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Foreign objects

DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,714
Just for fun, what unexpected things have you found inside heating systems?
"By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand."
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Comments

  • newagedawnnewagedawn Member Posts: 250
    in the 80's found birds, squirrels, not to much anymore i think they are getting smarter to carbon monoxide,lol
  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 3,551
    edited October 4
    A roofing nail. Found it in the inlet flange of a series 100 circulator.

    Several companies/techs had gone out to the job, but could not fix the problem which was no flow because the nail was acting like a check installed backwards. They bled air, changed out the circ, you name it.

    The circ was on a vertical return at the boiler. The nail would allow water to pass backward up the return, but not down into the pump. Gravity would cause it to drop and close off flow.
    Bob Boan







    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • HenryHenry Member Posts: 726
    We were replacing some valves in a large commercial complex downtown. We found the key stuck in a butterfly valve and a tool kit on the outlet of a pump. It was 8 inch piping. The tools have been there since 1985!

  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,714
    Good one, Henry!
    "By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand."
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 1,506
    The usual critters, but once a baby owl, alive, in a cold start boiler flue pipe. The owner jammed the barometric damper shut because he thought it was a squirrel. He called me. I called animal control.
    They got the baby owl out alive, and told us they take them far out into the country and release them (I hope they did).
    I also found a melted screwdriver in a cleanout box.
    steve
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,714
    That's a real hoot, Steve! ;-)
    "By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand."
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 3,174
    No pictures, but in one of our environmental test labs they found a lacrosse ball inside the piping for one of the pumps. This is inside our plant and we do all the work, no one has a clue how it got there. They found it when someone said "hey what is that weird noise coming from the pump?".
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 1,506

    That's a real hoot, Steve! ;-)

    lol....I wouldn't use that one at open mic night...
    steve
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,714
    Tip your waitstaff!
    "By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand."
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,714
    KC, I once found a pair of welding gloves inside a shell-and-tube heat exchanger. They were up against the tube sheep with fingers splayed.
    "By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand."
  • rick in Alaskarick in Alaska Member Posts: 627
    Dead seagull at the bottom of a chimney that had no cap, a bat inside the blast tube of an afg, ( still not sure how he got there), the bolt package for a Buderus g115 inside the firebox.
    The one I still need to get to is across the bay that I did a tuneup on. I was running late and they were holding the plane for me, and I could not find my Leatherman multitool. I had to leave without it, but I suspect it got dropped inside the top of the flue collector hood, and I didn't see it. I miss that tool.
    Rick
  • Harvey RamerHarvey Ramer Member Posts: 1,933
    Slightly off topic, but I found a stinkbug in a watertight receptacle box once. That is still screwing with my head.
    Ramer Mechanical
    ramermechanical.com
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,714
    Rick, I like to think someone will post here in 20 years to say they found your Leatherman someplace cool.
    "By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand."
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,714
    Harvey, that’s just magic.
    "By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand."
  • bobbob Member Posts: 813
    Empty caulking tube folded in half jammed up against a 2 1/2 " butterfly valve, fortunately it was Vic pipe. 14" wye strainer high press. steam a pair of carharts and a steel lunch box and some 1 1/8 nuts. A deflated basketball in a 8x4" bell reducer on a pump inlet.
    bob
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,714
    Gosh, Bob.
    "By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand."
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 1,506
    Not one Santa Clause sighting?
    steve
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,714
    The night is young.
    "By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand."
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 3,174

    Slightly off topic, but I found a stinkbug in a watertight receptacle box once. That is still screwing with my head.

    Those dumb things go everywhere, it's truly amazing.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 2,505
    An electrocuted mouse inside an electrical panel that was missing a knockout plug.

    A dead squirrel inside a gas water heater 4" flue pipe.

    Took a semi hermetic ac compressor apart to have the windings rewound and found that a cold chisel had been left inside the motor housing.
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,714
    Ed, what can I say? :-)
    "By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand."
  • SeanBeansSeanBeans Member Posts: 124
    Not me, but a co-worker and my old install manager tore out an evaporator coil and found about 300 bucks stuck in the A-Coil.. it was almost rotted out fully but they went to the bank and split it.
  • This was in a crawlspace, not a heating system; many years ago.

