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 Bar of soap flushed down toilet
Author: tcalcaterra (NJ)

My 2 year old flushed a bar of soap from Bath and Body works down the toilet 3 days ago. The toilet is flushing better now then it did the first day, however, the water is still very slow in going down the drain. We have not flushed anything down the toilet (other then the toilet water itself) since this occurred to avoid a big blockage. The two other toilets in the house are fine. My belief is that the soap is breaking down over time and therefore relieving the blockage. Plunging has not cleared the bar of soap and I do not want to force it into the main pipes. Since the bar of soap was a hard bar that can take sometime to breakdown, I was wondering if anybody knew of a solvent that can be dumped down the toilet to dissolve the bar of soap quickly and safely (I have a septic system). Any help is appreciated.

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 Re: Bar of soap flushed down toilet
Author: e-plumber (NY)

It's going to take some time for the soap to breakdown, it could be many days or weeks. If a plunger will not pull it out and if you empty the bowl water and it does not float down, I would suggest hiring a Plumber to either attempt to retrieve it with a toilet auger or worst case scenario flip over the toilet and knock it out with the auger, the way it went in.

e-plumber
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"The society which scorns excellence in Plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an
exalted activity will have neither good Plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." -
John William Gardner 10/8/1912 - 2/16/2002

Repair your leaking Plumbing fixtures ASAP [www.theplumber.com]
This slow drip will waste 7+ gallons of water per day.

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 Re: Bar of soap flushed down toilet
Author: OldPete

If you have other toilets in the house the last thing on the planet I would do is call a plumber for something as simple as this.

You have a few choices. Figure the bar of soap (depending on the size of it) is most likely (I'll say 90%) stuck in the trap withing the toilet base itself (not in the pipe below the floor). With that being said the bar of soap may or may not be soaked in water.

If it is soaked in water is will slowly disolve - that is what soap does. If it isn't then we need to know if you can flush the bowl without it over-flowing. IF the answer is yes, you could flush it a few times a day - enough to keep the bar wet and hence the break-down keeps occuring.

Now, the last option is dependent on how handy you are with a few basic tools... basically we (I) would need to know more about your toilet (one piece, two piece, etc.). In the end, even you've never done something like this before, you should be able to do it in a couple house - tops. Now, this last option is only dependant on a) how long can you do without the toilet and b) how handy you are.

Good Luck,

Pete

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 Re: Bar of soap flushed down toilet
Author: e-plumber (NY)

"If you have other toilets in the house the last thing on the planet I would do is call a plumber for something as simple as this."

I've had customers request my service for much more simpler things than this.
You'd be surprised what people consider important when it comes to their Plumbing.

e-plumber
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The society which scorns excellence in Plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an
exalted activity will have neither good Plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." -
John William Gardner 10/8/1912 - 2/16/2002

Repair your leaking Plumbing fixtures ASAP [www.theplumber.com]
This slow drip will waste 7+ gallons of water per day.

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 Re: Bar of soap flushed down toilet
Author: ev607797 (VA)

I wonder if dumping several buckets full of hot water would soften the bar enough for it to move or at least speed up the dissolving process. It can't hurt the pipes and may save you some time.

Just shut off the water supply so there's no cold water to dilute your hot water. Flush it so the bowl is empty, then pour as much hot water down as your hot water heater will give you and see if that does anything.

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 Re: Bar of soap flushed down toilet
Author: e-plumber (NY)

Hot water can and probably will crack the bowl instantly, NOT a good idea.

e-plumber
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The society which scorns excellence in Plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an
exalted activity will have neither good Plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." -
John William Gardner 10/8/1912 - 2/16/2002

Repair your leaking Plumbing fixtures ASAP [www.theplumber.com]
This slow drip will waste 7+ gallons of water per day.

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 Re: Bar of soap flushed down toilet
Author: OldPete

Hot Hot water... might be a problem.

Warm, almost hot water... you'll be fine.

Pete

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 Re: Bar of soap flushed down toilet
Author: e-plumber (NY)

Personally, I wouldn't take that chance...

e-plumber
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The society which scorns excellence in Plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an
exalted activity will have neither good Plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." -
John William Gardner 10/8/1912 - 2/16/2002

Repair your leaking Plumbing fixtures ASAP [www.theplumber.com]
This slow drip will waste 7+ gallons of water per day.

