Sink, Drain, Drain Stopper, Drainpipe, Faucet, Grabber Claw, Magnetic Telescoping Wand, P-trap, Pivot Rod Arm

Have you experienced the sinking feeling of watching a cherished ring or other item slip down the sink drain? It’s a gut-wrenching scenario many can relate to. Usually, at that moment, time seems to stop at a standstill. What do you? More importantly, what CAN you do? Well, you’re in luck. In this informative blog post, Westerville Plumbing & Drain offers a step-by-step guide on what to do when faced with the distressing situation of a valuable item disappearing into your plumbing system. While calling a plumber might be an option, depending on the scenario, this guide will explore some practical steps you can take to recover the lost item without professional assistance. 

Step-by-Step Guide: 

Step 1: As the first crucial step, you’ll need to immediately turn off the faucet as soon as the item has fallen into the sink. (If it has already fallen, just make it a point not to turn the faucet back on until the situation is resolved.) We suggest this as it will help prevent the item from being flushed irretrievably into the mainline. Keeping the faucet off is pivotal until the item is successfully retrieved. 

Step 2: If your sink has a drain stopper, carefully remove it to gain visual access to the sink drain. If the drain stopper doesn’t come out easily, you may need to check the pivot rod arm under the sink. It will be connected to the sink’s drain pipe. You should be able to use a wrench or pliers to loosen the pivot rod arm. Once you have done so, go ahead and try to take out the drain stopper again. At this point, you should be able to remove the drain stopper from your sink drain gently. This step could help to provide a clear view down your sink drain. 

Step 3: Now, there are several methods you can put into action to get your ring or lost item back. Let’s first start with the direct retrieval method. Have you ever heard of Grabber Claw? It’s a four-pronged tool designed for navigating narrow spaces like sink drains to remove clogs or blockages. This tool can be instrumental in this current situation as it may be able to reach and retrieve the lost item.  

Alternate Step 3: You can also try using a telescoping magnetic wand to retrieve it from the drain. These wands are practical, extendable, and have a magnetic feature, making them useful in urgent situations like this. However, please note that they may not be the best option for retrieving silver or gold rings or jewelry, as silver and gold are non-magnetic materials and the wand won’t prove effective in retrieving them. 

Alternate Step 3: Don’t want to risk pushing your item back further? You can try and employ a shop vacuum with a nylon stocking attached to the nozzle. If you don’t own your own shop vac, perhaps it’s an option for you to borrow one from a neighbor or a friend. Once you have a shop vac secured, with the nylon stocking acting as a net over the nozzle head, place the end piece of the nozzle flush over the sink drain and turn the shop vac on. The vacuum’s air pressure should pull the item upward, and the net will prevent it from being launched into the vacuum. It’s a creative and innovative solution that should reunite you with your ring once again. 

Alternate Step 3: If previous methods prove ineffective, now is probably time to cut straight to the source. It is more than likely that your ring or other item is caught in the P-trap. You may be wondering what that is. The P-trap is the P-shaped pipe below the sink designed to trap water and contain toxic sewer gases such as methane from being disperesed throughout your home. On top of that, it serves a double purpose to catch and hold stray items, much like the predicament we have presently found ourselves in.  

Before you get started, it would be wise to place a bucket under the P-trap, as well as have some towels or rags nearby. This will be helpful to keep water from the pipes contained. You’ll need to utilize a pair of pliers or a pipe wrench to loosen the slip nuts on both ends. Once you have loosened the slip nuts, you can slide them down the pipes and carefully detach the P-trap from the tailpiece, which is the vertical pipe of the sink, and the waste pipe, which is the horizontal pipe going into the wall/floor. Be ready to empty the contents of the P-trap into the bucket, where you should find your ring once again!   

Congratulations; you did it! Successfully recovering a lost item from the sink is a commendable feat. Once achieved, don’t forget to securely replace the P-trap, pivot rod arm, and drain stopper. In the event that these DIY efforts prove challenging, or perhaps you don’t feel quite comfortable taking your sink apart, remember that professional plumbers possess the expertise to handle even the most complex plumbing issues. And that’s what we are here for; we’d love to help! 

Call Westerville Plumbing & Drain today at (614) 540-3437, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!