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Strangest thing that you have found in a unit



  • delta Tdelta T Member Posts: 809
    Not in a unit......but this happened about two moths ago. We did a complete system install. Replaced the old Delco boiler with cast iron rads with a new Lochinvar khn with runtal rads and trvs. Running new piping runs for the runtals, I was on the last radiator, drilled my hole through the floor, installed a nipple into the valves, fip x propex adapters, esctcheons, hung the rad, went downstairs, hooked up the supply, went to where the return should have been poking through the floor and couldn't find it.

    So I did some measuring and figured out that the pipe was about 4" behind the apparently concrete wall. After some more investigation I realized that someone had installed some wire mesh and concrete plaster up to the floor joists. I grabbed the chipping hammer and some wire cutters and went to work. Broke out a hole through the plaster and chipped out a little of the concrete wall (not any where near a bearing point) so that I could get my hands up there with a pex tool and such. As I am clearing out the rubble from the chipping hammer, I find something heavy and metallic, pull it out and it is an old rusty .38. Glad it wasn't loaded! not really sure I want to know the history of that particular gun....
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,788
    The most interesting things I came across were 2 Japanese hand grenades and an anti-aircraft round in a lady's basement.
    They were just sitting on a shelf near where we would be working so I moved them to a better cabinet across the room.

    I asked her about them and she told me her husband brought them back from WW2. He found them on an Alaska island when they landed there......yes, there was a pretty unheard of occupation by the Japs of those islands. It was a ploy to draw the fleet away from Midway, but we had been intercepting and deciphering their radio traffic.

    She wanted to get rid of them but had seen on TV someone with some ordinances in their basement had the bomb squad and TV crew show up.
    I contacted the county sheriff and he assured me that he and a state trooper would show up and simply take them away....just in and out. She agreed and I set it up.
    The next day a State patrol bomb X-ray truck showed up, as did every county deputy on duty. All these rather obvious vehicles sat in her driveway for 2 hours. This is a very small town so soon everyone had the stories going.

    It turns out that all 3 items had been decommissioned before he brought the souvenirs home after the war.
    The next day she told me she forgot about a 3rd grenade that she had in her bedroom dresser. She brings it out and proceeds to show me how they instructed her how they come apart.
    I stood nervously as she pulled the pin, released the handle and unscrewed the top and said "See, there is nothing inside"

    She took one to her ladies church coffee the next day and undoubtedly had the most interesting story as they took turns reviewing their week.
    Also took one on a family vacation as they each had to entertain the family each night with stories. I suggested that as she told the story she should pull one out of her purse, pull the pin, release the handle and hand it on either of her son-in-laws.
    If you know them you would appreciate the thought.
    I doubt if she did it.
  • the_donutthe_donut Member Posts: 374
    I was remodeling a kitchen once. Pulled countertop and something smelled awful. Thought it was from a leak under the sink. Pulled out sinkbase and underneath it was a dead bird. The cabinets were original to the unit installed during the 1980s and I found the bird last year. Bird was relatively preserved.
  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,418
    edited March 2018
    the_donut said:

    I was remodeling a kitchen once. Pulled countertop and something smelled awful. Thought it was from a leak under the sink. Pulled out sinkbase and underneath it was a dead bird. The cabinets were original to the unit installed during the 1980s and I found the bird last year. Bird was relatively preserved.

    Off Hand (get the pun), I'd say that bird must have just recently gotten under that cabinet, given it still smelled and was relatively preserved.
  • lchmblchmb Member Posts: 2,984
    dam..that's where my 45 went... :neutral:
  • the_donutthe_donut Member Posts: 374
    I’m surprised tenants didn’t complain. I wonder if they trapped the bird accidentally.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 13,766
    Fred said:

    Slight of Hand, maybe? >:)

    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • JellisJellis Member Posts: 199
    Ive found many a mice sitting on the base of electrodes in oil burners. at least it would have been quick for them!
  • rick in Alaskarick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,073
    I have a very nice Leatherman Multitool sitting in the top of a boiler flue. I was working on a job across the bay on a water tank style boiler that had the flue collector about 6 feet off the ground. I was rushed in trying to get this job done as I had to catch my plane shortly and this was taking too long. I knew they were holding the plane an extra ten minutes for me, but as I was frantically cleaning up, I could not find my Leatherman. I finally had to just leave, and it took me quite a while before I remembered that the last time I had used it was when I was cleaning the heat exchanger. I assume it must be just sitting in there under the flue connector. Unfortunately, I have not been back to that job to be able to get it back. Someone will eventually.....
  • mikeg2015mikeg2015 Member Posts: 1,178
    New to HVAC service. Finally had my first critter in the inducer.

    Exhaust termination needds raised up.

  • Intplm.Intplm. Member Posts: 1,129
    @mikeg2015 What the heck is that in there?
  • JellisJellis Member Posts: 199
    @Intplm. mouse!
    the light part you see is his foot. :( just over his tail.
    Have found more than i care to remember inside burners.
  • Intplm.Intplm. Member Posts: 1,129
    Seems the critter I have found the most of is birds.
  • mikeg2015mikeg2015 Member Posts: 1,178
    Yup. Check drains and pressure switch hoses reach quick to rule them outs. Furnace gets call for heat but no inducer. Check power, got power. Motor is warm. So hunch says debris in it locked up since it’s only a 6 month old furnace. Smell something once I got it off.

    Checked capacitor just in case. Reached up and checked the elbow in case his mouse family violated confined space rescue procedures and went in after him. Maybe that’s only raccoons that do that.
  • TimcoTimco Member Posts: 2,968

    Pizza, anyone?
    Just a guy running some pipes.
  • KuertchenKuertchen Member Posts: 5
    When Weil-McLain came out with their VHE units, shortly after one of our installations, they had no heat. It felt like the draft inducer seized up, I pulled it apart, and a sparrow made its way into the three inch flue pipe, and his beak was stuck in the squirrel cage blower. Ouch.

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