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Has your Jewelry or Valuable Item Been Flushed down the drain?

October 20, 2021
Mike Lentz

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.

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 Artisan Home Services! Our plumbers here have successfully retrieved many wedding rings and other valuables.

Necklace down the Drain

It’s happened to the best of us. Dropping something down the drain that shouldn’t go there leaves you with a pit in your stomach, trying to figure out the best plan of action. The last thing you want is to get your hand stuck in the drain. But you also aren’t willing to give up on getting your necklace back, not to mention jewelry in the drain can lead to clogs and costly repairs.

There are a couple of different tricks you can try to retrieve the necklace. One of the most reliable ways is disassembling the drainpipe and fishing out the lost item. Because the necklace will typically sink to the bottom of the bend in the P-trap (the part of the drainpipe that is shaped like a “P”), that’s where you should begin. Here’s how to perform the task:

1.  Place a bucket under the bend (under the sink) to catch any water that may fall out of the pipe.

2.  Unscrew the slip nut at the bend (tools will be required).

3.  Unscrew the slip nut at the other end of the bend and slide the slip nut up and out of the way, which allows the bend to drop down and away from the sink.

4.  At this point, the necklace may fall out of the pipe and into the bucket, or you may have to untangle it from hair clogging up the drain. If the necklace dropped into a bathroom sink and you don’t see it, it may be caught around the drain stopper.

5.  Then, once you have the necklace, you can simply reverse the steps you just took to put the plumbing components back together. Inspect any gaskets or rubber washers for wear, and consider replacing if they are not able to seal the connection.

Another possible solution for how to get a necklace out of the sink is magnetic fishing. Tie a magnet to a string and dangle it down into the drain. With this trick, you may be able to pull up the necklace without having to deal with the damp and dark sink areas or the task of disassembly. This trick will only work if the necklace is made of magnetic metal such as stainless steel. Gold, silver, and platinum are not magnetic.

When to Call the Professional Plumbers

If you are unable to retrieve the necklace, you can always call on the local professionals at Artisan Home Services for assistance. The team will ensure you get your necklace back right away. Plus, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your kitchen sink plumbing is in capable hands. Their experienced technicians can help you with any kitchen or home plumbing need that you may have.

Reach out to the Artisan Home Services team today by calling (215)495-7443, or get an estimate for plumbing services online now.

Not sure where to put the laundry room in your new home or remodeling plan? Artisan Home Services has some handy tips to help you make this decision. Artisan Home Services is part of the family of home service providers in your local area, which means you can count on us for good advice and outstanding service.