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What NOT to do when butchering chickens  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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Question about anaerobic decomposition...    True confession here - because your secrets make you sick - and I need help -  and maybe someone else can learn from my stoooopidity -  aargh!  (must have been my triple Aries/Mars risk-taking influence)  On December 15 I butchered 7 chickens.   I'm very proud that I've used every part of the chickens to make soup and bone broth, and bone meal.   Except I couldn't think of a good use for the guts because I live in the city and don't want to attract animals to my compost pile,  so I decided to flush it down the toilet and can't explain why I didn't just put it in the garbage.      I warned myself it might clog the drain so I put small amounts in at a time, flushing after each deposit.   All seemed fine until a couple days later when the drain got slow, then slower, then pretty much became a slow trickle, as in, 24+ hrs to empty the tub or the toilet.   I thought - it's organic - it will decompose eventually.  I'm still hoping that the total volume just collected in a blob in one of the pipe turns, so after a couple weeks I put some Rid-X in hoping to speed it up.   It's worse.    Then I tried Root Kill - no change.  Vinegar and Baking Soda - no change.     Now it's been a month and I'm tired of taking sponge baths and using a makeshift composting bucket upstairs because I'm too wimpy to use an outdoor loo in winter  (the old lady 3am run you know).  

So I'm appealing to you all to tell me it will be alright in a couple more weeks, or there's another magic catalyst I can pour down, or bite the bullet and call Roto-Rooter.     This is an old house with galvanized drains that I plan to replace this spring anyway so I really hate to spend money on it now.

 
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You could try some Lye, as in Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH). Not sure if it will help though.
Definitely NOT an acid of equivalent strength(muriatic) though, that would eat through your pipes and maybe form a large amount of Hydrogen gas if they are indeed galvanized steel.

like all strong chemicals make sure to protect your eyes and skin, don't breath the fumes.

Best of luck!
 
pollinator
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Wow, that is a bad situation! The only thing I can think of is to use a plumber's snake to try to break up the clog.  Not sure if it is something that can be rented or if you would have to just buy at home depot or wherever.  Maybe if you know a handy type person that may have one you can borrow?
 
pollinator
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Time to call a plumber.

Get the pipes changed now instead of spring, if possible, so everything is done in one day. Tell the plumber that you flushed something you should not have so they know everything is blocked and bring the equipment they need to snake any drains. The guts might not have stopped in the pipes you want replaced.

Living without working plumbing sucks and waiting will not lower the price to get it fixed.

Good for you for butchering your own chickens. When I do them I throw the guts in my compost. My cats eat some and then coyotes come through and eat the rest. In a city the garbage would be the place to put them.
 
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What about using a plunger?  We keep one handy by the toilet, just in case.  It might not be fun and might be disgusting by now though it might save a plumber's bill.

I have a suggestion about what to do with the guts next time.  I put things like that in a throwaway container with a lid and label it "trash".  Then it goes in the freezer until garbage day.
 
pollinator
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Plunger wont help. I guess it could if you blocked the tub drain. The blockage is too far down if neither are draining.  Plunging the toilet will just push water up through tub.

Snake or call plumber to snake it.
 
Susan Pruitt
pollinator
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thanks folks - yep, I forgot to mention the plunging 100 times a day in my story,  and as Wayne said it's just backing up in the tub.   I have put the guts in the trash in the past - don't know what came over me this time - creeping dementia?

I'm procrastinating on the total replacement project because it's going to be a remodel of the whole kitchen and bath deal and I haven't made all the floor plan decisions or gutted the rooms - maybe this is the cosmic 2x4 to JUST DO IT, lol.    I was hoping someone would have a magic chemistry solution.  I'll look into renting a good power snake - never had any luck with the skinny manual ones.
 
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Yeah, unfortunately anything will be likely to dissolve those guts will probably do substantial damage to the pipes.

If you can rent/borrow a snake (and best yet get a friend to bring theirs and do it for you) you might at least be able to determine how far down the blockage is from the toilet.  Once you find it mark the snake and then measure the length from the tip to the mark.  Then you can figure out if the blockage is within the pipes you'll be replacing anyway in the remodel or not.  If so, just try to move up the remodel and fix both problems at once.  If not, you'll need to clear the blockage the old fashioned way anyway, so it's no savings to wait any longer.  
 
pollinator
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I would definitely consider using a lye based product.
If you do, and it doesn't work, be certain to give it time to neutralize itself before you open up the plumbing.

About the plumbing, do you have a basement, crawlspace or slab foundation?
What floor is the bathroom on?
Is the bathroom sink backed up or is it only the tub and toilet?
If there is a basement, is anything backing up down there?
The answers to these questions can help you know where to insert your auger or snake(or hand! Gloved of course...), and what kind of tool will work best.
A hose or bucket of water can help you know for certain when the drain is open.
Even after it seems to drain freely, test it with a bunch of TP.
Even something as simple as dental floss can cling to the sides of a pipe  and catch debris.
This is why the rule is"#1, #2 and TP are the only things you should put in a toilet bowl"
An auger can sometimes punch a hole in the debris and the water can flow through,while the original obstruction can remain.
Only by putting more debris  down the toilet,and testing for function, can you be certain the job is done correctly.
I usually flush 5 heavy loads of TP down any toilet I've augered.
If it can take that without backing up again, its fixed.


