Dropped dremel cutter down toilet drain

Discussion in 'Drain Cleaning' started by cpope, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. cpope

    cpope New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I read this forum too late, and missed out on the sage advice to plug the drain with a rag before attempting to cut off a broken toilet flange using a dremel cutter. Of course the bit fell out while cutting, and now I have the #402 mandrel with the 1 1/4" fiberglass reinforced cutting wheel attached to it somewhere down my drain. The toilet is on the second floor and the drain angles away towards the wall, which is about a foot or so away. I'm assuming that the cutter and mandrel are sitting somewhere near an elbow where the drain goes from the outside wall and into the slab. I've tried dropping a magnet tied to a string down the drain to see if I could fish it out, but have had no luck. Do you guys have any other ideas? Or should I just leave it in there and hope that it doesn't get stuck somewhere under the slab?

    Thanks,
    -Chuck
  2. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,705
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    You need one of these

    [​IMG]
  3. cpope

    cpope New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Thanks SewerRatz. I was going to head off to one of the big box HW stores to look for a stronger magnet to tie to my string, but that looks like it will work better since it looks like it will make it around elbows. Hopefully I'll have better luck fishing than I've had with plumbing.

    Thanks,
    -Chuck
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Tell you the truth given the size of the mandrel and the weakness of the disc I'd forget about it.
  5. cpope

    cpope New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Thanks Redwood - my fishing skills seem about as weak as my plumbing skills, so I might just take you up on that. Or, maybe it's the magnet that I bought at HD that's weak. They didn't have the device suggested by SewerRatz, so I bought the strongest magnet they had, which wasn't much. I'll see if I can scare up a stronger magnet tomorrow and give it one more shot.
  6. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,705
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    You get the one I suggested at a auto parts store, like Napa.
  7. cpope

    cpope New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Success!

    I was finally able to fish out that little dremel bit. It took a combination of the magnets I bought at HD and a small drain cleaner (like one of these
    http://www.cobraus.com/pics/90200_large.jpg)[​IMG]

    I tied some mason's line around the magnets and put a layer of strapping tape around them, but just dropping that down the drain wasn't paying off. I figured that there was another bend that the dremel bit fell past, but that the magnet wouldn't, so fished the drain cleaner down, hoping that it would push the magnet past the bend. Apparently that did the trick, and I'm now in possession of my dremel bit.

    This is a great site, and I appreciate all the help and good advice I found on here. Thanks again.

    Cheers,
    -Chuck
  8. FloridaOrange

    FloridaOrange Plumbing Designer

    Messages:
    1,317
    Location:
    SW Florida
    Accept for ocassionally dropping a bit I love using my Dremel.

    Nice save.
  9. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

    Messages:
    1,328
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Insert bit all the way, pull out 1/16" and then tighten up...won't loosen as easily. Dunno why, but it works.
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