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Dropped an Item down the Drain? Now What?

Oh no! You’ve dropped your favorite ring down the drain and panic is setting in. It may sound like a daunting task to recover the lost item, but you’ve come to the right place to turn this tricky situation around in no time. Stay calm; Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Greenville plumbing has some tips for you to retrieve your prized procession.

Sinks:

When recovering an item that you’ve dropped down a sink, you need access to the plumbing drain trap (P-trap) under the sink. Most small items like jewelry will sink and end up here. All you will need is a bucket and adjustable pliers.

  • Turn off the faucet and valves under the sink
  • Loosen the nut holding the P-trap (underneath) to the tailpiece (pipe that extends from the drain opening)
  • Unscrew the nut connecting the trap to the drain outlet.
  • Remove both nuts, pull the trap opening down and away from the tailpiece, then away from the drain and out from below the sink, all the while holding the P-trap upright.
  • The last step is to empty the trap into a bucket, and your lost item should appear.

Showers:

It’s very common to drop something down the drain in your bathtub or shower. Turn off the water immediately to prevent the items from being pushed further down.

  • Remove drain cover, including screws, but be careful not to also drop the screws down the drain.
  • With a clean and empty vacuum cleaner, place the nozzle of the drain.
  • The bag should have your lost item inside. If not, use a wire hanger to feel for it in the drain trap and then use the vacuum to suck the piece up and out of the drain.

Toilets:

To retrieve an item dropped down the toilet drain, never use a plunger. Instead, use a wet/dry vacuum.

  • First, remove the vacuum’s filter. Choose the hose attachment based on the item that was lost. For example, smaller items would be best suited using the crevice attachment.
  • Snake the vacuum hose down the toilet drain as far as the drain would permit.
  • Once the item has been found, you will notice a standstill in suction or hear a small noise.

If you’ve tried these tricks and are still unable to retrieve your item, or would prefer one of our experts to come to the rescue, contact BFP today!