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How to Retrieve Items that Wash Down the Drain

Your valuable items can easily wash down a drain within seconds. The beautiful engagement ring that you took off in order to do dishes, the wonderful earring that slipped down your bathroom sink, well you may think that such stuff that goes down the drain is lost forever. But with little luck and some handy techniques, you might be able to retrieve them without any harm. All it takes is some basic knowledge of the drain, plumbing, and some DIY skills. Keep reading to learn how you can retrieve the items that have washed down a drain.

The P-trap Saves Many Items That Have Gone Down the Drain:


retrieving articles that have gone down the drainThe first thing which you should do immediately after seeing an item go down the drain is that you should immediately turn off the faucet. It will decrease the chances of the item getting carried all the way to the drain stack, where it can drop into the sewer line and you won’t ever see the item again. By stopping the water immediately, there is a good chance that the item that went down the drain will remain in the trap under the sink.

Losing Jewelry

The fact is that jewelry, which is one of the most frequent valuable items that get washed down the drain, is one of the easiest items to retrieve. Gemstones and metal sink in water. This increases their chances of sinking to the bottom of the plumbing trap. However, you should always try retrieving any solid objects which go down the drains, even if they don’t have any value. This is because, if the solid object gets stuck in a p-trap, it starts accumulating debris and hair, and it might eventually cause a clogged drain plumbing.

Successful Retrieval:

The trap that is present under the sink is designed to keep the nasty odors from backing up into the sink. But it also has an additional benefit of catching the lost items. In order to get the valuable item back, all you need to do is open up that trap. Exact procedure to open up the trap will depend on the specific drain plumbing, but there are some general principles that you can follow. And the process should not be that difficult even for the relatively modest DIYers.

The first thing that you should do is set a bucket under a trap in order to catch any water that spills out. After that, using pliers or a wrench remove that “J” part of the trap from the rest of the drain plumbing. There are some systems in which plastic pipes are used, and in such systems slip nuts can be simply unscrewed by hand. When the nuts become loose, pull the trap off pipes and shake out the lost item. It also presents a great opportunity for cleaning the trap. Over time, the traps often get filled with the gunk and they can potentially harbor the harmful biofilm.

Putting it All Back Together:

After retrieving your item, all you have to do is assemble back the drain plumbing just the way it was before. In case you do not succeed in retrieving your valuable items on your own, then without any delay contact an expert plumber.

Call Black Mountain Plumbing

Call Black Mountain Plumbing inc if you have drain problems or have lost something down the drain.  Our experienced plumbers have retrieved many items over the years.  Call us at (858) 536-4161.

Serving San Diego and San Diego County for over 25 years with quality work and great service. We also service these cities – El Cajon, La Mesa, Lakeside, Poway, Ramona, Santee, Pacific Beach, La Jolla, University City, Tierrasanta, Rancho Penasquitos, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Santa Fe, Encinitas, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Leucadia, Sorrento Valley, Miramar, Mira Mesa, Scripps Ranch, Vista, Carlsbad, San Marcos, Fairbanks Ranch, 4S Ranch, and Sabre Springs.

May 2024
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