How to Retrieve Items that Fall Down Drains
I’m sure you or someone you know has experienced accidentally washing something valuable down the drain. It is awful to think that your rings, earrings, necklaces or coins have been washed away forever. Don’t panic! The good news is that these items can be retrieved from your drain following a few simple steps.
Step by Step Guide to Retrieving Items in a Drain
One thing to think about before you begin is the tools needed and precautions to be taken. If you have an older home, your plumbing system may be fragile or it’s possible you might have plumbing that is corroded. Both of these problems can result in costly damage. If you aren’t sure you can do this job by yourself, you may want to call to consult a plumber.
For this job, you need low profile pan, towels, adjustable wrench, optional magnetic or 4-prong retrieval tool and a flashlight. Normally, the object will get lodged in the sink’s p trap. A p trap is the little U shaped part of the pipes under the sink where water stops to prevent sewer gases from coming up through the drainage pipes.
Follow these steps to (hopefully) retrieve the object in the drain:
- The first thing to try is to use either a magnetic or four-prong flexible retrieval tool.
- These can be found at a local hardware store and flex through the p trap to retrieve a lost item
- Note: Gold and silver are not magnetic, so a four-prong tool is recommended for most rings and earrings lost down a drain
- Removing the p trap
- The p trap is located under the sink (in some cases, the p trap is not easily accessible, so you will need a plumber to help)
- Turn off your water under the sink
- Put a small bucket under the p trap to catch water from the p trap
- Remove the drain plug at the bottom of the p trap
- Sometimes your object will fall out through here, and your job is done. If it does, replace the nut and turn on your faucet to make sure there are no leaks.
- If not, you'll want to use an adjustable wrench to turn the p trap slip nuts counter clockwise to loosen them
- Pour the contents of the p trap into your bucket
- Wash your p trap with hot soap and water
- Put your p trap back on and turn your water on to check for leaks
What If My Object is Still Lost?
If you are having trouble retrieving your lost item or need help taking apart your drain, don’t hesitate to call a plumbing expert. ER Plumbing has helped with many issues like this and can usually retrieve your lost item very quickly. If you have this or any other plumbing concern, call us day or night for quick efficient help.
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Quick question & answer: How do I retrieve an object from a drain?
To remove an object from a drain, first try to use either a magnetic or four-prong flexible retrieval tool. Remove the p trap. Turn off your water under the sink. Put a small bucket under the p trap to catch water from the p trap. Remove the drain plug at the bottom of the p trap.