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Step by Step Guide to Finding an Object Flushed Down the Toilet

A certain kind of “uh oh” happens when something gets flushed down the toilet. Toddlers may say those syllables with surprise as they watch their toy car swirl round and round. Conversely, adults may upgrade that “uh oh” to something stronger. The point is that you have dropped your wedding ring down the toilet, or your child has been taking her dolls ‘swimming’ in it, and suddenly you have a big UH OH on your hands.

Flushing materials down the toilet that aren’t meant to be can create large problems. Thankfully, often that item can be retrieved, and some major plumbing issues can be avoided. First things first, you will need to gather materials.

Necessary Materials

  • Rubber gloves
  • Drain snake
  • Metal hanger
  • Wet/dry vacuum
  • High-quality plunger

Now that you have everything you need assembled, it is time to get to work.

Directions for Removing an Object Flushed Down the Toilet

1. Turn off the water

Turn off the water to the toilet by twisting the valve that is located behind the toilet.

2. Try to fish out the object with your hands

Put on the rubber gloves and attempt to use your hands to fish out the object. If it was caught in the trap (that area where the pipe curves), you should hopefully be able to grab it.

3. Use a plunger

If that doesn’t work, the next tool in the lineup is a plunger. Use a plunger to try and dislodge the object and bring it closer to the visible bowl of the toilet. Once you see it, grab it! Professionals suggest running the plunger under hot water first to loosen the rubber and create better suction.

4. Up next is the drain snake

If you still haven’t had any luck after using the plunger, it is time to try a drain snake or closet auger. While these tools can be found at most hardware stores, it is important to choose the correct one. The snakes with a hook or circle at the bottom are meant to help retrieve items rather than to break up a clog. A wire hanger can also be used as a substitute if you do not have a drain snake at home and can’t get out to the store right away.

5. Bring out the wet/dry vacuum

If your object is still in the murky toilet depths, it is time to pull out the big guns–the shop vac or wet/dry vacuum. After using the vacuum to suck out the water in the toilet bowl, stick the nozzle down the drain and use rags around it to create a seal. Then, turn the vacuum on. Turn off the vacuum when you hear or see an object come up through the hose.

6. Last but not least, call a plumber

The next step would be to remove the toilet to find your lost object. While this can be a DIY project, a licensed plumber can efficiently accomplish this and ensure that the toilet is re-installed correctly.

Looking to learn more about fixing any plumbing ‘uh ohs’ you might have? Contact us at FLAME Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, and Electrical to learn about our residential plumbing services.

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