A squirrel got stuck in the vent behind the wall

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Old 01-26-14, 07:07 AM
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A squirrel got stuck in the vent behind the wall

A little squirrel got stuck in the vent behind the wall. He must have fallen from the vent opening on top of the roof. This is the vent that connects to the kitchen sink drain.

Since there is now some kitchen demoing going on we discovered, to our horror, a dead squirrel. He must have suffered a very sad ending, I remember many months back a horrid sound behind the wall/sink area. We thought it was a rat because it sounded like scratching and squealing in the stud cavity. Eventually over the course of a few days the sound went away. Poor little guy.

If only we had a little cleanout plug installed in the vent under the cabinet. Maybe I could have opened it up and saved him. Now, that we are installing a new drain and vent, I am thinking of putting a cleanout plug in there accessible behind the sink cabinet. Does anyone actually do this? Or is this just weird?
 
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Old 01-26-14, 07:22 AM
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Weird is a word. Seriously, I would just put a 180 degree elbow on the top of the vent pipe. What probably happened was he was dropping nuts down the tube, thinking it was a good storage place, and went just a little too far. It is an oddity to say the least, as they usually keep their balance pretty well. Looking out at our porch and one is hanging from one rear leg from the edge of the soffit trying to reach a suet feeder. He'll fall, eventually, but 16' isn't too bad. He'll come right back.
 
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Old 01-26-14, 07:33 AM
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What I did on my roof was to put a chicken wire cap over all my vents and chimney to prevent birds and rodents from falling in. You can tie them on with a zip tie or with a small screw driven into the side to keep them from blowing off.
 
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Old 01-26-14, 10:20 AM
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Your poor little guy didn't fall down the vent pipe. If he did he would have been stuck inside the vent pipe.... not outside the pipe in the wall.
 
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Old 01-26-14, 12:30 PM
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Missed that, Pete. If he was inside the wall, he entered from your attic and fell down beside the pipe where it enters the stud cavity, if such a space exists.
 
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Old 01-26-14, 02:17 PM
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Sorry for the confusion. The little squirrel actually did get into the vent pipe. We found him dead inside the vent pipe when we cut it out. The vent pipe is behind the drywall.

Anyway, now that we are doing a new vent pipe for the kitchen sink and one for the washing machine, we are thinking about putting a cleanout plug in the vents. That way we would be able to easily see and get out anything that was stuck in there. It's the animal friendly thing to do. Whatcha think? Anyone done this?
 
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Old 01-26-14, 02:24 PM
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Probably easier to cover the top with screen.
 
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Old 01-26-14, 02:32 PM
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The main reason to install a cleanout is to clear the drain if needed, allowing easy access for a snake or similar device.

Here is a source that discusses where cleanouts are required. Of course, additional cleanouts could be added, but they must always remain accessible. (they cannot be permanently enclosed)

I'm not sure that just adding a cleanout would be the solution that would allow you to remove something like a squirrel that is trapped in the line. Maybe if he was lodged "right at the cleanout", but what are the chances of that?

The chicken wire is a better solution to prevent this from happening again.
 
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