Need Help with Putrid Bathroom Vent

Hello,
A bird died in my bathroom vent duct. I decided to take it apart and push the smelly body out (from the bathroom side), but seem to have run into something that prevents this. On examining the exterior flap there appears to be a current nest inside the outer flap and a bird hanging around waiting to enter her "home".
The duct is horizontal and I have inserted a (dry) old hose to push with. Is there a baffle or a jog in the vent that prevents the pushed hose from appearing on the outside and dumping the dead body (and the current nest)? I can't seem to find a drawing of what that duct is doing when it meets code. Should it be a straight line from the fan to the outside? Think I'll try a flashlight tonight from the outside. On the outside the vent's just beyond my ladder, but I may have to get a few feet higher to peer in it myself. Any other ideas?
By the way when working with this stuff it all seems to break as I take it apart. Furthermore, the design of the outer flap is obviously a joke of great amusement to the birds. They fly up to it perching on the wall and open it as if it were made for them. This house is 10 years old and the aluminum flap and vent hood are not broken -- just not equal to the intelligence of a common bird. New vents and covers in the same area use plastic louvers (hope these are better!!)
Thanks for any advice on cleaning out this smelly duct.
Dave Boyd
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Call a critter removal service. Every town has them. Pat
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@cox.net (Dave Boyd) wrote in

It might be easier (definitly less stomach turning) to replace the duct, especially if it's falling apart.
The condo I used to live in had the plastic flippers on the dryer ducts, but the birds ripped them off. There is a grid-like cover that they ended up putting on the outside.
NJBrad
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

These vents generally use flexible plastic hose, which gets routed however it takes to get it from where its going to where its ending. Depending on what's there, that could be straight or have multiple bends. I agree with the advice that if you can get access to the hose, just replace it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net (Chet Hayes) wrote in message

Thanks for the advice. The duct is round metal (about 3" diameter) and is fairly long (25') since the bathroom is away from the outer walls. It should be a straight shot unless there's an obstruction or a varmit baffle. The stuff that's falling apart is the hardware on either end which will have to be replaced or jury-rigged to get it back together. On the inside, the fan was nailed to the ceiling joust and the nail(s) were difficult to remove. The side of the fan has an orifice to the duct with a plastic flap held on by a pressure fit prong (into a slot). One of the prongs broke when I touched it but this did get access to the round duct from the inside. On the outside the aluminum hood had folded edges (about 1/8" to a 1/4") that had to pried up to lift the hood to reveal the round aluminum flap. On one side this 1/8" flap snapped off completely (not really meant to be opened and closed I guess). These are the parts that broke -- replacing the duct would be "interesting" since it is so long. There is another access flap at the outside opening that keeps the birds inside warm and cozy.
Besides the smell of a dead body, I heard the victem in the duct while in the bathroom when he got caught (by the way this is a horrible feeling -- I like birds -- but I couldn't figure any way to get him out). I was extremely surprised on taking the fan apart that the duct was horizontal since I thought the bird had fallen down the vent and couldn't climb or fly back up. From pushing with the hose from the inside I can tell if there is something blocking and preventing push through to the outside opening. The fact he got caught makes me suspicious of another flap. I suppose it could be the bird's nest (which is being used post expiration of the smelly victem), but it must be that the birds have put the nest some distance into the duct from the outside.
Anyway, if I don't hear any further advice here, I'll try pushing more vigorously with the long plastic hose (or try my shorter metal drain auger from the outside). The round metal duct was laid in when the ceiling was open but I still am not sure whether there's a jog in it or another critter flap (or baffle of some sort) in it (at the 2/3 to 3/4 point). Failing the roto-router approach, I'll try the critter removal folks. By the way, I just had the furnace ducts cleaned and dispite the fact that this company had a fee schedule for removing critters, the on-site fellow told my wife he didn't want to take the vent apart. (Something similar had happened to him at his house and he just ran the fan until the smell went away.)
Guess I'm just story tell'in unless somebody has some real insight into the problem. Thanks for listening!
Dave Boyd
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.