When I was lifting off the old toilet a large chunk of plumbers putty/clay fell in the opening. (There was a huge amount under the toilet, and no wax that I could see.)

I tried using a vacuum to get it out and that just pushed it in deeper. I tried a "claw" extension grabber thingy, but it couldn't hold it.

Now it's deep enough I can barely see it.

What should I do?

  • 6
    Your toilet drain can take pretty large piece of crap... how much putty could you have dropped in there? – DMoore Feb 6 '14 at 3:28
  • I know that this will probably get removed and it is a good question, but that was pretty funny... – Jack Feb 6 '14 at 3:37
  • 1
    @DMoore Whoever installed the toilet used probably an entire 5lb tub of putty. But I managed to get the piece out using a long rod to slide it up (and then my hand), so I guess this question is moot. The reason I was concerned is that normal waste is all water soluble, but the putty is not, so I was worried it would just stay there (or lower down in the pipes). Same reason as not to flush wipes - they don't dissolve. – Ariel Feb 6 '14 at 6:33
  • 2
    now can someone tell me if my kids' matchbox cars will dissolve in water. ;) – Evil Elf Feb 11 '14 at 19:22
  • 1
    Please in the future don't try to vacuum things from you sewer lines. You could very easily suck up sewer gas. This not only smells terrible but it could possibly be flammable. – DBerend Aug 3 '15 at 10:51

Try a bent wire coat hanger to pierce and hook the putty. If you can't, does water still seem to drain? I would pour some water down there slowly to see if it's draining properly. You could even try boiling water which might make the putty more malleable and help flush it down.

Ultimately, if it's draining I don't think you need to worry about it. Just think about all the other things that get flushed down the toilet.

  • This is a very old question, I've long since gotten the putty out and everything works fine. Only small pieces were left and I assume they were flushed away. – Ariel Aug 14 '15 at 22:29

If the toilet was plumbed correctly, the pipe under the toilet should have a p-trap and a 3" pipe running off of that. You can get a cheap drain cleaner at Harbor Freight for $10. Run that down the drain and you should be golden. I assume you started with a plunger?

  • I don't think they usually put p-traps under toilets; toilets (at least in the US) include their own traps molded into the ceramic. – Daniel Griscom Dec 4 '15 at 2:23
  • You are correct. My mistake. I was thinking of showers. – Warren Benson Dec 7 '15 at 17:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.