It’s inevitable if you have children or pets – something, at some point, will get stuck in your toilet. A stuffed toy, a phone, clothes, something will get flushed down the toilet and get stuck halfway. Luckily, there are ways to get these objects removed safely.
Here are a few useful tips, tools, and tricks to help you dislodge whatever has ended up stuck in your toilet trap.
Remove an Object From Your Toilet Trap Methods
Use the Plunger
The most basic solution, and thus the first one you should try, is using the toilet plunger. Since an object is stuck and you don’t want to accidentally have it flush further into your plumbing system, there are a couple of steps to take.
First, turn off the toilet water supply valve. This is usually located directly behind your toilet. Turning off this valve will help to keep the object from slipping further into your plumbing, and will have the added effect of preventing more of a mess that needs to be cleaned up afterward.
Once the valve is off, position your toilet plunger and press down firmly. Pull and push the plunger and be careful not to lose suction in the process. If this method doesn’t work, it’s time to try something a little more involved.
Using a Plumber’s Snake or a Closet Auger
You’re going to want gloves for this method, and probably some long sleeves, too. It can be messy.
Slide the plastic piece of the auger down along the spring. After that, you’ll have to position the auger into the toilet bowl. With the auger in position, turn the handle clockwise and begin slowly pressing down.
Soon, you’ll feel the lodged object. When you do, start turning the handle counterclockwise. Start pulling up at this point, and be careful not to accidentally force the object back into, or further into, the toilet as you work.
With any luck, this will be the most involved method you have to use, but if not, it’s time to remove the toilet.
Removing the Toilet Trap
Not everyone is comfortable with this method or what it involves. If you aren’t comfortable removing your toilet to get the object out, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber.
If you are comfortable, however, you’ll want to turn off your toilet water valve. Directly following that, flush your toilet. This will get all of the excess water out of the bowl and tank. Once the toilet has been drained, it’s time to unbolt the toilet from the floor.
You may want to have someone help you with this, both because of the positioning of the bolts and because sometimes they can be particularly stubborn. You will definitely want assistance once the bolts are off, to lift the toilet off the ground.
Once the toilet is up, use your snake to remove the object by pushing it back through the trap and into, and subsequently out of the toilet bowl. While you have everything taken apart, remember that this may be a good time to replace the old wax ring under our toilet with a new one.
Once finished, return the toilet to its original upright position. Tightly secure the bolts back in place, and once everything is back to where it belongs, turn the valve back on.