That's not a toilet, it's a floor register.
October 4, 2010 7:32 AM   Subscribe

My dog relieved herself (both, I think!) in the cold-air return for the furnace. Help?

Maddy, who is elderly, sleeps downstairs these days. At 5 a.m. I heard her pacing around down there. Had I been completely awake, I would have recognized that noise immediately: "Let me out!" But I didn't. I woke up and found a pile of wonderfulness directly on top of a floor grate. Sigh. Guilt. Well, it kind of looks like a toilet, I thought. Good...girl?

I cleaned up what I saw and Fantastiked the hell out of the grate and the adjoining area of wood floor.

Directly beneath the grate*, the round duct descends at a really steep angle, like the Death Star garbage chute at the end of The Empire Strikes Back. Anything sufficiently solid and just a little round would just shoot right down into the bowels (sorry) of the duct work.

I'm trying to determine what got through the grate. And, if so, what do I do?

1) Did she urinate? I can't tell. There are no moisture marks or urine stains on the duct work. Sitting here thinking about it, there is no strong smell of urine around the duct, but if every time I go over to sniff, I think, "Is that pee? I think that's it?"

2) Did any dog poop get down there? No stains or marks on the ducts to indicate anything rolled down. Am I missing something?

3) There is no dog byproduct smell throughout the house, and I discovered this about 3 hours ago.

What do you think? Did I dodge a bullet? Or should I get my tools and start opening stuff?

*Not identical, but reasonably similar to my floor grate.
posted by Buffaload to Home & Garden (1 answer total)
Based on your description, it sounds like you dodged a bullet. If you are worried about it, head downstairs with a screwdriver, follow the duct until it flattens out (unless it goes straight into your furnace, in which case you'll need to detach it from the furnace), detach one end of the flat section (this should involve ~3 screws and then the pipe sections just slip apart) and shine a light in there.

But really, if you can't smell anything at the grate, you probably don't have anything to worry about.
posted by ssg at 8:23 AM on October 4, 2010

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