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Do you have any idea how much it costs to dig a squirrel out of a sewer pipe in your home?
It's probably the first time that question has ever been posed to you and it certainly was far from my thinking last week until we had a sudden emergency in our home. Not only did the drains back up, it was during the evening hours so we had to shut things down and hope for a quick response the next morning from a plumber.
Fortunately, an experienced crew was available and because of the configuration where the back-up occurred, they had to send their "snake" down the vent on our roof.
A short time later the foreman gave us the bad news. The cause of the clog deep down in the pipes was a squirrel.
I had been watching those little furry critters gathering acorns throughout the fall months and even went down the checklist in my mind of any possible openings they might find in our home to warm up inside. The eves and fireplace were squirrel-proof. It never occurred to me that the sewer vent would have any sort of appeal.
But it wasn't new to the plumber. As he described it, "the squirrel ventures down and then when it's too late, realizes his little claws won't work on the slippery pipe."
So back down went the plumber's snake with a bigger blade. It was risky because if the operation actually pushed the varmint deeper into the system, a section of the pipe would have to removed as great cost.
How did it end? We're not sure. The water is draining but only about half the squirrel was accounted for at days end.
We're hoping the rest travels on down the line without further problem. And we made sure it won't happen again. That vent is now protected with a screen.
If yours isn't, I suggest you cover it tomorrow. Not only will you save yourself a headache, you'll also avoid an expensive house call.