Drain pipe replacement, when necessary, is generally a dirty filthy job, but not actually difficult.

Good luck, keep us posted!

 
Susan Pruitt
pollinator
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Thanks William.   The bathroom sits over an 18" crawlspace.   The main waste stack which has the cleanout  and vent is in the corner of the room (single story one bath)  The toilet is to the right of the main stack and the tub to the right of that.     The sink is to the left  and drains directly into the waste stack just above the cleanout.   Toilet is to the right of the stack, which drains straight into the ground below the floor.  Tub is on the other side of the toilet, presumably feeding into the toilet drain.   The toilet was the first to clog.   Plunging caused water to back into the tub.  Sink water now causes the small amount of water in the toilet to gurgle and then seeps over to the tub.  

I've tried to open that cleanout but it is too old and crusty - I think it's cast iron.  
 

I know the rule about not putting stuff down the toilet but I really felt that chicken guts are just equivalent to un-processed poop, haha!   I think it was the volume that did it, especially if the old galvanized were already closing in.   Now that I think about it, the toilet's been good in the past but the shower water has been kind of slow to drain for a long time.....I'm a die hard, stubborn  do-it-yourselfer and researched my way through a whole house renovation in the past but plumbing is just so hard I need to cry uncle I guess.   I'll live with it another month until I get my floor plan done.  
 
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William Bronson wrote:

Drain pipe replacement, when necessary, is generally a dirty filthy job, but not actually difficult.



Yep.  If you have a crawl space or a basement where you can get to the pipe, there will be a clean-out plug beneath the toilet.  When you take the plug off, all sorts of nastiness is going to come flooding out, so have a big bucket and you're going to get covered in the most vile-smelling slime anyway.  The good news is, it won't smell as bad as comfrey tea.  

There is a very good chance the chicken guts are stuck at the first 90 degree bend.  You can usually tell by knocking on the pipe.  When you find a spot that doesn't sound hollow, you found your chicken parts.  If they are farther down, find the clean-out that is closest to the blockage, take that one off, and run your snake in.   You may want to throw your clothes away after, but if you have any people you really dislike, visit them before showering.  They'll be out of your life for good.  Especially if you lie down on their couch for a bit.
 
Andrew Mayflower
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Susan Pruitt wrote: Now that I think about it, the toilet's been good in the past but the shower water has been kind of slow to drain for a long time.....



Have you taken the shower drain apart and cleaned out the hair ball lately?  I usually have to do that a couple times a year, at least in the showers my wife and daughters use as their longer hair is the main culprit.  
 
William Bronson
pollinator
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Ah,  you paint a very clear picture.
It's  tough spot your in.
We can coach you through it, if you like.
Cast iron yields to concussive force and/or abrasive cutting.
Seems like it might be more than your up for, understandably.

A note on your remodeling plans.
Old houses will often have 1.25" drains for the bathtubs and bathroom sinks.
Sizing them up to 1.5 or even 2 inch drains will substantially improve future performance.

 
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Agree that caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) may help, but a plumber's snake will certainly be effective.

I'd like to see the look on the Plumbers face if you DON'T tell him what happened and he starts pulling out guts 'n gizzards!

'Lady, you REALLY need to get yourself to the hospital NOW!'

😂

 
Susan Pruitt
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Hahahaha!   More like I'll be arrested pending investigation into why there are body parts in my toilet!    Okay guys - I'm sufficiently shamed and I'll never do it again!   The more I think I about it, my rough, already occluded pipes clung to the mass and I'm not going to mess with it.  Calling the plumber to design my new system next week :)
 
pollinator
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That sucks...

We had this about a month ago, but fortunately we have a house across the street we could go to.

It ended up being where the old cast iron pipe connected to the plastic pipe going to my septic tank. There was a big rubber connection that broke off, a big rock worked against it by frost action over the years. It was not a big deal, but the woman at the hardware store got a kick out of it when I said, "I went to stick my pipe up the pooper, and broke my rubber." Needless to say I went to school with her so I knew she would get a laugh out of it.
 
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I have a couple of solutions, one of which is a little risky.

The first and best solution is to plug up all other outlets (the tub drain, the tub overflow, any sink drains and overflows, and then plunge it HARD.  The obstruction is farther down the line than where these hook in, so when you plunge it, the air just moves in and out of these outlets, robbing the plunger of any power.  

The second suggestion is, while those other outlets are plugged, wrap a cloth around the hose to form a seal so the water can only go down the line (doesn't have to be perfect) and run the hose into your toilet and turn on the water.  9 times out of 10 it will blast the obstruction free.  I've done this several times and it usually works well.  There is a chance that the water pressure will blow a loose joint apart and you'll have water all over the place.  For this reason, once it appears to be clear, stop the water and look around carefully to make sure you're not just dumping into your crawl space.  If it does blow a joint, that's where I would probably snake it from.

I think Home Depot rents plumbers snakes.
 
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