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 Re: Bar of soap flushed down toilet
Author: redwood (CT)

Hot water can crack the toilet and melt the wax seal causing it to lose its effectiveness as a seal. DON'T DO IT!

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 Bar of soap flushed down toilet
Author: Wheelchair (IL)

Good Intentions, often cause more damage than doing nothing at all.

You have time on your side. You have a septic system.
Solvents and Enzymes may affect the microbic action in your septic system.

The fastest resolve, is removing the toilet and extracting the bar of soap. It should be much smaller by now.

Again, you have time. Flush the offending toilet once or twice a day and see what happens. You have time on your side.

Best Wishes

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 Re: Bar of soap flushed down toilet
Author: redwood (CT)

A closet auger properly used will break up or retrieve the bar of soap. They are available from our forum sponsor. I would personally recommend the 3' deluxe model for around $40, avoid the econo model as it does not have enough strength to do the job. Or, call in a plumber to do it.

Link to forum sponsors closet auger page:
[www.plumbingsupply.com]

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 Re: Bar of soap flushed down toilet
Author: e-plumber (NY)

I prefer to use the General closet auger with the large bulb end, I find that it will negotiate tight toilet trapways and grab onto and retrieve stuck objects better than the regular type of end, (like the one pictured in the link).

e-plumber
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The society which scorns excellence in Plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an
exalted activity will have neither good Plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." -
John William Gardner 10/8/1912 - 2/16/2002

Repair your leaking Plumbing fixtures ASAP [www.theplumber.com]
This slow drip will waste 7+ gallons of water per day.

Reply To This Message

 Re: Bar of soap flushed down toilet
Author: Wilma C (IL)

I dropped a new bar of Dove soap in the toilet instead of getting it out I flushed the toilet because I did not want to stick my hand inside (I had no rubber gloves). I still used the toilet without any mishaps, instead of calling a plumber for something so simple let the current of the water dissolve the bar of soap. After periodically flusing the toilet it will dissolve but not as quickly as you may want.

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 Re: Bar of soap flushed down toilet
Author: tcalcaterra (NJ)

Pete-
The toilet is a two piece. The tank is connected to the bowel by 4 screws. After flushing, the water does eventually go down the drain. It is just slow. I do not "need" to use the toilet as I have two others. This just happens to be the only toilet on the main floor. What was your final suggestion if I wanted to speed the process? You said that I could use some simple tools to fix the issue but then the communication was cut off.
Tim

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 Re: Bar of soap flushed down toilet
Author: redwood (CT)

Normal order of operations in clearing a clogged toilet:

1 Attempt to clear toilet by using a plunger (this will not help with a bar of soap stuck in the trapway)

2 Attempt to clear toilet using a closet auger (this may help but has not been tried yet) estimated time to do about 15 minutes.

3 Shut off water supply, remove all water from toilet tank and bowl, remove water supply tube, unbolt toilet base from flange, lift toilet from floor, using whatever tools necessary to get the bar out of the trapway (tools include closet auger, flashlight, small mirror and others. Then reinstall toilet estimated time 1.5 - 2.5 hours, depending on how difficult it is to remove.

4 Replace toilet

can you see the logic as to cost and time spent on this order of operations?

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 Re: Bar of soap flushed down toilet
Author: OldPete

Shut off water supply

(Turn Valve under tank @ wall or floor) -- if it isn't siezed open this should take 2 minutes.)

remove all water from toilet tank and bowl

(Flush toilet after you turn the water off - use a shop vac to empty rest of tank that doesn't go down bowl.)

(Shop vac for left over water in bowl too)

(10 minutes, including time to carry shop vac up from basement and dump water)

remove water supply tube

(do this at base of toilet tank. should only be on a hair over hand tight or hand tight. may need wrench. 5 minutes)

unbolt toilet base from flange, lift toilet from floor, using whatever tools necessary to get the bar out of the trapway

(this assumes you feel comfortable to do this with the tank attached to the bowl... if you don't then seperate the bowl from the tank.) (if done as one piece, 10 minutes - two pieces 20 minutes... you want to use A LOT of care with these bolts since you can crack the bowl if you tightedn instead of loosen by mistake. It's gay, but remember -- lefty loosy, righty tighty... like I say, gay, but it'll keep you from breaking your bowl!)

tools include closet auger, flashlight, small mirror and others. Then reinstall toilet estimated time 1.5 - 2.5 hours, depending on how difficult it is to remove.

