Keeping Your Plumbing Flowing Smoothly

If you deal with plumbing clogs on a regular basis, you might find yourself struggling with bent wire hangers, chemical drain cleaner, and unfamiliar pipes. Unfortunately, unless you are a trained professional, all of your efforts might be in vain. Most people don't realize it, but it is possible to damage your plumbing by making a few missteps. If you use the wrong chemicals or you push a little too hard, you might end up dealing with damaged pipes or your clogging problem could get worse. Fortunately, you might be able to use this blog to help you to keep your plumbing flowing smoothly.

How To Retrieve A Flushed Cell Phone In Less Than Thirty Minutes


Your new water resistant cell phone has been put to the ultimate test. Your toddler has just flushed it down the toilet, or maybe you were texting or streaming while otherwise engaged and dropped it mid-flush (no time for judgment here-this is a time for action).

Most newer water resistant cell phones can remain fully submerged for up to thirty minutes with no damage, and it's entirely possible that the cell phone is stuck in the trap in the toilet drain line. Your mission: to retrieve it in thirty minutes or less.

Your first thought is likely to include the phrases " stick my arm into the toilet?" quickly followed by "a plumber near me". If you have a local plumber that has performed services for you in the past, you can always try to call to see if they are in the area and can perform an emergency cell phone extraction. If not, it's time to get busy.

Taking the plunge

Your first step will be to reach down into the drain trap to feel for the phone. Your toilet drain is designed to trap potential clogging agents. Directly beyond the bottom of the bowl, the drain curves upward, then downward again to empty into the floor drain. You will be required to reach into the bowl and stick your hand down into the drain opening, then slightly upward to determine if the phone is stuck at the top of the drain trap.

If you cannot feel it, it may then be stuck at the apex of the curve at the top of the drain trap, so you will need to remove the toilet and approach it from the bottom of the drain.

What do you need to remove the toilet?

Flat head screwdriver

Adjustable wrench

Paper towels or rags for water absorption

Removing the toilet

You will first be required to turn off the supply valve to the toilet, then empty the tank as much as possible by flushing the toilet a few times. Absorb any remaining water from the tank and bowl with rags or sponges. You can then use your wrench to disconnect the supply line from the bottom of the tank, then use the screwdriver to loosen the two bolts that secure the toilet to the floor.

You can then lift the toilet from the floor. Place it on its side so you can reach inside the drain pipe to feel for your phone. If it is lodged inside, you may need to wiggle it until it can be dislodged and removed from either the top or bottom of the drain. A larger cell phone will likely be snagged inside the trap because it wouldn't be able to navigate through the contours of the trap design.

If the phone is not there, just keep the toilet disconnected and call a residential plumber, because it will need to be removed from the drain line beyond the floor drain.

Restoring the toilet

Hopefully, you fought back panic and found your phone within the thirty-minute deadline. Now you need to restore the toilet. You'll need a new wax ring, which provides a seal between the toilet and the floor drain. You'll also need to roll of Teflon tape to restore the supply line to the toilet, and a stick level to restoring the toilet in a level position. When you go to buy these supplies, stuff a rag into the floor drain to keep sewer gases out of your home.

You'll also need to clean all of the remnants of the old wax ring from the floor drain and the bottom of the toilet. When this is completed, remove the rag from the floor drain and place the new wax ring onto the bottom flange of the toilet drain Next, press the toilet onto the floor drain. You may need to rock the toilet gently until it is fully seated and leveled, using the stick level.

You will then wrap a few layers of Teflon tape around the threaded connection at the bottom of the toilet, then connect the supply line, tightening the connecting nut securely with the wrench.

Turn on the supply valve and your task is complete. You can then use your rescued cell phone to tell all of your friends about your adventure. It may be best to wash it first. Contact a residential plumber for more information and assistance. 


18 July 2017