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

Have you ever experienced the heart-stopping panic of a ring, piece of jewelry, or other important item slipping out of your hands and heading straight down the sink drain? It’s one of those moments when time seems to stand still as you watch your precious item quickly disappear into the depths of the plumbing system. All may seem lost, but if you act quickly, there are a few ways to recover the ring or any other lost item without calling a plumber (although, in some cases, we do recommend their expertise). In this blog post, Middletown Plumbing & Drain will show you what steps to take if you find yourself in this unfortunate plumbing predicament. 

Step 1: The Faucet 

First, let’s remember the importance of turning off the faucet and keeping it off until you retrieve the ring or item. This simple action can make a huge difference in ensuring that your ring stays within reach. If you leave the faucet running, there’s a risk of it being flushed away to the mainline, where it becomes impossible to retrieve.  

Step 2: The Drain Stopper   

To take a look down the drain, you’ll first need to remove the drain stopper (if there is one). If you’re having trouble pulling it out, no worries! Just check under the sink for the pivot rod arm. It will be connected to the sink’s drain pipe. Sometimes, this little metal rod can get bent or disconnected, causing the stopper not to move properly. You might need a wrench or pliers to twist it off gently. Once you’ve loosened that part of the pivot rod arm, give your sink’s drain stopper another try. With a bit of luck, you should be able to gently pull it out now and look down the drain to spot your ring or whatever item you’re looking for.  

Step 3: A Grabber Claw   

Have you ever heard of a grabber claw tool? It’s a pretty nifty tool that can make the whole experience a little less daunting. This neat four-pronged gadget is designed to fit into narrow spaces like a sink drain, allowing you to easily grab and remove clogs or blockages. And in this particular case, it might just help retrieve your lost item! You should be able to find one at any home improvement store. With a little bit of patience and the trusty assistance of a grabber claw, you might just be able to rescue your ring or item from the sink drain and have it back in your hands once again.  

Alternate Step 3: A Magnetic Telescoping Wand 

If something accidentally falls down the sink, you might be able to rescue it using a telescoping magnetic wand. These nifty wands are both magnetic and extendable, making them super handy in a situation like this. Just remember, they won’t work for silver or gold rings or jewelry since those materials aren’t magnetic. 

Alternate Step 3: A Shop Vacuum   

If that didn’t work or wasn’t an option for you, let’s get creative! If you happen to own a shop vac (or can borrow one from a neighbor or friend), you can try this innovative trick. Try attaching a nylon stocking to the end of the nozzle and voilà! The vacuum’s air pressure pulls it up, while the nylon stocking acts as a net to catch your ring or other item.  

Alternate Step 3: The P-trap   

Still searching for ways to retrieve your item? Well, let’s get straight to the source, shall we? The P-trap is a key player in keeping your plumbing system running smoothly. The P-shaped pipe beneath your sink is designed to hold pockets of water, effectively trapping and keeping toxic sewer gas (like methane) from infiltrating your home. Plus, the P-trap also pulls double duty by containing stray items, just like the situation we find ourselves in currently. 

Before you get started with the removal process, it would be a good idea to set up a bucket or container right under the P-trap. This way, you can catch any water, muck, and, hopefully, your lost item. As an extra tip, keep some towels or rags nearby so they are ready to grab. Now, locate the slip nuts on both ends of the P-trap and use pliers or a pipe wrench to loosen them. Once the slip nuts are loose, they should slide down the pipes, enabling you to carefully pull the P-trap away from the tailpiece (the vertical pipe of the sink) and the waste pipe (the horizontal piece going into the wall/floor). Just be ready to empty the P-trap into the bucket, where you should hopefully find your ring! 

If you managed to retrieve your ring or lost item, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. You went through quite an ordeal and came out on top! But don’t forget to securely put back the P-trap and the drain stopper pivot rod arm where they belong. However, if you haven’t been able to find it yet, don’t worry too much. Sometimes plumbing can be tricky; just remember that plumbers are trained experts who can handle even the toughest issues. So, if your attempts haven’t worked out, don’t stress! We’re here to help. Just give us a call, and we’ll be more than happy to assist you! 

Call Middletown Plumbing & Drain today at (937) 298-9979, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here