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Four Steps to Retrieve Valuables Dropped Down Your Sink | Mr. Rooter Bergen County, NJ

It happened so quickly – one moment, you were washing your hands, brushing your teeth, or otherwise utilizing your kitchen sink. The next, you hear the clatter of a small item disappearing down the drain. Whether you’ve lost a valuable item like a ring or earring, or a small toy or other object, it’s important to retrieve the item to prevent sink clogs.

How to Retrieve Items From Your Sink

If you’ve dropped something down your sink drain, do your best to retrieve it quickly before gravity or more water rushing down your drain pushes the item into your plumbing system. Follow these simple steps for retrieval:

  1. Shut off the water. First, you’ll need to turn off the water to prevent flooding from occurring as you disassemble your sink. You can turn the water off by flipping the under-sink shutoff valve, or by turning off the main water supply. This step also prevents additional water from pushing your item too far into the pipe.
  2. Take off your drain plug. Remove your drain plug to see if you can spot your item. Prop it open with an object and look under your sink to find the horizontal arm that attaches the plug to the plunger. Disconnect the two, taking care to note the assembly so you can reconnect them later.
  3. Attempt to retrieve your item. If you can see your item at this point, use a small grasping tool or magnetic tool to retrieve your item. Either of these tools can be purchased at your local home improvement store. Alternatively, you can try to hook your item with a long piece of metal, such as a bent coat hanger; be careful not to push the item further into the pipe.
  4. Disassemble the P trap. If you can’t see your item, it may be resting in the u-shaped portion of pipe known as the P trap. If your P trap has slip nuts, place a bucket underneath it and disconnect the slip nuts. Once you remove the P trap, the item may fall out along with the excess water; however, you may need to disassemble the drain plug inside, as well.

Should You Call a Plumber?

If your P trap does not have slip nuts, you’ll need to cut into the pipe itself to remove it. This is a job best suited for a professional. Similarly, if you encounter leaks as you attempt to disassemble or reassemble your drain, you’ll likely need a plumber to help fix them. For this and all your other plumbing needs, contact Mr. Rooter of Bergen County.