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What to Do When You Drop Something Down the Drain

Most of us are familiar with the panicked feeling that comes with accidentally dropping something valuable down the kitchen sink like a wedding band or earring — but you don't have to feel hopeless about it. You could successfully recover your lost item by hiring a plumbing maintenance service, but that can get pricey. Before consulting the professionals, try following these steps to rescue your missing possession from the drain.

Turn off the Water

First things first — if you've dropped a personal item down the kitchen sink, you should turn off your water. Whether you temporarily disable the main water supply or use the shut-off valve beneath the sink, it's essential that you cut your water power so that you can safely tap into the drain without the risk of flooding.

Remove the Drain Plug

Your item may be lodged at the bottom of the drain. In this case, you should remove the drain plug by following these simple steps:

  1. Pull on the plunger behind the faucet to close the kitchen sink plug.
  2. Look for the horizontal pivot arm under the sink — it looks like a metal rod attached to the plug.
  3. Unscrew the nut on the shorter end of the arm in a counter-clockwise motion.
  4. Disconnect the retaining rod from the kitchen sink plunger.
  5. Release the drain plug by pulling the rod straight back. Be sure to keep a bucket nearby to collect any falling water.
  6. Pull the plug out of the drain hole in the sink.

After you've removed the drain plug, you may be able to retrieve your fallen item from the sink with grasping equipment like pliers or magnetic tools.

Disassemble the P-Trap

If you were unable to recover your lost item in the drain, locate the P-trap, which is the U-shaped pipe under your kitchen sink that prevents gasses from escaping through the drain. Loosen the two slip nuts on the pipe's bend, removing the P-trap by pulling it away from the tailpiece. Then, pry it out from under the sink.

P-traps without slip nuts must be cut open. If you find that this is the case with your P-trap, be sure to hire a plumbing service to complete this task for the sake of safety.

Empty the P-Trap

Once you've removed the P-trap, empty it by dumping the contents of the trap into a bucket. Your lost item should come out with any remaining water from the P-trap. Retrieve it, then go through the motions of reassembling the sink pieces you just removed. Return the P-trap to its place, re-tighten the slip nuts, replace the drain plug and turn on the water. If you notice leaks, simply tighten the nuts further with a pair of pliers.

Access Reliable Plumbing Maintenance Services at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Greater Syracuse

At Mr. Rooter Plumbing, we are licensed plumbers certified for leak detection and additional plumbing-related projects throughout Onondaga County. We're dedicated to providing services to fit our customers' needs while treating their homes with great care. Contact us at our Syracuse location to request a free estimate for your next plumbing project, or call us at 315-472-1203!