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Snake !!

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Dan Foley
Dan Foley Member Posts: 1,258
I was helping Brian install an electric water heater in an old farm house in Great Falls, a stone's throw from the Potomac river.

We had been working in this hand dug basement for about two hours when Brian looked up, then looked at me at said " don't move!"

I could tell from the tone of his voice he meant it. My head was about a foot from this coiled up black snake.

Sorry for the bad pics but that is as close as I wanted to get to this snake.

The owner said to leave it. It keeps the mice under control and keeps the copperheads away.

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,626
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    If it was me the OWNER could finish his own water heater and I would be GONE!!
    Dan FoleyRomanGK_26986764589
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,479
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    My brother in law was scared of snakes, when he found out they were living in an old well in the back yard he never took his eyes off it when anywhere near it. The black snake won't bother you, they do a great job on rats and mice. I've seen them 5 ft long and always let them be.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    That would be the end of that job for me!
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,784
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    I like snakes too, much better than mice.
    Though I prefer they stay outside..............

    If the snake is living inside, you gotta wonder where it's food is coming from :)

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Canucker
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,239
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    If I expressed my feelings about snakes, I would be permanently banned from the wall.
    Canucker
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 2,326
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    Yikes! Lamin probably doesn't want to go anywhere near that job.

    President
    HeatingHelp.com

  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 1,518
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    Dan I would have left and not gone back Im surprised the pic wasn't blurry from shaking
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
    Erin Holohan Haskell
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,076
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    So how do you guys handle hand grenades and such that you might find in basements??

    My granddaughter and I went to change an electric service for a lady. On a shelf right where we needed to work were 2 Jap grenades and an AA round, (about 7" long over an inch OD).
    I carefully moved them across the room to another shelf.
    The lady said her husband had brought these souvenirs home after WW2 in maybe 1945. She was concerned about them but had seen on the TV news of another lady with munitions in her house that the story went statewide....publicity she did not want.
    I offered to call the county Sheriff for advice.
    He said what happens is that the State Patrol and he would arrive in one car, retrieve the items and dispose of them....just in and out in 5 minutes. This sounded good and so I set it up.

    Two days later a State P pickup truck arrives, the county sheriff, and every deputy on duty (or not) shows up....there are 4 police vehicles in her drive way for over 2 hours. This gets a lot of attention in a very small town.

    The pickup truck had an X-ray on board.....everyone there was wound up for the munitions study....it turns out that there were no explosives inside of any of it.

    I missed this event and the next day she tells me all about it.
    But wait she says....goes into her bedroom and brings out a 3rd hand grenade. Did they check this I asked, no but here let me show you how to dissemble it....pull this pin....unscrew this part and look inside...see it is empty!! She said if 2 had been disarmed then the 3rd one must be also. (When you are well over 90 years old you just have faith or maybe fate?)

    So she says she will have the "best story" for her Wednesday morning lady coffee get together....I am sure she did.

    Then a family vacation out to CO. We all have to tell stories every night.....do you think I could take these with me?....I said sure as long as you are not flying. So great-grandma probably had the "best story" out there also as she tossed a hand grenade to her son-in-law, hopefully after pulling the pin, just for good effect.

    I am not making this up....ask my granddaughter.

    RomanGK_26986764589
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,899
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    BobC said:

    My brother in law was scared of snakes, when he found out they were living in an old well in the back yard he never took his eyes off it when anywhere near it. The black snake won't bother you, they do a great job on rats and mice. I've seen them 5 ft long and always let them be.

    Bob

    This. Just let it be.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • AMservices
    AMservices Member Posts: 610
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    A few years ago I was diagnosing a compressor. It was an older Trane model that had the diffuser on the top.
    Taking the compressors resistance readings I suspected it had blown a wire off one of the terminals. This was a big condenser. so big I had to remove the top and climb into the middle of the unit to reach the compressors wire connections.
    I needed a small ladder to get over the coil wall, stepped onto the top of the compressor and then down into the bottom of the unit.
    The compressor had a sound proofing jacket around it, so I needed to remove it to inspect the wires.
    Now I'm inside the condenser, straddling this compressor, I pull apart the velcro and found the biggest snake I've ever seen outside of a zoo. I jumped so high I cleared the coil.
    Still had a job to do. I gently removed the snake and finished fixing the A.C.
    I believe it was a milk snake. Found it in Topsfield MA.
    You never know what your going to find in this business
  • Henry
    Henry Member Posts: 998
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    In the 80s, my father and I were replacing galvanised water pipes in a very old 3 story house. BTW, it had radiant pipe heating that worked by gravity. The basement had the long runs of probably 1 1/2 under the first floor, then pipes under the second floor and under the third floor. My father was stuck between the radiant pipes and the stone fondation. Meanwhile mr rat slowly walks by on the foundation stops in front of my fathers head. My father had each hand on a pipe wrench between radiant pipes and was staring at the rat. He yelled to me. I ran up and hit one of the radiant pipes. The rat slowly walked away.
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,833
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    With me it's bees. I have found a few snakes but I don't like the bees.
  • catia1313
    catia1313 Member Posts: 49
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    Small Female DIY'er here.
    You boys afraid of snakes should be ashamed! And that's coming from a city girl. I am however terrified of spiders...

