“Clink!” Just like that, you dropped an irreplaceable ring or earring down the sink drain, seemingly lost forever. Despair not – you may be able to retrieve your valuables from the drain after all. Read our step-by-step guide to using a magnet or accessing the under-sink P-trap in order to get your jewelry back.
Step One: Attempt Easy Jewelry Removal
First things first, do not run water at any point during your retrieval attempts. Before taking the drain components apart, try fishing out your valuables from above. You may be able to use a magnet or physical force to pull the item back out – here’s how.
First, remove the drain stopper. This can sometimes be done by hand, simply attempt to pull upward and twist. Bathroom sinks with pop-up stoppers often have a spring clip that can be released so you can pull out the stopper. Once you have successfully removed the stopper, you can move on to retrieval.
For dropped items with metallic components, you may be able to use a magnet to draw them out. Securely attach a magnet to a piece of string and slowly lower it down into the drain. Wiggle the string around to slide it further down the curve of the drain in order to connect with and coax the jewelry back out.
Some may already have a long pronged tool or snake drain clog remover with a grabbing mechanism built for such removal. You can often use these devices to successfully remove jewelry and other drain clogs from these hard-to-reach spaces.
Step Two: Gather Necessary Items for Drain Disassembly
In the event your first retrieval attempts do not work, you’ll need to move on to disassembling your drain. To prepare yourself, you’ll need the following items:
- Bucket (to catch any water or debris that spills from the drain)
- Wrench or pliers
- Protective Glasses (optional)
It’s also important to turn off the sink water supply before beginning any of the steps below. Position your bucket below the drain, put on your protective gear and get ready.
Note that you’ll need to reassemble the components after taking them apart to get back your dropped jewelry. So it may be helpful to take a photo beforehand that you can reference if you’re unsure about reassembly.
Step Three: Disassemble Your Sink Drain
Once prepared, it’s time to begin disassembly.
Use the wrench or pliers to slowly loosen the compression bolts holding the P-trap (curved pipe section underneath sink) in place. Its design provides a water barrier to ensure that sewer gas doesn’t flow up from the connected pipes through your sink drain. Be sure to place the compression bolts in a safe place off to the side so you don’t misplace them.
Once the first side of the P-trap is detached, water may flow out the end, so be sure the bucket is directly underneath. Then loosen the other side, and dump the water and other contents into your bucket. Shine your flashlight in, locate your missing jewelry and pluck it out with your gloved hands. Et voila!
Use a different sink or a separate bucket of water to rinse and clean the P-trap while you have it removed. Then, dry the component thoroughly. Consult your before picture if need be to correctly reassemble the piece. Grab your compression bolts and wrench, then tighten them carefully. Once the piece is back in place, run the water slowly, then at full pressure to test and make sure there are no leaks. With that, you’ve completed your jewelry retrieval task – congratulations!
Call an Expert Plumber to Retrieve Your Valuables
If you’re not confident in your ability to take apart your sink drain and then reassemble it correctly without leaks, reach out to a local plumbing company for assistance. At Atlas Home Services, we have over 40 years of experience plumbing and servicing Northern Virginia residences. Contact us today for swift service so you can get your valuable jewelry back.