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Thread: HELP! Toilet bolt fell down Waste Pipe

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member dy's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    Default HELP! Toilet bolt fell down Waste Pipe

    Ok, my goal was to replace the wax ring...well because the toilet is so difficult to align with the bolts, the toilet shifted and knocked one of the bolts down the waste pipe. I do not see the bolt in the pipe. My shop vac isn't to powerful to retrive it.
    Any suggestions on how I can the bolt out of the waste pipe? I wouldn't want to leave it, as it could destroy the whole plumbing system and cause blockage.

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Go to a hardware store and buy a dounut magnet. Tie a string to it and drop it down the waste pipe. Hopefully you'll be able to retrieve the bolt.

    Alternatively, remove the magnet from an old audio speaker. Magnets from 8" speakers are quite strong. Put it in a woman's nylon stocking and tie a string securely to the stocking, then cut the excess stocking off.

    Good luck,
    HRG

  3. #3
    In the Trades ilya's Avatar
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    Code requires brass bolts. Magnet no workee. And if your closet bend is Iron you'll lose the magnet, too-it'll grip harder than the nylon can hold.Never fear-this will NOT destroy the whole plumbing system. Buy a new set of bolts and a pair of brass or stainless nuts. Install the bolts thru the flange, tighten down the extra nuts over said flange to lock the bolts in place and your golden. But I'm not sure how that bolt went into the pipe in the first place. It probably went below the subfloor into the space between the joists- or your flange is totally wasted.
    Last edited by ilya; 12-28-2010 at 08:26 PM.
    not a licensed plumber

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ilya View Post
    Code requires brass bolts. Magnet no workee. Never fear-this will NOT destroy the whole plumbing system. Buy a new set of bolts and a pair of brass or stainless nuts. Install the bolts thru the flange, tighten down the extra nuts over said flange to lock the bolts in place and your golden. But I'm not sure how that bolt went into the pipe in the first place. It probably went below the subfloor into the space between the joists- or your flange is totally wasted.
    The bolts holding down both of our toilets were coroded when I had to remove them many years later, so I thought they were steel bolts. Didn't know brass bolts also corode. Thanks for setting me straight.

    HRG

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The old ones could be steel (maybe brass plated), but normally still won't cause a big problem...the pipe is large, the bolt is small.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    ALL bolts meet code, whether brass or brass plated steel. Unless there is a leak, even the plated ones will NOT rust, and brass ones do NOT rust, although they can get a coating on them if there is a leak.

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