Professional Plumbing Tips

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Helpful Steps to Retrieve Lost Objects from the Toilet

Losing a small piece of jewelry or other object in the toilet can be a very harrowing experience. However, the chances of retrieving it are usually pretty good. First of all, don't panic! Start by taking a deep breath. It's possible that it hasn't fully escaped the bowl yet.

toilet returned to its place by plumber after retrieving lost object from bowl

Step 1

To reach into the pipes the bowl drains into, use a long piece of wire or drain snake to try and pull the object back out. If your fishing attempts fail, it's time to move onto step two.

Step 2

Shut off the water. This is a little more involved and starts with finding the refill line behind the toilet. It usually looks like a grey/silver metal snake. There should be a valve attached to the line that you can turn clockwise until you hear the water shut off and feel the valve come to a stop.

Step 3

Remove the top of the toilet tank and disconnect the refill assembly within the tank. Now that the tank is no longer refilling and the water is off, you can flush the toilet until the bowl is dry. At this point you can try again to find anything that may be trapped in the pipes of the toilet.

If you still haven’t been able to retrieve your lost item, move onto to step four or call a plumber for assistance.

Step 4

Remove the toilet. You'll notice that there are four screws that hold the toilet down against the floor. Carefully unscrew these and you'll be able to lift it. We recommend having someone assist you with this process as toilets can be unwieldy and heavy. Once you've carefully lifted the toilet, slowly rotate it and shake it. Hopefully gravity will dislodge your object from the trap. If not, carefully use your wire implement or drain snake to attempt to fish the object out again.

Whether you're successful or not, the process of returning your toilet to its place is straightforward. Set it back down and reattach the screws, replacing the plastic caps on top of them if applicable. Make sure not to tighten the screws too tightly into the porcelain. Then, depending on your toilet setup, you may need to replace the wax seal as well, which is fairly easy.

If you're not comfortable with this process or haven’t had any luck with steps above, contact us at Brian Wear Plumbing today! Our plumbers have the proper equipment and expertise to help retrieve your lost item and return your bathroom to working order.

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