How to Retrieve Items Fallen Into a Drain

drainIt’s commonplace for people to lose valuables down the drain. This often includes jewelry like a wedding ring or an earring. Surly, this is one of those “oh no!” moments. Don’t worry though, if you act quickly, you just might be able to retrieve the item that fell into the drain.

What Happens to Items that Go Down the Drain?

When a solid object falls into the drain, it will remain briefly in the P-trap. The P-trap is the U-shaped section of the pipe directly beneath the sink. If the water isn’t shut off immediately, the object will get carried away into the drain stack where it will find a new home in the sewers. If this happens, then you can kiss your item goodbye because you’ll never see it again.

How to Retrieve a Lost Item Dropped in the Drain

As mentioned, the item will flow past the P-trap and into the drain stack if the water isn’t promptly shut off. The minute your item goes under, immediately switch off the valve located below the sink.

The next step will require a residential plumber unless you’re handy with a monkey wrench. You will need to remove the bottom portion of the P-trap; place a bucket under the sink to catch the water that will spill out. If the trap consists of plastic piping, then you may be able to remove the section by simply unscrewing the slip nuts with your hand.

Since P-trap configurations differ depending on the model and material, it’s recommended that you contact a plumbing professional to avoid causing unnecessary damage. An emergency plumber can also clean the inner part of the P-trap while retrieving your item.

On a final note, it should be pointed out that large solid objects can get lodged in the P-trap where it ends up catching hair and debris, thus leading to a clog. For this reason, it’s advised that you call in a commercial plumber to retrieve an item fallen into the drain even if the object is something of little value to you. South County Plumbing in Lynnwood serves the Puget Sound area with honest emergency and residential plumbing services.

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Edited by Justin Vorhees