What To Do When You Drop Something Down The Drain

Picture this: You’re in the bathroom. You finish washing your hands and reach for the dish where you always put your wedding ring. You go to slip the ring back on your finger and it slips from your grasp. As you frantically paw at your precious to no success, it clangs off the porcelain several times before finally falling down the drain.

Now, before you panic, remember that accidents happen. It’s an unfortunate part of life, but all hope is not lost.

What To Do When You Drop Something Down The Drain

Whether you’re in the middle of a crisis or you’re researching in case an event like this occurs in the future, here are five steps to rescuing items that have washed down the drain:

Step 1 – Kill The Water

If the water is still running, IMMEDIATELY shut it off. Your best chance to recover an item you’ve dropped is to make sure you don’t push it further down your drain. Next, go under the sink and locate the water supply shut offs, and close them. This way you prevent any accidental messes while performing the next steps.

Step 2 – Grab Some Tools

Safety first! Grab a set of safety glasses and a pair of gloves. As far as plumbing tools, you’ll want a bucket and a pair of channel locks. A towel or paper towels may also be advised to clean up any accidental spills.

Step 3 – Removing The P-Trap

After you put on your gloves and glasses it’s time to get to work. Place the bucket beneath the pipes under your sink to catch any water and debris. Once you’re happy with your bucket placement, use your channel locks to loosen both of the slip nut rings located at the top of the P-trap (upper) and the side (lower) until you are able to loosen them by hand. Remove the lower slip nut ring first to allow any water to drain into the bucket. Next remove the Upper slip nut ring and dump the contents into the bucket.

SUCCESS! You should find your item.

Step 4 – Clean The P-Trap (Optional)

As long as you have it apart, P-Traps can get pretty dirty over the years. Now might be a good time to clean it. You can use a bottle brush or pipe cleaners to scrub the inside of your P-Trap and surrounding pipes.

Step 5 – Put It Back Together

Make sure you put your recovered item in a safe place before you start putting your sink back together. Line up the P-Trap in place and hand screw both of the slip nut rings. Use your channel locks the tighten the slip nut rings and turn the water back on. Open your faucets and allow water to run through your system, making sure to check that there are no leaks.

If everything looks good then you’re all set. Clean up the area. Put away your tools. Remove your dirty gloves. And give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done!


Not thrilled about dealing with soap scum, grime, and dirty pipes? Plumbing not exactly a passion of yours? That’s ok. Here at The Plumber we are happy to get our hands dirty.

A slow running drain can be frustrating for anyone. Whether it’s a build up of hair, grease, or something that was accidentally flushed, contact us today to take advantage of our professional drain cleaning services at (716) 894-4382.

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