So, have I mentioned that Bixby flushed a train track down the toilet? Oh yes, he did. I was brushing my teeth, and in he runs and – BAM! – in goes the train track. I slammed the lid down, but before I could stop him, he flushed. I thought for sure it was too big to get flushed down. But oh, how wrong I was. We called Roto-Rooter, but even Mr. Plumber Dude couldn’t get the thing out. Even with the crazy looking contraption that made Bixby exclaim, “HE HAS A ROCKET!” when he came into the house. They wanted to charge over $400 bucks to remove the toilet, and even then the guy didn’t sound very confident that he would be able to remove the piece. I’m pretty sure “I’ll have to break the toilet” were his exact words. Ben wanted to try a DIY repair instead, so the following weekend we went for it. In case any of you have something similar happen, I decided it would be helpful to run through what ended up working for us, and perhaps you can spare yourselves a few hours of pain (and a useless plumber’s bill). Here is the blow-by-blow…
12 Steps to Remove a (REALLY) Stuck Toy from Your Toilet:
- Gather lots of old towels, a wrench, flashlight, toilet auger (we used this one), paint scraper, and a new wax ring.
- Turn off water to toilet!! There should be a knob near the base of your toilet to do this.
- Plunge out as much water from the bowl as you can.
- Remove the two bolts at the base of toilet.
- Pull the toilet straight up. It will be really, really heavy, and it may stick to the floor because it is attached at the bottom with a wax ring. Just pull really hard.
- Turn toilet upside down.
- Scrape all of the yucky old wax off the floor and the bottom of toilet with paint scraper.
- Look inside (use your flashlight) and see if you can spot the offending toy/whatever.
- Use your toilet auger to PUSH the object back the way it came; repeat until you get the blasted thing out.
- Heat up the new wax ring. Get a friend to help guide the toilet as you lower it onto the wax ring, lining up the bolts with the holes in the base of the toilet. DO NOT attempt this part alone!
- Press and wiggle toilet onto wax ring to set it.
- Tighten up bolts.
Let me tell you, this was not easy. Ben worked on that toilet all. day. long. We made several missteps. At first, we tried to snag the train track from the front of the toilet, but ended up pushing it in further (actually, I think the plumber got it really stuck trying to get it out the wrong way). Then we tried pulling it out from the bottom, but even when Ben snagged it, it wouldn’t budge. Next time (please, oh please let there not be a next time!!) I would skip right to pushing it out from the bottom.
I sincerely hope none of you ever need to take this advice, but there you go! :O And hey, we have a toilet that is un-stuck, doesn’t leak, and we only spent about ten bucks on supplies, so I think that’s not too shabby. And I’m super proud of Ben!