Has your wedding ring or other piece of jewelry met the unfortunate fate of being flushed down the toilet? Whether it was a slightly distracted husband or a curious child the best thing to do right now is relax and stay calm. It’s a situation that happens to more people than you think. We’ve seen all kinds of things that have accidently been flushed down the toilet or lost in a sink so it’s important not to beat yourself up too much over a situation like this.
So you’re probably wondering what you can do to get your ring back. While it’s not a guaranteed solution, but there may be a way to recover your lost jewelry. There is a chance that it may be stuck inside your toilet trap. This trap exists in certain toilets and prevents items that are too big from being completely flushed down into the sewer. To do access the trap you’re going to have to remove and drain your toilet from the bathroom floor.
Step 1: DON’T flush the toilet again. This may flush your item further and ruin your chances of ever getting your valuable back.
Step 2: Check to make sure the item was completely flushed down the drain. If it was big enough, it may still be floating around in the toilet. Take a flashlight and plumbing snake (or bent coathanger) and try to fish out the item.
Step 3: Not in there? Looks like we’re going to have to remove the toilet from the ground. First turn off the water supply valve behind your toilet. If you can’t do this, use the water shutoff that is found in your basement.
Step 4: Take the lid off your toilet tank and put it somewhere else. Remove the refill tube from the pipe it’s in.
Step 5: Now you can flush the toilet to clear out all the water in the bowl. If there is any excess water in the tank you’ll need to remove it using paper towels and a sponge.
Step 6: Untighten the screws that hold the tank to bowl. Remove the water supply line from the tank with an adjustable wrench or channel locks. Place the tank away from the bowl.
Step 7: Untighten the screws that connect the toilet bowl to the floor. If there are rounded caps over these you can pry these off using a flat-head screwdriver. Place these to the side so you’ll be able to easily locate them later.
Step 8: With the assistance of someone else, CAREFULLY lift the toilet from the floor. Turn the toilet upside down and gently shake it. Use your snake (or hanger) to try to dig out your jewelry from the toilet trap.
Step 9: Replace the old wax seal with a new one. Make sure to scrape both the floor and bottom of the toilet bowl off with a putty knife for any residue of the old seal.
Step 10: Line up your toilet bowl with the new seal and gently place it back on. Replace everything that you removed. Don’t tighten screws too much or you will break the porcelain on your bowl. Replace the water supply line and turn on your water supply valve.
Step 11: Flush the toilet several times to ensure that the seal is completely working. Clean up your area with a shop vac and use a little bleach to sanitize your toilet.
Hopefully you are lucky enough to get your ring back after removing your toilet. If this method doesn’t work or you don’t feel comfortable removing your toilet, call a professional plumber immediately. Although it may seem like all hope is lost, this isn’t the case. There have been instances where plumbers and sewer maintenance crews have been able to recover wedding rings and jewelry so don’t lose hope!!