(You may be able to see bar, you may not. But you'll feel it with whatever you use to snake around in there... once you find/feel/see it, duh, pull it out.)

4 Replace toilet

(get a new wax seal while you're at it... get the best one the big-box store has... follow instructions on box seal comes in. Key with putting it back is seating it level and tightening it just right. BE PATIENT and work carefully (30 minutes since I want you to take your time!!!)

can you see the logic as to cost and time spent on this order of operations?

(I have no idea what this means. I do know that if you can read, use google, and think logically, you can do this job and take your family out to dinner with the money you save. That, and you'll be able to say YOU fixed it!)

And THAT is what a DIY forum is all about!

;-) Cheers

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 Re: Bar of soap flushed down toilet
Author: e-plumber (NY)

Might not be so 'simple' with a 2 year old running around...

Suggestion to help prevent it in the future: Toilet lid locks.

e-plumber
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The society which scorns excellence in Plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an
exalted activity will have neither good Plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." -
John William Gardner 10/8/1912 - 2/16/2002

Repair your leaking Plumbing fixtures ASAP [www.theplumber.com]
This slow drip will waste 7+ gallons of water per day.

Reply To This Message

 Re: Bar of soap flushed down toilet
Author: redwood (CT)

Shut off the water- Oh No! angle stop valve shot won't shut off.

Turn off main valve for house to replace angle stop and disconnect toilet.

Remove the toilet to clear the object. Oh No! The bolts ripped out of the hole on the rusted flange or, the bolts just turn and don't loosen. Repair the flange or. cut off the spinning bolts

Get the object out or replace the toilet.

Replace bad angle stop valve.

Reinstall the toilet. (new supply, wax seal, bolts)

Turn main back on. Oh No! It was an old gate valve and it broke... It is stuck in the off position. Call the water company to get the water to the house shut off. Replace the main valve...

Why open the can of worms! Auger the toilet!

I recently had a customer that had all this go wrong when they removed a toilet to get something out that a child had thrown in a toilet. The icing on the cake was the object was still in the toilet and all I did for that was stand the toilet back on the flange and auger the toilet. All the additional work was bad for them and very good for me.

Absolutely do not take the 2 pc toilet apart at the tank to bowl connection and be careful not to jar the connection between the tank and bowl you don't need to add that to the can of worms.

If you had called a plumber to auger the toilet yesterday it would be done by now!



Edited 2 times.

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 Re: Bar of soap flushed down toilet
Author: OldPete

I guess you have to eat too.

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 Re: Bar of soap flushed down toilet
Author: dlh (TX)

it is not always a question of us having to eat or not. it is a matter of they could have it done cheaper and faster unless they are lucky and nothing that redwood says happens and they can actually get the bar of soap out, but they are still wasting alot of time without the toilet even if they have others.

i am not as young as i once was, but not that old either and running upstairs everytime i need to use the bathroom would be a pain worth getting it fixed asap

- - - - - - -

PLUMBERS "Protecting The Health Of The Nation"

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 Re: Bar of soap flushed down toilet
Author: jdstokes3 (CA)

I just learned from experience that the way to get rid of that bar of soap is to use hot water. Shut off the gate valve that fills the toilet and flush the toilet from this point on fill the tank manually with hot water, than flush after tank empties use a plunger to force agitation of water left in the bowl. This will take a while for the hot water to start to break down the soap. It took me seven tank fills before the toilet started to show signs of clearing. I had a pretty good sized bar of soap to break down so, you will have to be patient but, the hot water will finally cut through the soap.

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 Re: Bar of soap flushed down toilet
Author: jesseface (TX)

Muahahahahahahahaha! 2 cups of bleach in the bowl, flush (1.6 gal flush). 2 more cups of water in the bowl, flush. Plumbing auger should bring back signs of melted soap. Repeat to taste. BTW bleach is does half the work in liquid plumber & as long as you don't need to worry about septic systems I bet you'd rather be playing with a more sterile drain...









Muahahahahahahaha!

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