    I just had a scare last summer. Bought a small house on the side of a country road that gets no cell service. Was gutting the house & there by myself after work ripping out the metal ductwork. I'm by myself, in the attic, balanced on the floor joists because the floor boards were removed, because I couldn't get good reach from a ladder below, since I'm only about 5'1" tall. I go to reach for the top of the heat duct & low & behold huge snake is hanging out right on top of the duct.

    I have zero fear of snakes & figure I'll just take it outside after I take a pic or two of my find. Figured it was a black rat snake because it was so big. When I went to reach for it, it coiled up on top of the rectangle duct head & started to push to get between the duct & the outside sheathing.
    Mind you, I am balanced on 2 joists 16" apart & by myself. I rebalance myself & move closer because I need to get it just behind it's head to get a good grab & this sucker starts rattling like crazy.
    The rattling was compounded by the fact that it was a metal duct, so it was pretty loud.
    I had an 'oh ****' moment because I have no cell service, & I am 1 small female, alone, in a vacant house with no electricity, balanced on some joists trying to grab a rattle snake & in a rural area & I did not tell any one where I was going & that maybe I should just get down & think about what I was doing, since I am not yet ready to die in this house.
    I decide I better act fast, so drive up the road 1/4 mile to where there is cell service & call the township police & ask what I can do for a rattle snake, they said they'd send a car.
    I drive back to the house to keep an eye on the snake to make sure I know where it goes if/when it moves. 10 minutes late 2 police officers show up & they try to grab the snake with a long handled snake pole thing & it doesn't work. The snake falls behind the duct & slides down between the sheathing & the duct.

    But alas, I have balloon construction-so I'm all happy because I know I'm OK-- & I know exactly where the snake is. The police officers think I am crazy, because they've never heard of balloon construction. I managed to convince them & just trust me. There is no electricity, so into the basement we go with flashlights.

    We go down to the basement--there was the snake trying to make a get away. One cop is trying to not seem scared. The other cop managed to get him onto the snake pole thing & I helped it into a bag by the light of our flashlights.
    We go out into the yard to check it out.
    It's not a rattler, thank god. It's a well over 5 ft black rat snake. ***They do a false rattle when threatened*** I'd heard about that, but never experienced it myself, and when you hear a snake rattle, it WILL give you pause. When you hear a snake rattle off of metal duct work--you will call the authorities.

    We had a good laugh & let him go in the yard. Those snakes are great to have-they will keep the mice out of your house, & keep the population down for ground hogs, musk rats, rabbits, things like that.

    You also can not get police service like this in the city.



    "The Universe Always Conspires to Help the Dreamer"
    -Paulo Coelho
    Dan FoleyCanucker
  • Dan Foley
    Dan Foley Member Posts: 1,258
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    Another one. It's getting chilly out at night. This little one was seeking the warmth of the boiler room in a 19th century manor house in Front Royal. It easily found its way through the fieldstone foundation.

    Joe found it behind the boiler. Brian grabbed it and let it go in the field next to the house.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    OMG @Dan Foley ! I'm afraid I'd have to kill it. Once every few years we get a bat in the house and it has to die! The way I figure it, they might remember how they got in, in the first place so they have to die :D
    HVACNUT
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,864
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    C'mon @Fred, snakes are people too.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    Can't help it @HVACNUT , They invade my space they are dead meat!
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
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    Dan Foley said:

    Another one. It's getting chilly out at night. This little one was seeking the warmth of the boiler room in a 19th century manor house in Front Royal. It easily found its way through the fieldstone foundation.



    Joe found it behind the boiler. Brian grabbed it and let it go in the field next to the house.

    It will be back inside by the next day.

    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
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    FYI: pills are the best way to keep them away - lead pills!
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,479
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    Snakes are great at controlling mice, the only problem was the old cat was great at controlling mice and snakes. She considered them living string - but not for long.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • TanklessDR
    TanklessDR Member Posts: 4
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    I wonder if you finish the job with that snake watching you.