    A rat - minding his own business, walking along a copper water service to get home after a long, hard day in the sewer. He confronts a wire in his path; gets annoyed and chews some of the insulation off and then hops over the wire to continue home. His belly on the bare copper wire and his paws on the bare copper water service completes the circuit and his life becomes complete; a beginning and now, an end.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,714
    Sean, that is inspirational. Alan, that is poetry. Thanks, guys!
    "By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand."
  • jhatcherjhatcher Member Posts: 1
    Baby possum in the electric heater of an air handler. Quite the aroma.
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,714
    Well-done?
    "By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand."
  • ratioratio Member Posts: 929
    A skinless treerat poped out of the down spout discharge at my house a few years back. Apparently he thought he could make it through & got stuck some time before the rain. I can only guess at what happened, but the results were startling.
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,714
    I’ve never heard of a skinless tree rat. Learning every day!
    "By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand."
  • lchmblchmb Member Posts: 2,517
    Had an older customer, the husband passed in the spring. She called and asked me to take care of the furnace prior to winter.. When I pulled the front jacket (Thermopride) I noticed a box tucked in the bottom left. When I opened it, I found a big wad of money. I took it upstairs and made someone's month. She was having a hard time covering things and this made it much easier for her...
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,714
    I love this story. Thanks.
    "By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand."
  • HVAC_Service_MentorHVAC_Service_Mentor Member Posts: 3
    I was dispatched to replace a Lennox Pulse heat exchanger in the basement of a home on a cool fall morning. The furnace had been running and maintaining temp in the home. I fired it up when I arrived. After disassembly, and the initial hoist to remove the heat exchanger from the cabinet, a full grown live green snake slithered out of the secondary and started off across the floor at high speed!

    I was shocked and didn't want to be responsible for releasing a snake into this family's home. I wasn't sure what to do, so I quickly grabbed a hammer and bopped it on the head in an attempt to stun the animal.

    It was then that I learned that snakes bleed profusely from the head and I had an entirely new problem on my hands.
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,714
    Some days just can’t win.
    "By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand."
  • LanceLance Member Posts: 63
    I found a mouse in a furnace blower wheel. He must have thought he found the best exercise wheel ever until the motor kicked in and centrifugal force did the rest. I also found an Amprobe under a blower wheel in a furnace. In a 6 inch air duct I found some workers bagged lunch over 20 years old. Never touched. Probably a prank forgotten.
    I found a connecting bolt rod in a sectional steam boiler header from the factory. I'd have sent it back but this was my third boiler into the basement, as the other two had pinholes in the castings. Go figure! At least this one did not leak.
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,714
    Great stories, Lance, especially the lunch!
    "By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand."
  • j aj a Member Posts: 1,673
    I found the guy that installed a beautiful steam boiler and made a disaster out of it to be a foreign object,causing much foreign object damage
  • Alan WelchAlan Welch Member Posts: 54
    Not unexpected but went on a call where a squirrel had died somewhere in the ductwork, smelled pretty bad. Found it pretty quickly in the "squirell cage" of the furnace.Guess that"s how it got its name. Also tin knocking hammer, tin snips in ductwork.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 8,631
    edited October 5
    lchmb said:

    Had an older customer, the husband passed in the spring. She called and asked me to take care of the furnace prior to winter.. When I pulled the front jacket (Thermopride) I noticed a box tucked in the bottom left. When I opened it, I found a big wad of money. I took it upstairs and made someone's month. She was having a hard time covering things and this made it much easier for her...

    Hmmm

    Ichmb, check your PMs.
    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

    Steam system pictures
    https://goo.gl/photos/ZgpNUTyckkmiEdAf9
    Central air project pictures
    https://goo.gl/photos/4JjnLStEq42sWsQo8
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,714
    Great stuff, guys. You're making my week.
    "By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand."
  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 3,551
    Back in the late 80's, we installed several Lennox Pulse furnaces in a new funeral home. My guys thought that one them must have been haunted because it would initially fire right off but then instantly shut down. For those familiar with the Pulse, you know it has a draft inducer that basically purges the HX's and proves the draft. Once ignition takes place, the inducer isn't necessary and shuts off. My guys had tried replacing the inducer, pressure switch, etc. Nothing fixed it.

    I must have watched it for 30 min to an hour when I figured there had to be some form of restriction in the venting. I pulled the intake pipe off of the furnace and found a golf ball laying there at the inlet. It left space around it to prove the pressure switch, but not enough to allow adequate air once the combustion cycle started.

    Someone had to have shoved the ball in from the pipe outside and it rolled all the way down to the furnace through several turns. :#
    Bob Boan







    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,714
    edited October 5
    Bob, maybe a hole in one? HAHAHAHAHA!

    You guys are killing me!
    "By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand."
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