Rat(s) in clogged drain pipe, for toilet


  #1  
Old 05-12-18, 06:53 AM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 400
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Rat(s) in clogged drain pipe, for toilet

Not sure, if this belonged in Plumbing or Pest Control...

Plan was to replace flooring with tile so removed toilet that’s been backing up, most likely due to tree roots, about 50’ down clean out, for this drain line, which is about another 50’ from clean out. Used 50’ snake once toilet hole and 75’ from clean out but had difficulty controlling the 75 and apparently did not remove blockage completely...stuffed a rag in hole. Unfortunately, dealing with hurricane Irma damage, it’s been like that for 5-6 months until now...

I noticed, what I believe are black greasy rat trails around hole and rag had been partially pulled down, leaving a gap. I took the rag out, replaced it and covered with large plastic pine sole bottle. Checked, next day and saw a quarter size hole eaten out of new rag. Freaking out, a bit, so, I’m hoping, it was only one and it’s back in the drain line. Reinforced hole with 1/4” metal mesh, before rag, this time and set out traps, in case any are in house but have not seen signs, since metal mesh, in place.

FWIW: Not sure how got in pipe, unless through, where roots were seen or somewhere further down the line. The roof has air vents but they've all been covered with metal caps with 1/4" mesh, for 5 years...Still look intact. No other clogs/flooding, throughout house plumbing drain lines or clean outs, so I think clog is isolated, to this toilet and clean out.

Called a couple of plumbers and they said call pest control. Called pest control and they want over $300 to put out traps, for a week.

What would you do?

 

Last edited by c1351996; 05-12-18 at 07:29 AM.
  #2  
Old 05-12-18, 08:33 AM
Z
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 5,874
Received 372 Upvotes on 332 Posts
Yeah, doesn't really sound like a plumbing problem. I'd treat it as a one-off problem - unless it happens again.

If it does happen again, you can decide whether you want to deal with them yourself or hire someone.
 
  #3  
Old 05-12-18, 09:05 AM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 400
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Zorfdt

Yeah, doesn't really sound like a plumbing problem. I'd treat it as a one-off problem - unless it happens again.

If it does happen again, you can decide whether you want to deal with them yourself or hire someone.
Thanks!
What does treating it as a one-off problem mean you would do, exactly, at this point?
 
  #4  
Old 05-12-18, 01:26 PM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 400
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
As Moderator, if you feel this is not the proper forum, please move thread to Pest Control.
 
  #5  
Old 05-12-18, 05:08 PM
Z
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 5,874
Received 372 Upvotes on 332 Posts
Sure, I'll move it over to pest control. I think you've done everything needed from a plumbing perspective. Feel free to re-post here if you think we can help here!
 
  #6  
Old 05-13-18, 08:35 AM
P
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 1,856
Received 90 Upvotes on 83 Posts
If there were no rats living inside your house prior to this, and all of a sudden one got into your living spaces, you would know it and wouldn't have to wonder about it. Rats move around a lot in search of food, water and escape. Keep the traps set anyway, as a back up response.

If the sewage line goes to a municipal sewer, then yes a rat could run up the line and try to get in the house. Possibly odors from interior of house drifted into the sewer and attracted rodents to the new smells. I've not experienced rats in sewage lines when connected to a septic system.

Don't hire pest control unless you see compelling evidence of rodents inside the living spaces of your house.
 
  #7  
Old 05-13-18, 12:02 PM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 400
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by PAbugman

no rats living inside your house prior to this, and all of a sudden one got into your living spaces, you would know it and wouldn't have to wonder about it. Rats move around a lot in search of food, water and escape. Keep the traps set anyway, as a back up response.

If the sewage line goes to a municipal sewer, then yes a rat could run up the line and try to get in the house. Possibly odors from interior of house drifted into the sewer and attracted rodents to the new smells. I've not experienced rats in sewage lines when connected to a septic system.

Don't hire pest control unless you see compelling evidence of rodents inside the living spaces of your house.
Thanks!
Correct, no rats living inside house prior to this and have not noticed anymore, of what I believe are black greasy rat trails (and large turds) that I saw on first night around hole; so Iím hoping, it/they were only in the house, briefly and went back down the drain line, which does go to a municipal sewer. I still have same set up in pic i.e. covered with double thick 1/4" metal mesh, folded towel, large plastic pine sole bottle and traps + five more, as back up.

Don't hire pest control unless I see more (new) compelling evidence of rodents inside the living spaces of house. That said, a friend suggested to try more plumbers about clearing the drain line that was causing the toilet to back up but don't tell them about the rat(s). OK, great, they come and clear the backup....But from what you;re telling me since I'm hooked up to municipal sewer, this happens. How would you try prevent this?
 
  #8  
Old 05-13-18, 03:16 PM
P
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 1,856
Received 90 Upvotes on 83 Posts
The rats in the sewer will be stopped by the water in the toilet when it is replaced though I wonder if a "check valve" can be installed in the line? Hopefully someone will know; might pay to ask on the plumbing forum though I know that you started there.

Pest control people can only address rats that would be in the house. By know, I feel confident that you would know if there are any inside.

Hope Im addressing what youre asking.
 
  #9  
Old 05-14-18, 08:54 AM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 400
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Re: Rat(s) in clogged drain pipe, for toilet

No more evidence of rat(s) coming into house, from hole where toilet was temporarily removed from and apparently pest control only deals with them if they're inside the house. It's been suggested to try more plumbers about clearing the drain line that was causing the toilet to back up but don't tell them about the rat(s)....Thoughts?

