If you have accidentally dropped something down the sink drain, should you assume that it’s lost forever to the sewer system? Or, is there a way to get your treasure back?

Whether you lost a valuable ring while washing dishes, an earring slipped off and went straight down the drain or you dropped some other precious item into the sink, try not to panic. Armed with some old-fashioned plumber know-how, you stand a good chance at retrieving your item with no harm done. Here’s how.

Turn Off the Faucet

First things first – shut off the water immediately, as soon as you see the item drop down the sink drain. Turning off the faucet will stop your ring, earring, or whatever fell from flushing further into the plumbing system.

Check to See If the Item Is Magnetic

If the item you dropped is magnetic, it may be easy to retrieve from the plumbing drain. Tie a small, strong magnet to a piece of string – make sure your knots are tight — and insert it into the sink drain. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to pull the object right up out of the drain pipe. Most jewelry isn’t magnetic, but there is a simple approach that is usually worth a shot.

Open the Sink Trap

If the magnet trick doesn’t work, you’ll need to check the sink trap – the J-shaped pipe directly under your sink. Put a bucket under the trap, then use pliers or a wrench to remove the slip nuts. Pull off the trap and give it a shake, and you should see your lost item.

What if the Item Isn’t in the Trap?

Plumbing systems have several traps and bend within the pipes. A professional plumber can check other potential hiding spots if your item isn’t in the under-sink trap. Using specialized tools and techniques, an expert can reach deeper into the plumbing to retrieve your lost item. 

What if the Item Isn’t Valuable?

Let’s say you dropped the toothpaste cap down the sink drain. Or an inexpensive hair clip. Do you really need to bother retrieving something that has little or no value?

Actually, yes, you do have to retrieve it. Any solid object dropped into the drain needs to be pulled out as soon as possible. If you leave the item in place, it may start to accumulate hair and debris, eventually leading to a clog in the plumbing.

If you can’t retrieve whatever has fallen down your sink drain, or you’d rather have an experienced plumber take care of the task.

For help with your sink drain, or for expert assistance with other plumbing problems, contact Verern Plumber Services.

Contact Veteran Plumbing Services for help

 703-791-1339

Servicing all Northern Virginia
Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Most of Prince William