Dropped and flushed a lighter in the toilet: is it a problem? QUICK answer

You have dropped a lighter in the toilet and might wonder if it will break the toilet or drain. Let’s go over some steps to troubleshoot the situation. In most instances, it should work out just fine. If there are problems, we have discussed some solutions and steps that you can take.

Let’s get this fixed!

Step 1: Test the toilet

Flush the toilet a few times and see if it works properly. If the water is not flowing away, you will have to check the second step as toilets generally don’t unclog themselves.

If the water flows away, the lighter might be flushed away. It can create problems and clogs further down the drain though (such as in the main drain line). For this reason, it is important that you check that other drains in your house (such as the one of your shower and sink) keep working as well.

Clogs can build up over time and you will have to check to see if there are problems later on.

Step 2: Use a plunger or auger

If this doesn’t work, take out a plunger. You might consider wearing rubber gloves while doing this. Having a bucket and some towels nearby is also a great idea. Fill the toilet with water after you have put the plunger in place.

This will add more pressure once the clog has been removed. You might need to use quite a lot of force. Also, try it multiple times before giving up.

 Toilet plungers are different than sink plungers so make sure that you get the right one. Sometimes you can fold the plunger so that it works for both. Don’t apply too much pressure as this can break the toilet wax ring. If you notice that pushing a few times doesn’t work, you can try an auger and see if this works.

If that didn’t work, you can consider using a closet auger (see below). Wear gloves and goggles when you do this. This can push the clog further down your drains. Be careful when you do this as it can damage your drains if it is not done properly.

Furthermore, it can spray water out of the toilet. Most people shouldn’t do this. We have discussed how to use this here.

If the item is stuck in the toilet itself, you might have to remove it. This is done by loosening the screws that hold the toilet down. This is a messy job though and you will have to make sure that the toilet has been reinstalled correctly afterwards.

Step 3: Jetting, snaking  

If that didn’t work, you will probably have to call a plumber (we have discussed using a pressure washer below but this is a more advanced technique).  In some instances, they will have to remove the toilet as something is stuck inside of it. While you can do this yourself, it is important that you get the toilet back in place (don’t forget the wax ring!) and it is possible that this won’t fix the problem.

If you are handy, you can use a water jet or a drain snake, we will discuss this below. This is not for everyone as you can damage your drains if you don’t use it correctly.

If you have tried using a plunger multiple times, and it didn’t work you can consider getting an attachment for your pressure washer. Be careful when you do this and wear goggles. You have to make sure that the backsplash doesn’t flood your room.

In some instances you will have to drill a hole in It is possible that this can push the clog away. Removing the toilet can work as well but there is no guarantee and reinstalling them is quite challenging.

A cutter or drain snake might be used as well.  You can get snakes that are quite powerful, such as the one below. They can work on some clogs but you have to be careful as hard clogs can break it. This is why checking with a camera is a great idea.

Once again, you need protective equipment when you use this. There are also snakes that you can move by hand. They are not as powerful and might not be able to fix the issue. You can rent more powerful equipment in your local hardware store. This is the same gear that plumbers use. Read the instructions as it can break if you don’t use it properly. We have discussed this in detail here.

 If you are unable to unclog the toilet yourself, it is a good idea to call a professional for help.  

Step 4: call in a professional

Professionals have a camera that allows them to see what is going on. A common problem is that the item got stuck in the drain in the drainage system.

You are not going to fix this without professional equipment. Tree roots can be incredibly strong and you need a lot of water pressure to get them away. These cameras have lights and a recording function. This makes it possible to share the images with other people.

Plumbers have cameras that they can send into the toilet. This allows them to diagnose the problem. Once they know this, they can use water pressure or a cutter to remove the clog. Often this can be done in less than an hour.

 In some instances, they might have to dig up the drain to fix it. This can be quite expensive as it involves a lot of work. Luckily this is not often needed.

A lighter in the toilet is generally not a big problem. Just be careful that you don’t flush too many of them. It is quite common that people drop items in the toilet and flush them. Plumbers can often get the item out of the drains without too many problems. 

You might have accidentally dropped a lighter in the toilet. It is only after you have flushed the toilet that you notice this. Lighters can clog up a toilet as they don’t break down. Furthermore, they can also damage the drains of your toilet.

Avoid flushing lighters and other items down the drain as this can cause a lot of problems over time. Before you flush, always check the toilet bowl to see if there are items that shouldn’t be flushed at all.