Every industry has its crazy urban myths, and plumbing is no different – in fact, some of ours may be among the best.
We’re Triton Plumbing, and we’re well known in London Ontario for drain cleaning.
As toilet experts, we make sure we know exactly what’s going on with your toilet and how to handle those problems, no matter how crazy things get.
In the course of doing our jobs and doing our research, we’ve assembled some of the strangest things we’ve ever heard of getting flushed down a toilet.
As we get to our top 10, we wonder…why…why do people try flushing things that obviously don’t belong in toilets in the first place?
Your friendly PSA for the day is this: please only flush human waste and toilet paper down your toilets – everything else belongs in the garbage…or may require even more specialized waste disposal methods.
1. A Civil War Cannon Shell
Yes indeed, a US Civil War cannon shell was pulled out of a toilet in Mississippi that was probably manufactured back in the 1860s.
Most people hear this story and think it’s a collector who may have dropped a relic, until they hear that it was still a LIVE ROUND.
Obviously the specialized waste disposal method here involved the bomb disposal unit.
2. Bags Of Cannabis
Here in Canada, you no longer have to worry about it, but as recently as last year, people would sometimes feel the need to dispose of their stash quickly by flushing it.
Apparently, another common place for toilets to get backed up with weed bags is at airports – some folks decide last minute they’d rather not go through customs or security with their stash.
3. A Dead Squirrel
One Texas plumber came across a dead, bloated squirrel when called to handle a toilet issue.
This particular tree-dweller had gotten in through a vent in the roof, and had gotten stuck in the water pipes.
What a sad end to what was possibly just an attempt to find a warm, dry place to have a nap.
4. False Teeth
Not surprisingly, no one reported losing this item down the toilet – perhaps because they had zero intention of ever using them again after their final voyage.
In this case, the lodged item was a set of dentures that caused the backup in a public washroom, and was never claimed from lost and found.
5. Cell Phones
Cell phones are quite common, because people will often carry their phones in their back pocket, and forget to remove them before dropping their trousers.
When you’re in a public washroom with an automatic flusher, people will lose the phone and not be able to get it out in time before the mechanism whisks it away.
If only phones were fully waterproof, plumbers might get more requests to retrieve them for the victims, but there’s only so much a bag of rice can do.
6. An Easter Egg
In this case it wasn’t the Easter bunny leaving behind a treat for the plumber to find, but a young child who dropped it into the toilet by accident and flushed it down.
The hard-boiled purple egg lodged in the pipe and made it a tough job to get out afterward, but it finally cracked.
7. Medical Syringes
Plumbers don’t get danger pay, but there are definitely dangerous sides to the job; one of these is when they get called on to remove medical syringes.
Most plumbers will wear gloves, and usually equipment does most of the work in removing these items, but accidents do happen, and precautions must be taken.
However, from every plumber to everyone out there who uses them: please don’t flush your syringes –most public washrooms nowadays even have a syringe disposal unit.
8. Expensive Jewellery
Another culprit of the automatic flush, there was once a woman who had to call a plumber to save her $10,000 bracelet that fell off her wrist while she was on the loo.
She claimed her husband would kill her if he found out she’d lost it, and the charms on it held great sentimental value – so it was a very happy ending when her knight in shining armour (aka the friendly plumber) was able to remove the toilet and fish it out of the pipes for her.
The story of the wig comes from a nightclub that had a drag queen act.
One night, from one clogged toilet came a synthetic red wig – the plumber on duty rinsed it off and hung it up, forgetting to tell anyone about it.
The following week, one of the stars of the show performed in that wig, completely unaware of its last known location. I’m thinking it’s best we don’t let her know about it either.
One airport plumber was called to fix a backup in one of the terminals, and pulled out a bag full of seashells – with a family photo included.
After rinsing it off, the plumber reportedly turned it into the airport lost and found, hoping the family might pick up the keepsake of their obviously-lovely holiday.
Contact Triton Plumbing & Service
We hope you enjoyed those examples of what NOT to do with your toilet, and encourage you to not try those at home.
However, if you find yourself in a plumbing conundrum, please know that we are always there to help you recover your lost item.
Call now to meet with a Triton plumber, or get a consultation on plumbing work you need done.