That said, some plumbing questions, if I may:
Is it true, that rats in the sewer will be stopped by the water in the toilet when it is replaced? If not, is there some kind of a "one-way valve" or "guard" that can be installed in the line, to stop them?

Also, what is a "test plug" and how could it be helpful, in my situation?

FWIW: I still have same set up in pic i.e. covered with double thick 1/4" metal mesh, folded towel, large plastic pine sole bottle and rat traps + five more, as back up.

 
  #10  
Old 05-14-18, 10:09 AM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 400
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by PAbugman

The rats in the sewer will be stopped by the water in the toilet when it is replaced though I wonder if a "check valve" can be installed in the line? Hopefully someone will know; might pay to ask on the plumbing forum though I know that you started there.

Pest control people can only address rats that would be in the house. By know, I feel confident that you would know if there are any inside.

Hope Im addressing what youre asking.
Thanks!
Yes, you are addressing, what I'm asking and I've posted some hopefully more relevant questions on the Plumbing forum. That said, a friend suggested to call more plumbers about clearing the drain line that was causing the toilet to back up but don't tell them about the rat(s). ...Thoughts?
 
  #11  
Old 05-14-18, 10:33 AM
Z
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 5,874
Received 372 Upvotes on 332 Posts
I believe rats can swim... but it's unlikely. I'm sure you can find stories of rats coming up through a toilet - but it's rather rare.

If the drain is still clogged, I would get a plumber in to snake it. I wouldn't let on about the rat thing - just have him clear the drain.

Once the toilet is back on - I would assume your rat issue will go away.
 
  #12  
Old 05-14-18, 11:17 AM
Shadeladie's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: PA - USA
Posts: 4,774
Received 347 Upvotes on 278 Posts
I merged your threads. Sorry but only one thread allowed per issue so things don't get confusing.
 
  #13  
Old 05-15-18, 09:25 AM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 400
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Shadeladie

I merged your threads. Sorry but only one thread allowed per issue so things don't get confusing.
OKee Dokee, No problem...Thanks!
 
  #14  
Old 05-15-18, 10:01 AM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 400
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Zorfdt

I believe rats can swim... but it's unlikely. I'm sure you can find stories of rats coming up through a toilet - but it's rather rare.

Once the toilet is back on - I would assume your rat issue will go away.
Thanks!
Yeah, I wondering about that and found this article: Yes, Rats Can Swim Up Your Toilet. And It Gets Worse Than That.
 
  #15  
Old 05-16-18, 10:12 AM
Z
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 5,874
Received 372 Upvotes on 332 Posts
The plumber will be able to help determine where to snake it from. It depends if any other fixtures are having drainage issues, and trying to figure out where the blockage is.

I would have him (or you) remount the toilet right after its snaked so you can ensure everything is draining well. Alternatively, the plumber will be able to use a camera snake and confirm there isn't any blockage or any other piping issues. The plumbers I've worked with want to be able to run the water for a bit to ensure the pipes are fully clear.

As for the rat issue... I think you mentioned this was after a hurricane, which could have forced the critters far from where they usually live. If it was only one, one time, I wouldn't worry about it again. You can install a backflow valve where the sewer pipe enters the house, it's usually used to prevent any city sewer backup from coming into your house, but may work for critters too. I wouldn't recommend it though unless you need it. They need to be serviced occasionally, and can require replacement eventually. Most people don't need the extra maintenance headache unless it's really needed.
 
  #16  
Old 05-17-18, 12:49 PM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 400
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Zorfdt
The plumber will be able to help determine where to snake it from. It depends if any other fixtures are having drainage issues, and trying to figure out where the blockage is.
Thanks!
Yeah, I figured as much...FWIW, no other fixtures are having drainage issues, other than this toilet and what appears to be its own clean out, between it and the city, which each have standing water/muck. A friend suggested to have plumber start snaking at the toilet hole, in case there are rat(s) close by. FWIW, these holes are relatively close to one another (<100'). That said, I know I had some tree roots starting to come in the line approx 40-50' down from the clean out, toward sewer, about 5 years ago, so I assume that's an issue. How do plumbers typically charge, for drain cleaning, by the hole, by footage snaked, by the hour?
I would have him (or you) remount the toilet right after its snaked so you can ensure everything is draining well. Alternatively, the plumber will be able to use a camera snake and confirm there isn't any blockage or any other piping issues. The plumbers I've worked with want to be able to run the water for a bit to ensure the pipes are fully clear.
Remount or camera snake...Hmm? I was wondering if plumbers typically use drain cameras before snake, as a diagnostic or after snake, to confirm clear? And if I wanted to remount the toilet, myself, right after it's snaked, would plumber typically wait, to test it? Which typically costs more, remount toilet or camera snake?

As for the rat issue... I think you mentioned this was after a hurricane, which could have forced the critters far from where they usually live. If it was only one, one time, I wouldn't worry about it again. You can install a backflow valve where the sewer pipe enters the house, it's usually used to prevent any city sewer backup from coming into your house, but may work for critters too. I wouldn't recommend it though unless you need it. They need to be serviced occasionally, and can require replacement eventually. Most people don't need the extra maintenance headache unless it's really needed.
Yes, Hurricane Irma was in Sept but the one night, this past week was the only time I saw evidence of rat(s), in the house and not since, thankfully! That said, backflow valve does sound like a headache.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: