PHOENIX (AP) - Just a case of plumb luck.
It took a plumber to retrieve a woman's 7-carat diamond ring
after city workers failed in efforts to flush the gem out of the
pipes of a restaurant toilet.
The $78,000 engagement ring fell from Allison Berry's hand when
she flushed the toilet in the restroom of the Black Bear Diner on
Jan. 14. The ring plopped in and the water whisked it away, said
Elena Castelar, the restaurant's shift manager.
City workers opened a pipe outside the restaurant and
continuously flushed the toilet, hoping to push the ring out to the
opening. When that didn't work, the city called the office in
suburban Tempe of Mr. Rooter, a plumbing services franchise based
in Waco, Texas.
"This is going to be like dredging for a treasure chest in the
ocean," Mike Roberts, general manager of Mr. Rooter, said at the
Roberts guided a tiny video camera into the pipe with an
infrared light attached. He eventually spotted the ring just 3 feet
down and 5 feet over from where it was flushed.
Then it took an hour-and-a-half of jackhammering and pipe
removal before Roberts and a technician could recover the ring,
eight hours after it fell in the toilet.
"They always say diamonds are a girl's best friend. In this
case, a plumber is a girl's best friend," Roberts said. "She was
just so excited, she had tears in her eyes. She gave us a hug and
said 'Thank you so much."'
The Mr. Rooter bill came to $5,200 and the city's bill was
Berry, of Eureka, Calif., and her fiance also tipped Roberts and
the technician $400 each and gave $200 to a diner employee for
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)