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Thread: When Squirrels make you work

  1. #1
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    When Squirrels make you work

    Here, the days and nights have been a little cooler. Have not needed the Air Conditioning, but at night I felt like we could use a little more heat. So I have been running the furnace once or twice a day.

    Last night I set the the control up to 73 degrees Fartenfute(sp error intentional) and after the set temperature was made, I turned the control back to like 66. As I hoped the furnace did not kick on all night. Finally sometime around mid-day the wife started complaining about being cold, even though it was a nice 67 in the house. After setting a new higher temperature the furnace turned on and I thought, soon my Dearest of Heart would be warm again. However it did not take me long to notice that there was no hot air issuing from the vents. I gave it a couple of minutes more to be sure, and then said dang, I guess the pilot light went out.

    I went to the basement to light the pilot light, made sure I had all the tools I needed, opened the front of the furnace, and...

    My first thought, where did all this fuzz and fluff come from, but then the fluff moved and jumped to the ground to prove itself to be a squirrel. whaaa!!! How does a squirrel survive in the exhaust area of my furnace??? Then I had to figure out, how do you get a squirrel to leave your basement? That wasn't really too hard. I opened the basement door, and turned out all the lights. It took awhile but the smart little rodent found her/his way to freedom, now back to the furnace!

    The pilot light was still burning, so hey home free right? But following all logical steps the burners were not lighting up!!?! whaaaa??!!??!? My first thoughts were somehow the squirrel had left behind a bunch of fuzz and gunk that clogged the burners thus preventing ignition. I vacuumed and other wise cleaned all I could see and think of, and of course the pilot light went out, dang it. Turned out I had to replace the thermocouple. And still the burners did not light up ??!???? My Dearest of Heart urged me to call our favorite repair guy, but I am almost a stubborn as she is. And I did notice a wire that seemed to be broken and just hanging, which it turned out was the problem.

    So somehow the trapped squirrel had chewed through the wire that would energize the gas solenoid to allow the gas to flow and turn on the burners. I named him MacGyver, and the furnace is working as it should.
    Last edited by tusenfem; 2020-Oct-25 at 09:51 AM. Reason: changed "bad" word

  2. #2
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    Wow. It's a almost a toss-up as to which would be more of a shock to find. A live, kicking (and possibly biting) squirrel, or a crispy dead one.

    I wonder how he got in. It might be worth trying to ascertain the squirrel's entry point and block it somehow, although I doubt MacGyver himself will ever return.

  3. #3
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    I did get up on roof and found the wire mesh screen was open on one side. I hate being up there, but I considered it to be an imperative.

    I also feel certain that MacGyver will not return, I just hope he doesn't have a sadistic side and challenges his friends


    another also, I have lived here for 35 years and this is a first time event.



    as to live vs. crispy, I kinda keep imagining what I would have gone through personally to hear the death throes of the poor trapped squirrel. I shudder.


    I dreamed I was telling a friend about this, and I guess it must be very boring, because he just walked away.

  4. #4
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    That’s worse than when my brother found a squirrel behind his glass fireplace doors(no fire). His wife insisted they call a pest expert.
    The “expert” opened the doors, resulting in a squirrel running around the house.

    The squirrel finally escaped, and a mesh cap was installed on the chimney.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  5. #5
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    I think it was easier for MacGyver to escape, because in the basement environment he had very limited options. I noticed that as he made his way around the basement, he would pause and look up at the windows. That is what gave me the idea to open the doors and turn out the lights. That way the brightest light was from the door, I stood in the farthest corner for a little bit and tapped on the floor with a broom stick, then I went upstairs for about 20 minutes. By the time I went back to the basement he was gone. It worked way better than I thought it would. I didn't tell my dear wife until it was all over, because I figured she would insist on the pest expert route.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glutomoto View Post
    That is what gave me the idea to open the doors and turn out the lights. That way the brightest light was from the door, I stood in the farthest corner for a little bit and tapped on the floor with a broom stick, then I went upstairs for about 20 minutes. By the time I went back to the basement he was gone. It worked way better than I thought it would. I didn't tell my dear wife until it was all over, because I figured she would insist on the pest expert route.
    Well, apparently you're more level-headed than me in these unexpected wildlife situations. Rather than tapping a broom, I probably would have swung one.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glutomoto View Post
    Here, the days and nights have been a little cooler. Have not needed the Air Conditioning, but at night I felt like we could use a little more heat. So I have been running the furnace once or twice a day.

    Last night I set the the control up to 73 degrees Fartenfute(sp error intentional) and after the set temperature was made, I turned the control back to like 66. As I hoped the furnace did not kick on all night. Finally sometime around mid-day the wife started complaining about being cold, even though it was a nice 67 in the house. After setting a new higher temperature the furnace turned on and I thought, soon my Dearest of Heart would be warm again. However it did not take me long to notice that there was no hot air issuing from the vents. I gave it a couple of minutes more to be sure, and then said dang, I guess the pilot light went out.

    I went to the basement to light the pilot light, made sure I had all the tools I needed, opened the front of the furnace, and...

    My first thought, where did all this fuzz and fluff come from, but then the fluff moved and jumped to the ground to prove itself to be a squirrel. whaaa!!! How does a squirrel survive in the exhaust area of my furnace??? Then I had to figure out, how do you get a squirrel to leave your basement? That wasn't really too hard. I opened the basement door, and turned out all the lights. It took awhile but the smart little rodent found her/his way to freedom, now back to the furnace!

