Retrieving screwdriver from toilet drain pipe?

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Yes, I'm a dumbass. This has become quite apparent, so there's no need to remind me.
Long story short, I dropped a 10" screwdriver tip-first down an open 2nd floor toilet drain pipe, and it is now stuck at the base of a 45-degree bend just under the basement ceiling. I know it couldn't have gotten any further than this point, due to 2 sharp 90-degree bends that follow the 45-degree bend. Unfortunately, I can't see it from the drain opening because I can't look down the pipe due to a slight offset just past the toilet flange. Do you know of any specialized plumber's snakes or other tools that could be lowered into the pipe to grab the screwdriver somehow?
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You could probably take the magnet from a junk hard drive and put a piece of electricians fish wire on it to get down there and retrieve it.
Winston wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@localnet.com writes:

I'm not sure every homeowner has one of those junk hard drives, but I think that's a good suggestion.
If you haven't ripped open a broken hard drive, I recommend it. There are magnets in those things that are insanely powerful. Just be careful handling them. It's not hard to hurt yourself with them. You will pinch your fingers before you know it.
They aren't made to be opened, I found drilling out the security screws worked best.
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writes:

Or using a set of torx screwdrivers =)
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Presumably, you've already been through the obscenities, two glasses of scotch, and your wife doesn't know about this yet. I would get to Radio Shack to pick up the biggest donut-shaped magnet you think you can slip down the pipe without losing it. If the screwdriver's not tightly wedged, this should do the trick. To hold the magnet, I'd take a piece of 12 or 14 gauge 3-conductor house wire, strip it back, and pull out just one conductor. I've used that stuff as a snake in the past because it can be sort of shaped to get around bends. Just be damned sure you put enough twists in it so the magnet doesn't come loose. If you need something more flexible, use some good quality nylon rope, and use a real knot, like a bowline to fasten the magnet.
Good luck. Times eight.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

...
Assuming it's not cast iron drain, magnet has reasonable shot at it, otherwise may not be able to get it down there.
Don't guess there are any cleanouts anywhere closer? Perhaps it's time to install one--if it's plastic and an hour of fishing doesn't get it, it may be simpler to just make the cut and go get it and put either a cleanout or a coupling in to repair the damage.
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:Presumably, you've already been through the obscenities, two glasses of :scotch, and your wife doesn't know about this yet. I would get to Radio :Shack to pick up the biggest donut-shaped magnet you think you can slip down :the pipe without losing it. If the screwdriver's not tightly wedged, this :should do the trick. To hold the magnet, I'd take a piece of 12 or 14 gauge :3-conductor house wire, strip it back, and pull out just one conductor. I've :used that stuff as a snake in the past because it can be sort of shaped to :get around bends. Just be damned sure you put enough twists in it so the :magnet doesn't come loose. If you need something more flexible, use some :good quality nylon rope, and use a real knot, like a bowline to fasten the :magnet. : :Good luck. Times eight.
Sounds like good advice. I still have a real nice screwdriver I fished out of the bilge of a boat I was working on using a magnet attached to a nylon line as recommended. I was trying to get a different ferrous object out and the screwdriver came as an added bonus.
Of course, this will only work if your sewer pipe isn't cast iron or galvanized.
Good luck!
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Whenever I drop such a worthless item into the toilet I follow up by throwing in a few silver dollars or expensive jewelry. No way am I going to reach into the toilet for something worthless.
Ivan Vegvary
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Ivan Vegvary wrote:

I think he needs to get it out so future contributions can pass.
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I BELIEVE some plumbers have a camera for inspecting sewer lines with a claw to grab foreign objects..... might call around.
have you considered a bulldozer? level home and start over
i am sorry this stiory is priceless and after today i needed a good laugh
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Bulldozers are for babies. Douse the place with gasoline and break out the hot dogs.
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On Fri, 05 Jan 2007 21:40:02 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"
: :>I BELIEVE some plumbers have a camera for inspecting sewer lines with a :> claw to grab foreign objects..... might call around. :> :> have you considered a bulldozer? level home and start over :> :> i am sorry this stiory is priceless and after today i needed a good :> laugh :> : :Bulldozers are for babies. Douse the place with gasoline and break out the :hot dogs.
Oh, gee, now you're bringing back memories of Goodfellas and Office Space (pyromaniacal episodes in those flicks).
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Only marginally related, but if you haven't seen the movie "Snatch", go rent it. Amazing. You'll thank me.
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On Sat, 06 Jan 2007 14:48:24 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"
: :> :>I BELIEVE some plumbers have a camera for inspecting sewer lines with a :> :> claw to grab foreign objects..... might call around. :> :> :> :> have you considered a bulldozer? level home and start over :> :> :> :> i am sorry this stiory is priceless and after today i needed a good :> :> laugh :> :> :> : :> :Bulldozers are for babies. Douse the place with gasoline and break out :> the :> :hot dogs. :> :> Oh, gee, now you're bringing back memories of Goodfellas and Office :> Space (pyromaniacal episodes in those flicks). :> : :Only marginally related, but if you haven't seen the movie "Snatch", go rent :it. Amazing. You'll thank me.
I own it on DVD. Only watched it once, though, over two years ago. Have to rewatch it. Snazzy British comic action thriller with very snappy dialogue is my recollection. Very impressive.
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After I pulled the pump and pipe from my well, it felt as if the 6" casing was tugging at anything small and droppable until I covered it up. Funny how that works.
Big magnet. Rope. No problem. Dont' worry too much.
-rev
Winston wrote:

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The hard drive magnet will work if it's plastic pipe and the screwdriver isn't wedged in too well. Since you dropped it tip first, a big tripple fish hook might grab it if you are lucky or patient.
Bob
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I assume it's a cast iron pipe so a magnet is out of the question. Fabricate a three prong fish hook retrieving device. Take a similar screwdriver as a guide and apply the correct dimensions to the hooks in order to facilitate successful hooking. Measure the exact length of line you need to position the hook appropriately. Pretend you're fishing and eventually you'll hook the tool.
Then don't be a dumb ass again.
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snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

LOL!
It's a copper pipe, so I'm going to give the magnet a try first, then the hook.
Thanks for all the replies, everyone!
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Winston wrote:

Copper drains? Somebody has money to waste.

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wrote:

From early fifties to early seventies, 4" copper was standard issue in much of the country. Worked better than iron or galvanized, nobody used lead any more, and PVC or other plastics were just starting to be used, and not code-approved in many areas. For several years after PVC was allowed for drains, many areas still required copper feed lines. Properly installed, and in the absence of bad water or other chemical or galvanic weirdness, copper will basically last forever.
aem sends...
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