What to do if You Drop a Valuable Down the Drain

Don’t Panic, There is a Way Out

We hope it never happens to you but it’s surprising how many people have accidentally dropped something of value down the sink or bathtub drain.  Whether it’s a ring, an earring, a contact lenses or something like a toothbrush, it’s a moment that will make your heart jump.  We’ve even heard of people losing partial dentures down the drain.  If you have small children, it’s amazing what might find its way into a drain.  So, what do you do when you have that “I can’t believe I just did that moment”?

Here are a few tips that might help you retrieve that lost item.  Good Luck!

Dismantle Your Sink

While that might not sound like something you want to try, taking apart your sink isn’t that daunting a task.  First things first, turn off your water under the sink.  Place a small bucket under the sink as you’ll need something to catch the trapped water, (and hopefully your lost item) when you unscrew the lower pipes.  Unscrew the J Pipe from the end that’s nearest the sink and at the side closest to the wall under the sink.  You may need a plumber’s wrench for this but often times this can be done by hand.  Allow the water to fall into the bucket and if you’re lucky so will the missing valuable.  If you don’t see your missing item it’s possible it’s stuck in the P Trap which is the J shaped pipe.  Since your hand won’t fit, you’ll need a special tool.  We recommend either a magnetic retrieval tool, (yes, they actually sell these at hardware and plumbing stores).  These devices are like telescopic wands and can be extended.  Slide it into the drain and feel for the missing item.  Should you retrieve the missing item, pat yourself on the back, and vow never to set it near the sink again!

For Larger Items Try a Coat Hangar

OK, it’s not high tech but you can do a lot with a coat hanger.  Ever open your car door after locking the keys inside?  If so, you know the coat hanger can be your best friend.  Coat hangers work best when the item down your drain is larger, like a toothbrush, or a pen.

Need a Professional Plumber?

We’ve had a bit of fun with this post, but it’s no fun when you’re the one that just saw that expensive wedding ring disappear down the drain.  When you absolutely need this task performed by a professional look no further than Tampa’s experts, The Clean Plumbers.  Call us anytime for any problem and we’ll be there fast to make it right.