    The pilot light was still burning, so hey home free right? But following all logical steps the burners were not lighting up!!?! whaaaa??!!??!? My first thoughts were somehow the squirrel had left behind a bunch of fuzz and gunk that clogged the burners thus preventing ignition. I vacuumed and other wise cleaned all I could see and think of, and of course the pilot light went out, dang it. Turned out I had to replace the thermocouple. And still the burners did not light up ??!???? My Dearest of Heart urged me to call our favorite repair guy, but I am almost a stubborn as she is. And I did notice a wire that seemed to be broken and just hanging, which it turned out was the problem.

    So somehow the trapped squirrel had chewed through the wire that would energize the gas solenoid to allow the gas to flow and turn on the burners. I named him MacGyver, and the furnace is working as it should.

    Dear Glutomoto
    I have edited your message, please refrain from non-family-friendly words, even when abbrieviated.
    Thanks
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tusenfem View Post

    Dear Glutomo
    I have edited your message, please refrain from non-family-friendly words, even when abbrieviated.
    Thanks
    correction noted

    thanks

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selenite View Post
    Well, apparently you're more level-headed than me in these unexpected wildlife situations. Rather than tapping a broom, I probably would have swung one.
    I wasn't trying to do battle, just thought I was letting it know the way out was somewhere else, and really I think leaving the area was the best choice. gave me a chance to think about fixing the furnace and have a cup of coffee.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glutomoto View Post
    I did get up on roof....
    Having fallen off mine, I would not be doing that again!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glutomoto View Post
    I wasn't trying to do battle, just thought I was letting it know the way out was somewhere else, and really I think leaving the area was the best choice.
    Oh, I'm sure it was the best choice.

    Squirrels are as adorable as the dickens from a distance, but if I suddenly find I'm living under the same roof with one, I'll get squirrely myself.



  12. #12
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    very nice Selenite!

    thank you.

  13. #13
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    Picture a squirrel. Cute, isn't it? Now picture the same squirrel with a shaved tail. It's a rat, isn't it?
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Picture a squirrel. Cute, isn't it? Now picture the same squirrel with a shaved tail. It's a rat, isn't it?
    sometimes I call then tree rats, but my wife doesn't like it. O_0

  15. #15
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    I once had a recurring adventure with a squirrel while helping take care of my grandparents' house while they were away. Day one: My mother and I found a squirrel in the fireplace. Clearly it had come down the chimney. We opened the front door and the fireplace screen, and the squirrel left. Day two: More of the same. Day three: More of the same. Day four: We saw that the front picture window draw drapes were a shambles. When we got into the house the squirrel was sitting on the traverse rod and snarling at us. Apparently it had spooked, climbed up the drapes and spooked some more. I got a broom and poked it with the end of the handle, and the squirrel just stood its ground and kept snarling. Finally I tied a rag to the end of the broom handle, soaked it with ammonia and waved it in the squirrel's face. The squirrel scurried down the drapes, dashed out the front door and never came back.

  16. #16
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    Coming from a continent that doesn't have squirrels I find this discussion fascinating. When we see squirrels in other countries my wife gets excited and likes to film them. To us they seem to be just charming little creatures - but of course we don't have to live with them and the problems they cause!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    Coming from a continent that doesn't have squirrels I find this discussion fascinating. When we see squirrels in other countries my wife gets excited and likes to film them. To us they seem to be just charming little creatures - but of course we don't have to live with them and the problems they cause!
    Do you have rats? There is no difference save for hairier tails.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    Coming from a continent that doesn't have squirrels I find this discussion fascinating. When we see squirrels in other countries my wife gets excited and likes to film them. To us they seem to be just charming little creatures - but of course we don't have to live with them and the problems they cause!
    Of course there is a reciprocal arraignment for those of us who come from a continent without wallabies, quokkas, wombats and koalas.

  19. #19
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    Animal life does usually seem more interesting in foreign climes. (Though I must point out that we would react the same way to Koalas as we don't get them this side of the continent - well not for the last 150,00 or so years ago anyway.)


    Rats are here and just as horrible as everywhere else. Quokkas are mainly confined to Rottnest Island - named as such in 1696 by "Willem de Vlamingh, (who) mistook the island's unusual marsupial population for common rats and named it Rottnest - literally translating to 'rats’ nest'."

  20. #20
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    Squirrels learn quickly how to overcome bird feeder anti- squirrel devices but my sister accidentally gave them pause. She left a swing top bin near a hanging bird feeder. The bin lid was centrally pivoted and sloped like a roof. It filled with water slowly, and killed several squirrels who planned to use it as an intermediate jump toward said feeder. They were dumped into the water inside. My sister removed the bin, feeling, I guess, guilty.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  21. 2020-Oct-29, 10:38 PM
    Reason
    opps! I deleted the Rick and Morty video, I forgot that Rick's language is inappropriate

  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Squirrels learn quickly how to overcome bird feeder anti- squirrel devices but my sister accidentally gave them pause. She left a swing top bin near a hanging bird feeder. The bin lid was centrally pivoted and sloped like a roof. It filled with water slowly, and killed several squirrels who planned to use it as an intermediate jump toward said feeder. They were dumped into the water inside. My sister removed the bin, feeling, I guess, guilty.
    Still might make a great deterrent if the bottom were removed so water wouldn't collect and the squirrel just got dumped out.

  23. #22
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    little boy, we'll give you wishes if you can hear us.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Glutomoto; 2020-Oct-29 at 11:01 PM. Reason: spelling correction

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