Tips to retrieve items dropped down the drain
You’re getting ready for the day, putting in the heirloom earrings that your great-grandmother had when she was young. While leaning over the sink and peering into the mirror, you feel the earring slip out of your hand. As your heart drops to your stomach, you hear it clink against the porcelain and disappear into the abyss that is known as your sink drain. Similar incidents have happened to countless people with different items that are valuable to them, and you can probably recall your own incident yourself. So, how can you get your treasured item back?
How to retrieve an item dropped down the drain
- Use a four-pronged tool
- Loosen the slip nuts
- Call a professional
We will be going over these ideas in detail below to help you get your treasured item back from the drain.
Use a four-pronged tool
When something falls down the drain, it’s likely that you won’t be able to reach it yourself. Find something that can, such as a four-pronged tool. A four-pronged tool is inexpensive and can be found at most hardware stores. Shaped as a long, flexible rod with small prongs at the end, it’s great for grabbing your valuable items that are lost down the drain. If you haven’t dropped anything down the drain yet, it might be beneficial for you to have one of these in your home, since you never know when you might need it next.
Using a four-pronged tool can be like grabbing in the dark though, since you are unable to see exactly where the item has landed. You also could end up grabbing items that you weren’t expecting to find, like hair or other debris which could turn some stomachs. If the drain is big enough, shining a flashlight down can help you to see where your desired item may have landed, making it easier for you to grab what you’re looking for.
Loosen the slip nuts
Between the two 90 degree joints of the pipes under your sink, you’ll be able to see two slip nuts that are connected to the joints and the p trap. Before attempting to loosen the slip nuts, know that they are the only thing connecting the p trap to the joints, so be prepared with a bucket underneath to catch anything that flows out.
If the slip nuts are made with PVC, you’ll likely be able to remove them by hand. If not, using a pliers can help you to remove them. Make sure not to not overwork them though since they can become stripped and damaged, creating an even bigger issue. Usually, if you can loosen them just enough with the pliers, you can take them off the rest of the way by hand.
Once removed, you should be able to see the item that you lost down the drain. Or it will fall out with the rest of the filth, collecting in the bucket.
Call a professional
If you attempted to grab your item with a four-pronged tool, tried loosening the slip nuts and nothing came out, or you don’t want to deal with it at all, it’s time to contact a professional. A professional plumber will be able to quickly and efficiently help you to retrieve your item from the sink drain without causing any other issues within your home.
In general, if the item that you lost is larger than an earring and is large enough to clog the drain, you’ll want to call a plumber immediately. If an item has the potential to clog your drain it can cause flooding issues within your home. It could also be pushed deeper into your home’s plumbing system if it isn’t grabbed immediately and you continue to use the sink.
Bonus tip: Install a drain guard
To prevent an item from falling down your drain in the first place, install drain guards around your home. This will prevent most items from falling down your drain, allowing only items that are small enough to fit through the holes to go through. This would be especially beneficial if you have young children in your home, but accidents happen to all of us. By installing drain guards, the items that are valuable to you are less likely to end up down the drain, saving you time and money in the long-run.
Give Watters Plumbing a call!
If you are uncomfortable trying to save an item from your sink drain yourself, or are looking for ways to prevent items from disappearing in the future, call us! At Watters Plumbing we’re always here to help with 24/7 emergency service, thorough investigations, and customer service where we treat you like family. Let us know how we can be of service!