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Tips for Retrieving a Ring From a Toilet

Has the unthinkable happened? It felt like it all transpired in slow motion. Your ring slipped off your finger at the exact same time you hit the flush button.

It’s not exactly a moment when you want to thrust your hands into the bowl to retrieve your ring. Your only chance of retrieval is grabbing some gloves and praying to the gods that the weight of your jewellery was heavy enough not to get swept away.

Even if you can’t see your ring in the bowl, you don’t need to call your insurer or jump online to purchase a replacement yet. Instead, follow these helpful tips when something precious accidentally gets flushed down the toilet.

Don’t Double Flush

The absolute worse thing you can do is hit the flush button again. You might be tempted to see if your ring did actually go down the drain. But if the flush didn’t get it the first time, it’s likely your item will get washed away on the second one.

It’s even more likely that if you flush your toilet again that it will get pushed even farther down the drainpipe. Then you’ll never be able to retrieve it and will need to look at getting the ring replaced.

Turn Off the Water Supply

To reduce your chances of flushing your ring further away from you, turn off your water supply. There’s no need to go to the water supply outside. Look for a valve behind the toilet and below the tank.

It’s also worthwhile emptying the cistern out as well. Lift off the lid and use a cup to scoop the water out. This way, if your finger accidentally slips on the button, there’s nothing to flush anything away. Just make sure to refill it when you’re finished by turning the valve back on.

Go Fishing

Luck might be on your side if you have an older toilet or if you pressed the half flush button. But there’s only one way to find out. Grab some gloves and feel around the bowl to see if you can grab it.

If you don’t feel like sticking your hand in a toilet bowl, even with gloves on, then grab a coat hanger or some other kind of wire that can potentially hook onto the ring. You need to be extra careful with this device as you don’t want to push it even further down the drain.

Remove the Toilet and Give it a Shake

The absolute last resort is to remove the toilet completely to see if your ring is still in the system. If you’re going to go down this path, you’ll need to ensure that all of the water is removed from it, including inside the bowl.

If you still see remnants of water and a cup isn’t working, then grab a sponge and soak up the remaining liquid. It’s a good idea to lay down some towels around the toilet so that you don’t slip and water doesn’t spill everywhere.

Begin by removing the tank. You can do this by unscrewing the two bolts underneath it. Carefully lift it and move it away from the work area. If you’re not too embarrassed, have a friend help you raise it so that you don’t have another accident.

Remove the toilet seat next. There should be two bolts underneath it that you can unscrew by hand. Move this out of the work area as well.

Now it’s time to remove the toilet bowl itself. Look for the screws that connect it to the floor. There should be some round caps at its base that you can take off. Put these in a safe place as you don’t want to lose these or the screws that come with them as you won’t be able to reconnect the toilet later.

Slowly lift it and look for the curved pipe that runs along the side of the bowl. Give it a shake and listen out for a rattle. If you have a friend helping you, get them to give you a hand turning it upside down. Give the piping a bit of a shake to try and dislodge the ring.

Hopefully, when you turn it back upright, your ring is lying on the ground, waiting for you to give it a thorough clean and placed back on your finger. If you don’t see it anywhere or don’t hear a rattle, then it’s time to make the call.

Bring in the Experts

If your ring does accidentally get flushed down the toilet, there’s no reason to panic immediately. If you have an older system, then there’s a chance that the weaker flush wasn’t enough to send it entirely down the drain. It might be a dirty job to get your hands back on it, but it’s not mission impossible.

Instead of snapping on a pair of gloves yourself, why not call in the experts to retrieve your ring? All Day Plumbing are experts in drains, showers, and toilets and can ensure that if anything needs to get altered in your bathroom to retrieve your item, it will get put back exactly how you remembered it. Contact us today, and we’ll have your ring back on your finger in no time.