How to Retrieve Something in a Sink Drain

How to Retrieve Something in a Sink Drain

Sink Drain Trap
One of life’s most frustrating occurrences has to be losing something. We’ve all lost something at one time or another and it’s likely led to some anger or some frantic searched around the house. But, when you lose something down a sink drain, it feels like you’ve lost something that is well within reach. That’s largely because that’s exactly what it’s like, but there’s seemingly no way to retrieve the item on your own. Indeed, a wedding ring that slips down the drain could have you reaching for the phone to call an emergency plumber. But, before you do that, there are some steps you can take to try to retrieve the item on your own.

Perhaps the easiest option to use (and the one that doesn’t get your hands dirty) is the vacuum option. Something light like an earring might respond to the suction of ShopVac. Of course, to avoid losing the item in the vacuum, you should place a piece of nylon or pantyhose over the suction area. Place the vacuum hose over the sink drain and turn it on. Leave it in place for around 15 seconds. If the item is small enough and light enough, you might find it attached to the nylon at the end of the hose.

If this doesn’t work, then you’ll have to keep on charging. Important items that have fallen down a drain might cause you to enlist the help of an emergency plumber and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. Of course, you could still save a little money by getting your hands a little dirty. The first thing you’ll want to do is turn the water off to the sink. In general, there are going to be valves underneath the sink that you can turn to shut off the water. If you lost the ring in the kitchen sink, it might be a good idea to unplug the garbage disposal if you have one installed.

After that, you’re going to need to locate the U-shaped pipe “trap” underneath the sink. Unless the item you lost is buoyant, this is where it will have fallen. If you haven’t already, clear the area underneath your sink and place towels underneath the pipe trap. This way, you won’t cause any water damage underneath the sink. You’ll also need a bucket handy for when you actually remove the pipe trap.

Using a pipe wrench or channel lock pliers, loosen the slip nuts that connect the U-shaped trap to the actual piping. When it becomes loose enough, start untwisting the nuts with your fingers. After removing the pipe trap, dump the contents into the bucket and begin searching for your item. It shouldn’t take you much longer to re-assemble the pipe trap after that. Then you will have your lost item back and you likely will have saved some money by not calling an emergency plumber.