5 Things to do if Something Valuable Gets Flushed Down the Toilet

May 20, 2022

One of the biggest cringe moments in your life can be flushing something valuable down the toilet. A ring or keepsake can suddenly find its way into the toilet bowl, down the drainpipe and into the septic tank or sewer line. You may think that all is lost and that you’ll never retrieve the item again. However, a plumbing repair company in Columbus, IN, may be able to help.

A plumber has the tools necessary to locate the item in the plumbing system and pull it back out. So, the next time you flush something valuable down the toilet, think twice before attempting to get it yourself. Instead, contact a drain cleaning service in Columbus. Below we look at five things to do if something valuable gets flushed down the toilet.

1. Don’t Flush the Toilet

If you believe that your ring or item has fallen into the toilet bowl but hasn’t gone down the drain, you may be tempted to flush the toilet. Doing so drains the water so that you can stick your hand in the bowl and grab the item. 

However, flushing the toilet can make it worse. Any item sitting in the bowl could easily be flushed away into the drain by the force of the water. Once the item finds its way into the drain, your chances of recovering it on your own are slim. 

As unpleasant as it may seem, sticking your hand in the water to retrieve an item in the bottom of the bowl is the easiest and safest way to get your ring or object. If you don’t want to stick your hand in the bowl, simply call a plumbing repair company, and a technician will get the item for you. 

2. Don’t Detach Your Toilet

Some DIY experts may recommend that you detach your toilet from the floor to retrieve the lost item. While this could solve the problem, it can also cause multiple problems with your toilet, plumbing system or drain line. 

Your toilet system consists of several parts.

  • Waterline and shutoff valve
  • Fill tank, float, chain, and flapper
  • O-ring seal
  • Bowl
  • Wax seal and floor flange
  • Main pipe

When you detach the toilet from the main pipe, you could damage or disconnect any of these parts, causing your toilet to malfunction or leak. Plus, disconnecting the toilet from the main pipe may not solve the problem. It’s not worth the risk of hurting the toilet if you don’t know where the ring or item is. 

3. Don’t Stick Anything Down the Toilet

Something else that you may be tempted to do is stick something down the toilet to retrieve the lost item. One of the most common items is a wire coat hanger. You simply unravel the hanger and bend it so that it makes a hook. Then you may feed it into the bowl in the hopes of hooking the ring and pulling it back out. 

While it seems like a good idea, putting anything in the bowl to recover your ring could worsen the situation. The ring is already in a tiny space with little room for anything else. Shoving a hanger into the bowl to recover the ring could push it further down the drain or into the sewer line. 

4. Contact a Plumbing Repair Company

Before attempting to recover the ring from the toilet, you may want to contact a plumbing repair company instead. Some of the best plumbers in Columbus, IN, have the equipment necessary to recover the ring. They can also pull the toilet safely from the base without damaging it or causing a leak. 

Most plumbing installation services use a device known as a sewer camera or drain camera to find an object lost in the plumbing system. They feed the tiny camera into the bowl or main pipe. They can see what’s in the pipe from a remote video screen. 

Once they have located the item, they use a suction method to pull the water and ring another object back up the pipe. In some cases, they may have a snake with a hook on the end to pull the ring back up the pipe. 

The operation is safe and effective and does not damage your toilet bowl. Plus, you don’t have to get dirty trying to retrieve your ring. The plumber will likely charge you a nominal hourly fee for labor and equipment use. Plus, they can inspect your toilet to ensure it is running properly. 

5. Sanitize the Object

If the ring or object has fallen down the main pipe and into the septic tank or sewer line, it has been exposed to sewage and toxic materials. So, you will want to sanitize the item before using it. 

If the item is a ring, you simply use dishwashing liquid or anti-bacterial soap to disinfect it. Put a pair of rubber gloves on. Put some soap in a small bowl or cup. Soak the ring in the soap. Use a small brush or toothbrush to clean the ring. Rinse it off.

If it’s any other object, you may want to research the proper way to sanitize it before you use it. Doing so prevents contamination from getting into your house and making you or your family sick.

Schedule Plumbing Repair in Columbus, Indiana

Contact Johnson Comfort for plumbing repair if you lose a ring down the drain or have other problems with your plumbing system. We offer complete plumbing installation, repair, and maintenance in Columbus, Indiana. To schedule, service, fill out our contact form or give us a call and get a free estimate.

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