Has your Jewelry or Valuable Item Been Flushed?
Say it isn’t so! You just realized your child, or even you, flushed your favorite jewelry down the toilet.
Believe it or not, valuable items end up in the toilet all the time, and out of habit, we flush. Is there anything we can do? Is it gone forever?
There is a chance your precious jewelry is lingering within the toilet parts. It could be at the bottom of the toilet bowl, within the waste opening, around the toilet wax ring or lodged in an area of a curved pipe.
Here are some steps to retrieving that irreplaceable item, if you are up for the DIY challenge:
1. Did the toilet completely flush?
There is always a chance it didn’t flush! Older toilets may not have the flushing force of some of the newer models and will increase your chances of finding the item still within the toilet bowl. Or in a stroke of luck, you didn’t hit the toilet handle all the way and the result was a half-flush. Either way, find some rubber gloves and some wire. If you see the see the item, fish it out. If you do not see the item, do a complete check around the opening in the bottom of the bowl.
2. Turn off your toilet’s water supply.
Turning off the water supply will prevent flooding and save you in the event you accidentally hit the toilet flush handle again.
3. Take the lid off your toilet’s tank.
4. Clear out the remaining water.
It will make your life easier to drain the remaining water from the toilet bowl. You can use a small plastic container or cup to scoop the water out.
5. Loosen your toilet’s screws.
You will need a wrench and/or a putty knife to remove the bolt covers and the bolts themselves.
6. Remove the toilet from the ground.
With a partner, lift the toilet and set it gently on the bathroom floor. Now that the toilet is on the bathroom floor, you will need to tip it on its side, find a flashlight, and look inside the waste opening. Also, inspect the wax ring. The toilet wax ring is half-connected to the floor and half-attached to the flange. Your item could have gotten stuck in any of these toilet parts, so look carefully.
Hopefully these steps helped you to retrieve your valuables! If not, it may still be there. Your best option now is to contact a professional. A plumber will use a scope and/or camera to inspect the drainpipes.
If you did find your precious item, Congratulations! Now, it’s time to put the toilet back together.
You will need to replace the toilet wax ring with a new wax ring following a toilet removal. The toilet seal ring prevents water from leaking out to the floor. It also keeps sewer odors, gas, and the sewer smell out of your bathroom.
After replacing the wax ring, it’s time to put all the other toilet parts back where they belong. Attach the toilet to the floor, put the lid back on your toilet’s tank and turn on the water.
If any of your other toilet parts need fixing, now is the time. While you are picking up a new toilet seal ring, go ahead and get a new toilet flapper, toilet fill valve and toilet flush valve as needed.
Once you’ve put your toilet back together, flush a couple of times to make sure the wax ring is completely working. As long as your toilet bowl is clean, any leaking water will be clean.
If you have a flushed item and need professional help, don’t hesitate to call the PROS at Plumb Pro! The plumbers here have successfully retrieved many wedding rings and other valuables.