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What to Do When You Drop Something Down the Drain

When you drop something down the drain, you can practically feel your heart sink with it. Fortunately, it is probably trapped within reach. In many cases, you can get it back with a few tools, some effort and a little bit of luck.

If your ring went down the bathroom sink or you dropped something else, turn the water off as soon as you can and take a deep breath. Then, follow these simple steps for how to get something that fell down the drain back into your hands.

How Do You Get Jewelry Out of the Drain?

Most of the time, as long as you quickly shut the water off, you can prevent things from going all the way down your pipes.

The plumbing under sinks has something called a P-trap — a U-shaped bend in the pipe that is there to stop gasses from coming into your home. It also does an excellent job at catching things that go down the drain.

Try going in from the top first. If your item is metal, remove the drain plug and try using a magnetic pickup tool to get it back. You can also try using a pronged grabber tool. If neither works, the next step is to disassemble the P-trap and retrieve your lost items with your hands.

1. Get Your Supplies

Make sure the water is off, then get your supplies. The job calls for a bucket, rubber gloves and some old towels for cleaning up any spilled water. You will also need some channel locks, vice grips or another set of large adjustable pliers, and you may want a flashlight.

2. Locate the P-Trap

The P-trap is going to be directly beneath the sink. If you have items stored here, clear them out before getting started so it is easier to work and they do not get wet. Look under the sink for the U-shaped pipe, and you have found the trap. Put your bucket underneath.

3. Loosen the Trap

There should be a nut connecting the P-trap to the pipe that is attached to your sink. Try moving the nut counterclockwise. If you have plastic pipes, you might be able to do so by hand. If it is metal or you have difficulty moving it, use your pliers. Then, loosen the nut on the other side while holding the P-trap upright.

4. Empty the Trap

With both nuts loosened, pull the trap down and away to remove it. Make sure you catch any trapped water with your bucket. If your lost item is in there, it should come out with anything else in the trap. Give it a quick cleaning and reinstall the trap.

Contact a Licensed Plumber for Assistance

If you are unsure about taking your pipes apart or you need other help with the plumbing at your home or business, contact your local licensed plumbers at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Oneida. To book an appointment, or call us at 315-363-1565.