Objects stuck in the toilet can damage your toilet and plumbing system. Do not worry though, something falling in and getting stuck in a toilet trap isn’t something unheard of. It’s pretty standard and can happen by mistake or intentionally, especially if there are kids in the house. In this article, we’ll walk you through ways in which you can remove an object from a toilet trap without damaging your plumbing.
There are different methods for removing an object stuck in a toilet trap. These range from using a plunger to dissolving the object in the toilet if it’s made of plastic. The trap or S-trap is designed to stop foreign objects from getting into the plumbing system. Be wary that if an object gets stuck in the toilet for too long, it can damage the plumbing system.
The trap or S-trap contains water and forms a seal that prevents water from the sewage from getting to the surface of the toilet bowl. It also prevents objects from entering the plumbing system. Anything ranging from a toy to your phone can fall into the toilet and get stuck in the S-trap. If an object gets stuck in the trap, it can cause a backing up of water, a foul smell, or worse, an overflowing of sewage water. So, it is probably best to act fast and remove the object before it damages your pipes.
Got something stuck inside the toilet trap? Don’t panic. With the right tools and techniques, you can save your plumbing from getting damaged and remove the object stuck inside.
This method is effective if the object, such as a diaper or sanitary pad, is close enough to reach by hand. Take a pair of gloves and get right in there. Before you do that, make sure you empty the toilet bowl using a plastic cup or cardboard box.
Reach inside the toilet with your hands and if you can touch it, use two fingers to grab it and take it out.
If your fingers don’t do the trick and the object is too far down the toilet, it’s time to use a wire hook instead. It would be ideal if you have a metal wire but don’t worry if you don’t. Simply use a good old-fashioned metal coat hanger. Use a set of long pliers to bend one end of the hanger.
Insert this into the bowl as you twist it gently. Be careful not to scratch or damage the pipe. Once the hanger hits the object, it’ll produce a clunking sound. This is your cue to gently pull the hanger out.
If you have a wet/dry vacuum, you’re in luck. It’s best to remove the dry dust bag to avoid it getting wet. Use it to get the object out of the trap.
Insert the nozzle in the toilet bowl till you reach the object. Once you feel it has reached, turn the vacuum on to remove the water in the S-trap.
When the vacuum finally sucks up the object, you will hear weird noises. This is your cue to shut off the suction and remove the hose. Open the vacuum and remove the object from it.
Every household has this tool, and it’s pretty nifty when taking objects out of the toilet trap. Leave the water in the bowl to help the plunger create the required pressure.
Place your plunger at the trap entrance and keep pulling it and pushing it back in to create a vacuum. Keep in mind that a plunger can do the exact opposite of taking the object out. They can push the object further down the trap and damage the drain.
Your absolute last resort to saving your plumbing system is completely removing the toilet bowl. Ideally, you should hire a professional plumber to do this. However, if you follow the following steps properly, you can do it yourself:
- Completely close the water supply from the source valve
- Remove supply pipe supplying water from the source valve to the tank
- Unscrew the bolts from under the toilet tank and remove it
- Remove the toilet based by unscrewing the bolts on it
- Make sure you place the removed bowl horizontally on the ground
- Inspect the bottom of the bowl and look for the object
- Take the object out of the trap
- Place the bowl back on the flange and reinstall it
- Connect the tank back to the bowl and turn on the water supply
Common items that can fall inside a toilet trap include jewelry, toys, cleaning supplies, or other products. You can prevent these objects from falling into the toilet trap by following the below-mentioned tips:
1. Clear Your Toilet Shelves
Although this may not feel like convenient advice but it’s best if you clear your shelves of things that can get clogged inside the toilet, this includes items like baby diapers, wipes, and napkins. Having these objects on shelves can cause them to be accidentally flipped into the bathroom and cause unnecessary blockage.
You need to have proper accessories installed for hanging your towel and your toilet paper. You also need to ensure that your medicine and toiletries cabinet is on the opposite side of the area that has your toilet. These measures will prevent objects from being near the toilet. Hence, reducing the risk of them falling into the bathroom.
Visibility is key. If your toilet isn’t well lit, you are more likely to knock an item into the toilet bowl. So make sure there is enough lighting in the bathroom to see everything.
1. Can you get something out of the toilet that’s been flushed down?
Toilet bowls are designed to drain only water. So, if something is stuck down the drain, you can take it out using a wire hook or with your hands after wearing gloves.
Plastic stuck in the toilet can damage the draining system. This can lead to overflowing and sewer flooding. In some instances, this can cause fatbergs and ruin an entire neighborhood’s plumbing.
You can use dish soap and boiling water to dissolve the plastic stuck in your toilet bowl. Put some dish soap in the toilet bowl while you boil some water. Add the water to the bowl. The mixture should dissolve any plastic stuck in the toilet bowl or trap.
Having an object stuck in a toilet bowl isn’t a rare occurrence. It can happen to the best of us. Hopefully after reading our article you’re equipped with all the necessary knowledge to handle the matter. Of course, the best option is to prevent such a situation altogether. Otherwise, keep the tools necessary to get the object out.
Amos Christen graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from Drexel University — Philadelphia, PA. Since 2003, Amos has worked with top interior design professionals in this area, including architects and interior/graphic/lighting designers. As a skilled interior designer, Amos Christen is highly versed in fine arts and crafts and uses that to supplement his main area of expertise. He often publishes articles related to home décor on several websites, including Sprucetoilets.com, Sprucebathroom.com, and Mybesuitedhome.com. He also contributes to leading interior design magazines.