cell phone down toilet -- help

b_croc1079July 14, 2007

I am pretty sure my cell phone got flushed down the toilet -- please don't laugh. The toilet flushes slowly but still flushes...other toilets in the house are fine.

I have several questions for advice:

(1) is it likely that the phone is in the trap in the toilet? I tried poking around with a coat hanger but couldn't really tell and I'm afraid to use a snake for fear of wedging it in further.

(2)If so, what would be the best way to get it out? The toilet has it's own clean out plug and I first thought that maybe pushing a snake UP would dislodge the phone -- would this work? The other option I guess would be to take up the toilet?

(3) Regarding the clean out plug..it does not have a 'nut' on the end that I can turn with a wrench. Instead it has a recess, sort of like for a flat head screwdriver only much bigger. Do you need some special tool to get this thing out or how do you uncrew it?

thanks very much for any advice you can give.

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The only trap on a toilet is in the toilet itself. If a cell phone were there, you'd almost certainly be able to see it in the bottom of the bowl. If the toilet flushes normally, the cell phone has probably passed through the trap.

If the phone went through the trap in the toilet, then it has fallen into the soil line and has likely been sluiced into the sewer main. This is especially likely if your soil lines are plastic, which are relatively smooth and less likely to snag anything passing through them. Most soil lines are 4" in diameter, so a cell phone isn't likely have any problem passing or to cause an obstruction that would prevent waste from flowing through.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 2:16AM
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Unfortunately, a cell phone dropped in water is usually only useful as a paper weight afterwards. I know because I have had both of my daughters drop one in for a few seconds (phone in back pocket, pants lowered...you get the picture. In addition, the phones have an indicator that shows if they've been exposed to moisture, so you're unlikely to get a free replacement once your provider examines it.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 12:57AM
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Sometimes electronics can dry out. Could you shut the water off, flush everything out, wait a day or two then call the phone and listen for a ring?

Seriously, its likely gone but you say it flushes slow. Do you mean slower than before it fell in?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 12:29PM
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if it ain't out of there within a few seconds, even if it dries out chances are it is never going to work properly again. my headset broke once and i had to hold my phone to my ear for 2 hours straight while working in a 100+ degree building. my sweat killed the phone. older phones, or other electronics for that matter, were a little better about surviving water than newer ones. the micro circuitry on modern devices prevents you from getting the mineral deposits out from under the chips. it may work fine for a few days, but crystals and corrosion continue to grow and then BOOM it is dead.

pull the toilet and see if it is lodged in teh trap in the base. if not, then snake hte line to see if you can push it thru. i doubt it hung up though, as you say all other plumbing fixtures work fine.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 1:57PM
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Gives new meaning to the term "dropped call" and "crappy reception"...

Okay seriously now.

Assuming that you understand that the phone is toast, the problem now is how to fix the toilet. Take the toilet up and I feel certain that you will find the phone in the trap of the toilet. If you don't feel comfortable doing this, call a plumber. It won't be the first time.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 4:52PM
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I once had a pager fall into the toilet while it was flushing. And it still flushed after that but more slowly. It was caught in the trap. Most likely so is your cell phone. You need to remove the toilet from the floor and look. Mine was wedged in pretty good but our plumber managed to get it out. Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 10:48AM
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My cell is stuck in my toilet how can I get. It out without. Pulling. My toilet up

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 9:13PM
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