Can a layman pull up a toilet herself?

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Old 02-15-09, 02:28 PM
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Can a layman pull up a toilet herself?

And get it back together?!

My two year old flushed a 2x3 inch pumice stone down the commode. I've used a snake but it gets jammed about a foot into it and I can't seem to budge the block in there no matter how much I push and twist the snake.

The plumber charges $119 to try the snake himself or $105 per hour to take the toilet off, take it outside, get the object out and then replace it. I'm a stay at home mom and my hubby is a teacher. That isn't the kind of money we have lying around.

I've had to replace the tank before when we had a crack. That was no problem, just took some time. But, the bowl is a little intimidating to me as there is still standing water and I don't want toilet water gushing all over the place.

1. Should we be able to do this ourselves or do we go with the plumber? Neither of us is very handy, but we are willing to learn.
2. Also, if the plumber does come out, how long should it take him to take it apart and put it together (so I can get an idea of how much).
3. And, since I can't get the snake to push this out, should I just assume he won't be able to either and start taking apart what I can (tank, etc.) so he has less to do when he gets here? We really need to save money, so we're willing to do as much of this as we can and are able.

Thanks so much for your help!
 
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Old 02-15-09, 02:41 PM
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Yes You Can! Pulling the toilet is not that big a deal...the problems can come with things you find as you are doing it. Leaking cutoff valves being one.


First things first though...you need to try and plunge the toilet with the correct type plunger and try and pull the stone back up. Don't try and force it through or you could be in a worse position. Use the plunger with the folding "cone" type lip...insert it and push slowly down, the forcefully pull back up. Repeat this 10 or more times before you give up. Most peop[le try and force things through...and for regular waste thats probably ok...but hard objects should try to be pulled back as I understand.

Don't know wheter trying to use a toilet auger would be a good idea in this case.....lets see what the Plumber dudes have to say.
 
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Old 02-15-09, 03:06 PM
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Thanks for the great advice! We tried a plunger on it (the kind that has the lip inside that spills more water out when you turn it on its side). It didn't help. On the other hand, it also didn't have a good suction going when we tried so we can try again. I'm just afraid the block is so far down there, it won't come back up. Thank you for the encouragement on the toilet removal if we resort to that.

Am open to all advice about this!
 
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Old 02-15-09, 03:14 PM
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Did you unfold the lip? As I seem to remember..thats what you want for toilets.
 
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Old 02-15-09, 04:12 PM
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BTW, we are in Texas. Is the rate we'll be charged if we do get a plumber out pretty expected? Again, teacher dad and sahm here!
 
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Old 02-15-09, 04:16 PM
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Sounds pretty common for the charge. I'm a DIY'er....wouldn't take me more than 30 min to remove and re-install a toilet. That doesn't include trying to remove any obstruction.
 
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