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Frequent Contributor

Need advice

Ok, heres what happened.  My daughter in law was going to be helpful and change the toilet paper.  Unfortunately she had just flushed the toilet  when she was taking the metal spring loaded roll holder apart and half of it sprang out of her hand and into the toilet...(spring and end).  down it went....

Now my toilet barely flushes.  Im guessing the spring and end are stuck down in the curves below the bowl.  Anyone or their husbands have any ideas of a way I can get it out without pulling up the whole toilet?   I was thinking shopvac, maybe.  Not sure if a snake would be able to grab it.

 

geez. 

 

Sure glad I have another stool in the basement.

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7 Replies
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Honored Advisor

Re: Need advice

My first thought is to slip on a rubber glove, and reach your fingers into the first curve. You may be able to get a grip on the thing, and pull it back. A crochet hook might extend your reach, and have a means of snagging the spring...but if it slips, you could compound your problem.

If you do snake it, it should only take so far, before you push it past the toilet itself...which then raises the potential problem of
blocking pipes. Mike is not around for me to ask, but if the local hardware store has a good salesperson, they ought to be able to advise you. Even some of the big box stores have some decent help, in the form of retired plumbers, In that department,
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Veteran Contributor

Re: Need advice

 I have another stool in the basement.,    How do you mean?   You have another Poo in the basement waiting to be flushed???

Sorry could'nt resist,     Don't know how far you have got with the problem by now (maybe even fixed)     but it could be worth lifting the manhole cover and blocking the outlet so anything that does shift wont go right down to the sewer,    Just a thought,

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Honored Advisor

Re: Need advice

There should be a cleanout plug in the line, near where it enters the house, maybe in the basement.  Plumbers will use that to access adn clear obstacles in the line.  Older houses may lack that, though. 

 

Having a backup toilet is good, for when you have a backed-up toilet. That is my potty humor for the day....

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Senior Contributor

Re: Need advice

Nice that you have a back-up toilet! Our back-up is the back yard, LOL!

 

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Veteran Contributor

Re: Need advice

Yea, those outside Loos were really good, Ours was in the Foldyard,   Some  of the Reps used it , we even loaned them wellies.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Need advice

I would try the snake first before using this second idea. Is the sewer pipe for this plugged toilet accessible from the basement? Can you take apart the pipe under it and reach for the spring from there? The parts may have traveled further than you realize. I know it is going to be a mess either way. Please use disposable gloves, preferably shoulder length if you come from this direction.

Try to remind yourself in the future that a closed lid would prevent this problem. It is also more sanitary when the toilet is flushed.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Need advice

  More than likely it's stuck in the trap inside the toilet. Loosen and remove the nuts for the toilet and shut off the water. Take a small cup and dip out the water inside the bowl and tank and lift the toilet off the flange and place it on a rug. Be sure to keep the toilet level when you lift it because there will still be some water in the trap inside of it. You can reach up inside of it easier from the bottom, and a new wax ring/seal is only a couple of dollars. If not, it may be in the 90 degree bend just under the floor/flange.

  In the basement on the main sewer pipe either at the base of it or right next to it there is a cleanout that can be unscrewed to give access for a snake right at the 90 degree bend from vertical to horizontal, and there should also be one right before the main sewer line leaves the house too.

  You should never run a snake down a toilet from the top because it scuffs and/or removes the finish similar to an abrasive cleaner on a bathtub surface. Usually once the obstruction gets out of the vertical portion of the sewer pipe and makes it to the horizontal portion the obstruction doesn't cause too many problems or have any bends to catch on. If you are on on septic tank, the main sewer line will leave through the basement wall somewhere well above the basement floor level, and guessing by the basement toilet that you mentioned, this isn't the case. 

  FYI, it's redundant I know but glove up when you reach inside the toilet and pipes too.

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