How to get a towel out of the toilet?

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Someone in the house who is not too bright accidentally flushed a towel down the toilet. Kind of like a "hand towel" or a large washrag. And they stupidly tried to use a plunger before realizing it was a towel stuck in there.
Anyway, any ideas on how we can get the towel out? Is there some sort of snake-like device with hooks or something that can grasp onto the towel?
The other toilets work, so at least the towel didn't go TOO far.
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On 5/27/2009 11:08 PM snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com spake thus:

You didn't say whether or not the toilet was clogged--is it? If not, I wouldn't sweat it; the towel will eventually clear your drain.
If it is clogged, you're not going to get the towel out, but probably push it through with a snake.
That's my guess, anyhow. IANAP.*
* I am not a plumber.
--
Found--the gene that causes belief in genetic determinism

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Yes, it is clogged. Hmm, if I manage to push it through, is it possible that it could get stuck again further in the system (like maybe if there are narrower pipes)?
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Yes, possible to clog further down the line. Drain snake should help you snag and remove the towel.
--
Christopher A. Young
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go get a closet auger that should work

Yes, it is clogged. Hmm, if I manage to push it through, is it possible that it could get stuck again further in the system (like maybe if there are narrower pipes)?
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I'd be more happy bending the tip of a closet auger, or drain snake. So as to catch the towel, and pull it back. Never know, the drain may be restricted some where farther down the pipe.
--
Christopher A. Young
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Maybe a reference too old for some in the group but.........
"Call Mister Rooter, that;s the name Just flush your problems down the drain Mister Rooter Mister Rooter
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You could try to snake it, with the goal of pulling the towel out of the toilet, not through. If you push the towel in and it gets stuck in the pipe somewhere, then you're in more trouble.
That said, it's not easy to snake the toilet because of the built-in P-trap.
You may have to remove the toilet to get to the towel. Hopefully it is still stuck in the toilet, not in the pipe.
Or you could try to find some chemical that dissolves cotton. It may take a while.
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This will do it, and a lot easier than pulling the toilet;
http://www.acehardwaresuperstore.com/cobra-economy-closet-auger-38d-x-3-6-p-26632.html?refB
HTH, Lefty
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Lefty wrote:

http://www.acehardwaresuperstore.com/cobra-economy-closet-auger-38d-x-3-6-p-26632.html?refB
toilet was clogged. All of the other drains worked fine. They said they had tried to push it out and fortunately they didn't. I pulled it and found a round plastic object in the trap. Best guess was their little nephew who was visiting tossed it in. If someone had succeeded pushing this into the drain stack it is pretty likely the next project would be to open the ceiling below and cut the stack open to remove the item.
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.
By the time you read all these posts you could have had it off and problem solved!
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LOL, nothing at all. You can skin a cat any way you'd like. As a pro though, I don't think I have ever spent as much time actually using the closet auger, as I have walking to the truck to get it. I doubt you can say that about pulling the entire closet. Also, using the auger costs nothing in consummables except the one rag I need so I don't have to touch anything nasty. If you like sticking your head down near where your tenents ass goes, THEN YOU GO RIGHT AHEAD.
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George wrote:

    Columnist Dave Barry relates in one of his books how he and some of his buddies decided to become Rich Through the Power of Rental Property.
    Since he had no other "skills", he was assigned the title of "Plumber on Call".
    Eventually they sold the property, poorer but wiser. After this period of late-night "emergency" calls, Dave reached the conclusion that there was some alien mother ship orbiting the Earth, beaming down mind control rays that only tenants can hear: "PICK UP A FOREIGN OBJECT, AND FLUSH IT DOWN THE TOILET. RIGHT NOW!!!"
    True conversation I (homeowner) had with a friend (lifetime renter):
"Ah, I can't, I'm broke." "How can you be broke? You own your house, you don't have to pay rent!" "I still have to pay $300 a month in property taxes." "Property tax? What the h@ll is *that*?" " I have to pay the city tax money every 3 months or they take my house." "Wha! That's crazy! That's *UNCONSTITUTIONAL*! You should *fight* that!!!"
    So, hey, landlords: That's what tenants think, that the hard-earned (or not) rent money they give you every month (or roughly, or maybe not) is free and clear, and you can run down to the corner bar and buy the house a round (or two). So, don't drink *too* much tonight, 'cause you might be making a late-night visit to Mr. P-trap.
--
PB
"I suspect you\'re an arrogant little pissant who grew up in the
Red Bull generation." - CJW
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wrote:

Yes, the device you want is called a closet auger. Any good hardware store should have them. Here is an article with a picture and describing its use. http://www.acmehowto.com/howto/homemaintenance/plumbing/clogs/how-to-use-closet-auger.php
Bill Ranck Blacksburg, Va.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

When I worked in a lab, one of my co-workers accidentally flushed a diaper down the drain.
His solution was to liberate about six pounds of Sodium hydroxide (Lye) from the lab and continue to dump the stuff in the commode. I think it worked and I'm pretty sure you don't need reagent grade...
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Lye decomposes diapers? That's a new one, to me. I thought they were mostly cellulose, so I'd expect to have to use sulphuric acid.
--
Christopher A. Young
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Real diapers are cotton.
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That's what he said, cellulose.
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On 5/28/2009 12:35 PM Larry The Snake Guy spake thus:

So how do we know the washcloth isn't polyester?
--
Found--the gene that causes belief in genetic determinism

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Could also be newspaper, toilet paper. I think paper is a little easier to dissolve. Cotton is not stiff, and the fiber is continious, not chunked together. It does not pull apart except with great strength. The OP keeps asking stupid questions. I think a PLUMBER is required or will be. Roto Router.
greg
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