and picked my plumbing vent pipe coming out of my roof. I guess he got overcome and fell into the stack. where the toilet joints the drain/vent there is a t-y. he must've found the extra space and thought he was getting out but got jammed in the toilet's trap head first.

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    And the bird's fate?

    Any chance this poor bird lived? To return to his/her nest & take care of the young 'uns?

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    And the bird's fate?

    BTW, shouldn't there be a screen on the stack, to avoid birds & debris from getting in? (Pardon my ignorance, plumbing is one area I do not venture, except maybe to change a shower head!)

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    unfortunately the bird was impaled by my closet auger. he was stuck in the siphon bend of the toilet. most roof stacks just are straight up and open. but I did put in a three inch elbow with a screen in it.

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