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How to Get Something That Fell Down the Sink Drain

Have you dropped something down the drain? Is it an earring or something small you cannot locate through the naked eye? Whether it’s a precious piece of jewelry, a valuable utensil, or an important accessory, the sinking feeling that accompanies the sight of something disappearing down the drain is all too familiar. But with a bit of knowledge and some basic tools, you can increase your chances of successfully rescuing these fallen items from the clutches of your sink drain. In this guide, we’ll walk you through some of the steps by which you can retrieve those lost treasures and restore your peace of mind.

Ways to Get Something When It Falls Down in Drains?

The most common point where most items are stuck while flowing down the drain is the p-trap. What is a p-trap? It is a joint between the fixture and the wall. The first thing you need to do is to avoid any panic. You can start by taking out the plug on your drain. This article will help you go through each step from onward in detail. Follow the steps below: 

Turn Off the Water Supply

You should turn off the Water supply when you drop something down the drain. You may find the water valves under your sink. This is a highly important step you should consider. 

Clear out the space beneath the fixture

Since all your work is to be done under the sink, you must clear the space. It will help you work with ease and move around without any obstacles

Put a bucket under the fixture’s piping

The main purpose of a p-trap is to collect sludge. That is why we suggest you keep that in mind before you remove the pipe. The sludge may go over you, and you do not want that. 

Locate the P-Trap

Your P-trap is most likely comprised of steel or PVC pipe. If the trap is hidden, search for PVC pipe; if it is apparent, search for steel. The P-trap comprises two 90-degree joints, one of which connects to the sewage line via your wall and the other of which links directly to the underside of the sink basin. It also has a pipe with a “U” form for an overflow.

Remove the drain plug from the sink

Before you dive into the work and start removing the overflow pipe material, it is important to remove the drain plus. 

Close the drain plug

Make sure you tighten the faucet plug properly. For this, you should use a plunger behind the faucet. 

Locate the plug connector rod

Find the plug-connected horizontal pivot arm. It is located on the rear side of the top 90-degree angle joint (referred to as “90-degree angle joint 1” in the image above) behind the sink. From the p-trap, a metal rod will rise through a hole in the fixture.

Unscrew the connector rod

Once you start looking at the overall structure, the shorter end of the rod is attached to the p-trap. It is connected with a retaining nut. It would help if you unscrewed this nut. Make sure you move the nut in a counterclockwise motion.

Detach the plunger clip

Then you have to locate the clip that connects your retaining rod to the plunger. You must detach this clip and ensure your metal rod is no longer connected. You can do this with your hands and don’t need any equipment. 

Remove the drain plug

You need to lift the drain plug straight from the drain hole. 

Use pliers or similar tools to retrieve your item

Now you are done with the removal of your drain. You may be able to find your lost item through the drain. Reach into the drain if you can see the material. You can use a grasping tool for this. It is possible to come across slime or hair; don’t get afraid.

Loosen the slip nuts

The two slide nuts holding the overflow pipe to the 90-degree joints at either end must be unscrewed. Keep in mind that the overflow pipe is merely secured by these slide nuts. Ensure your bucket is prepared to capture any sludge that may spill out if the pipe tips.

Most slide nuts may be taken off by hand, especially PVC. Some sliding nuts will require the use of pliers to extract. Avoid overworking the slip nuts to avoid stripping or damaging them. With the pliers, only try to loosen the slip nuts enough so that you can spin them by hand.

Remove and dump the overflow pipe

After you have removed the overflow pipe, some dumps may fall over. Putting a bucket under the sink is important to avoid any mess. There may be gross stuff coming out of it, so you should prepare yourself. 

Wash out and re-install the overflow pipe

Are you done with cleaning the overflow pipe? If yes, then by the time you are putting it back in place, you need to position it correctly. Once you place it in the point, ensure that you have perfectly placed the nut and they are tight. It will help the pipe avoid leakage and stay in place.

Once you finish setting up things back in, turn the water on. Now, see if there are any loopholes. Try to locate any leakage from the p-trap or the drain hole. If any leakage occurs, tighten the plug or nut in that place precisely. 



Do I Need to Hire Expert Plumbers?

Yes, If you are not successful in emptying a P-trap and removing the drain stopper from your sink and if you’ve done all suggested here and cannot locate your missing earring, or if your P-trap lacks slide nuts, you might need to hire expert plumbers. Call seasoned plumbers who have dealt with a variety of pipes and drains. Nobody can remove stuff from your sink drain if they can’t figure it out!

Do you think your item will be lost forever? Whether it is a piece of jewelry or an air pod, you can easily locate it through the drain if you take active measures. Your valuables are easier to locate if you shut the water valve instantly. Rest assured that you will be able to locate it down the drain with ease. All you need is to keep calm and not get panicked. 

How do you get something that fell down the sewer drain?

Recovering an item that has fallen down a sewer drain presents a more complex challenge compared to a sink drain due to the extensive network of underground pipes. In such situations, it’s essential to exercise caution and prioritize safety. Contacting your local municipal authorities or a professional plumber is often the best course of action. 

Attempting to retrieve an item from a sewer drain without proper equipment and expertise can lead to personal injury, damage to the drainage system, or even contamination risks. Professional sewer maintenance teams possess specialized tools like CCTV cameras and retrieval equipment to navigate the sewer system and safely retrieve lost items. Always prioritize safety and seek expert assistance when dealing with sewer drain incidents.

What happens when something falls down the sink drain?

If you think the item you dropped is a bit larger which may have been blocked somewhere in the pipe, ensure you turn off the water when you notice anything dropping in the drain. If you cannot do that, you can turn the faucet off from below the sink.

What happens if you drop something down a waste pipe?

Accidentally dropping an item down a waste pipe can lead to various consequences depending on the size and nature of the object, as well as the plumbing system’s configuration. In some cases, smaller objects might pass through the pipes without causing immediate issues. 

However, larger or more obstructive items could cause clogs, leading to reduced drainage efficiency or even complete blockages. These blockages may result in slow draining sinks, toilets, or showers, as well as potential backups that could cause water damage or unsanitary conditions. Attempting to force the object further down the pipe could exacerbate the situation. It’s advisable to act quickly, using safe retrieval methods outlined in this guide or seeking professional assistance to prevent more severe plumbing problems from arising.

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