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

Have you ever experienced the heart-stopping panic of a wedding ring slipping off your finger 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. Fortunately, if you act promptly, there are several methods to retrieve the ring or any other lost item without requiring the assistance of a plumber – although we recommend doing so in certain cases. In this blog post, Upper Arlington Plumbing & Drain will guide you through the necessary steps to take if you find yourself in this unfortunate plumbing predicament. 

Step 1: You Should Turn the Water Off 

Initially, it is important to remember that the first step is to turn off the faucet and refrain from using it until the ring or item is recovered. This seemingly small action can have a significant impact on ensuring that your ring remains within reach. Leaving the faucet running puts you at risk of it being flushed into the mainline, rendering it irretrievable. 

Step 2: You Should Take the Drain Stopper Out 

To look down the drain, you’ll need to remove the drain stopper if there is one. If you’re having trouble removing it, take a look at the pivot rod arm under the sink. It will be connected to the sink’s drain pipe. This small metal rod can sometimes get bent or disconnected, which prevents the stopper from moving properly. You might need to use a wrench or pliers to grip the pivot rod arm and carefully twist it off. Once you’ve loosened that part of the pivot rod arm, try checking the drain stopper in your sink to see if it comes out easily. Hopefully, with some luck, you’ll be able to see down your sink drain and spot your ring (or other stray item). 

Step 3: You Can Use a Grabber Claw  

Have you heard of a Grabber Claw? This useful tool can make the whole experience less daunting. It has four prongs and is designed to fit into narrow spaces like a sink drain. With it, you can grab and remove clogs or blockages. In our specific situation, it can be used to help you retrieve your lost item. You should be able to find one at any home improvement store. With some patience and the help of a grabber claw, you might just be able to solve your sink drain drama and get your ring or item back! 

Alternate Step 3: You Can Use a Magnetic Telescoping Wand 

Depending on the nature of the item that has been dropped down the sink, you may consider utilizing a telescoping magnetic wand as a viable solution to retrieve it directly out of the drain. These practical wands are both magnetic and extendable, proving to be invaluable in situations like this. However, it is important to note that due to their magnetic properties, this particular tool may not be effective in retrieving silver or gold rings or jewelry, as silver and gold are non-magnetic materials. 

Alternate Step 3: You Can Use a Shop Vacuum   

If the previous method didn’t work or wasn’t available, it’s time to be creative! If you have a shop vac or can borrow one, try attaching a nylon stocking to the end of the nozzle. It may sound silly, but the stocking will act as a net to retrieve your ring. Securely attach the stocking to the nozzle, hold it firmly in place over the sink’s drain hole, and turn on the vacuum. The vacuum’s air pressure will pull the ring straight up, and the net will catch it, preventing it from being sucked into the shop vac.  

Alternate Step 3: You Can Remove the P-trap   

If you’re still searching for ways to retrieve your item, let’s get straight to the source. The P-trap is an important component of your plumbing system. It’s the curved pipe below your sink that holds water, preventing toxic sewer gas from entering your home. Additionally, it can also catch stray items, similar to the situation we’re currently in. 

Before you start removing the P-trap, it’s a good idea to place a bucket or container right under it. This will catch any water, muck, and hopefully, your lost item. Also, keep some towels or rags nearby. Now, find 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, you can slide them down the pipes and carefully detach the P-trap from the tailpiece (the vertical pipe of the sink) and the waste pipe (the horizontal pipe going into the wall/floor). Just be ready to empty the contents of the P-trap into the bucket where you should find your ring!   

If you were able to successfully retrieve your ring or lost item, give yourself a pat on the back. That was a tough situation, and you made it through! But remember to securely put back the P-trap, the pivot rod arm, and the drain stopper. If you haven’t been able to find it, that’s what we’re here for! Give us a call, and we’ll be happy to help. 

Call Upper Arlington Plumbing & Drain today at (614) 363-1924, or schedule an appointment by clicking here!