3 Tips to Retrieve Items Flushed Down the Toilet

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Retrieve Items Flushed Down the Toilet

Anyone would be careful when using the toilet most of the time. However, there are also instances where, despite best efforts, something gets knocked into the toilet and subsequently flushed by accident. While this may be frustrating and worrisome when it happens, there’s still a chance you can retrieve whatever it is that got flushed. 

Toilet drains are typically designed to allow only water through, which means solids will get caught in the drain or else at the bottom of the toilet. Therefore, to get a flushed item back, you can try using your hands or a drain snake. In the worst-case scenario, you may have to call a blocked drain plumber to remove the toilet and lay it on its side, so you can check the bottom part. That said, here are a few tips you can use to help you retrieve something you accidentally flushed down the toilet.

Take Safety Precautions

What you’re doing is a relatively simple task, but that doesn’t mean you should dive right in. Take the time to turn off the water supply to the toilet to prevent any accidental overflow and keep your hand from getting pushed or pulled somewhere you don’t want it to go. Then put on a pair of rubber gloves, to avoid direct contact with anything unsanitary.

Try and Dislodge the Object

The toilet trap is the curved part of the toilet leading to the drainpipe, and that’s where the waste goes when you flush. With luck, the object you’re trying to get back is stuck in the toilet trap. If so, all you need to do is reach in, feel around for the object, and try to loosen it up enough so you can pull it out. 

If that fails, grab a good toilet plunger; it has a narrower end than the regular drain plunger, along with a rubber flange to help create a better seal. Once it’s in place and the seal is good and tight, plunge the plunger at least 20 times to dislodge the object and pull it up – and hopefully close enough to grab. 

Use a Snake

If you can’t seem to get the object free by using your hands or a plunger, it’s time to bring in a drain snake. If you don’t already have one, make sure you buy one that’s made of steel and has a crank handle. Also check to see if it’s a snake that’s designed to retrieve, rather than simply dislodge; otherwise, whatever you’re trying to get may go further down the drain if it’s small enough. 

Once the snake is in the toilet, start cranking, and continue until you can see the object. After that, all that’s left to do is to grab it and sanitise it before using it again (especially if you were trying to retrieve a toy). Then turn the water supply back on, and test your toilet to see if it flushes properly. 

If you’re still having trouble getting the object back, you may have to call a plumber to help. Otherwise, the above tips should do the trick.