ATLANTA (AJC)-Using a fiber-optic camera and hundreds of gentle nudges, Roto-Rooter serviceman Andrew Cook saved a Loganville woman from the anguish of an especially expensive flush.
Cook rescued the customer’s $4,000 diamond tennis bracelet from an underground sewer pipe Friday after the woman accidentally flushed the jewelry down her toilet.
“I’ve been doing plumbing for over 20 years,” Cook said Saturday, “and never had a job like this one.”
The customer, Cindy Edwards, called Roto-Rooter on Friday morning after the bracelet slipped off her wrist, landed in the master bathroom toilet with a clink and was flushed before she could fish it out.
“I knew it wasn’t a normal flushing sound,” Edwards said, ” but it took awhile to register with me that it had fallen off of my wrist.”
Cook arrived at the home later that morning and spent the next seven hours trying to ease the bracelet out of the pipe without losing it.
He pulled up the toilet and then pushed one of Roto-Rooter’s fiber optic sewer inspection cameras through the pipe to try and locate the sparkly item. When Cook finally found the bracelet, he nudged it slowly through the pipe with the head of the camera.
This went on for hours.
“You have to be careful,” Cook said. “If I pushed it too far, then I wouldn’t be able to get to it.”
Cook was eventually forced to flush the toilet a couple times to get the bracelet moving through the pipe when it got stuck. When the bracelet finally reached the house’s backwater valve — which shuts off the homeowner’s pipes from the city’s water supply — Cook was able to dig down in Edwards’ yard and retrieve the jewelry.
Had Cook flushed one more time or nudged the bracelet too far, by even a couple inches, the ring would have been “lost in the wild blue yonder.”
“Call it a royal flush,” Cook said. “On a scale of 1 to 100, in terms of luckiness, she was about a 99.”
Edwards was thankful that Cook was able to retrieved the bracelet, which she bought for herself about three years ago as gift following a divorce.
“It made me feel better,” she said. “I would’ve hated not to have it. I wear it everyday.”