How to Get Something Out of the Sink Drain

White Bathroom sink faucet

Have you (or your kids) ever dropped something very small and very important down the drain? Most of us have either dropped something like a ring, earring, or accessory down the drain, or we’ve worried about what to do when it happens. What’s the best way to catch something in the drain before it disappears forever? It’s actually very easy, and we’re here this month to help you out with step-by-step instructions!

Step 1: Turn Off the Water

As soon as that item goes down, it’s probably going to get stuck in the p-trap unless your water is running hard or the item is very light. If you can’t pull it out with a magnet (which silver and gold won’t work with) and it’s not in the drain, you’ll have to disassemble the p-trap and search for it. Turn off the water under your sink or for the whole house so no one sends a stream of water down the pipes while the p-trap is missing.

Step 2: Prepare Underneath the Sink

Taking apart the p-trap requires both time and space, and you’ll need to open up the space underneath the sink. So clear out the cabinet or space under the sink and put a bucket under where you’ll be working. Plenty of junk gets stuck and stored in the p-trap, so you’ll want to bucket to empty out any wet sludge that is going to ooze out of the pipes. It’s better to collect it out of a bucket than to clean it off the floor!

Step 3: Locate the P-Trap

P-Trap from underneath the sink with overflow pipe

The next question is simple: which part is the P-trap? Don’t worry, it’s actually very easy to find. The P-trap is the portion of the draining pipes that prevent gases and water from going back up into the sink – it maintains the water seal. You need to find the part of the pipe that seems to be shaped like a P, with a u-shaped bend. That’s where the water seal is, and it’s called the overflow pipe. That’s where we’ll be working.

Step 4: Remove the Overflow Pipe

Now comes the messy part, and the part where you’ll want the bucket. To remove the overflow pipe, it’s very easy. Unscrew the slip nuts at the top of the “U” shape, and the pipe should come right off and drain water (and probably build-up) into the bucket.

Grab a set of gloves and start going through the water and build-up for your item. More than likely, your ring, earring, or other item will be in there! Once you find it, rinse out your overflow pipe in another sink and just put it back on.

Step 5: Install a Drain Guard

Drain guard from sink

What’s the best way to prevent a loss in the future? Install a drain guard or put a mesh net in the drain! Putting in a countermeasure to clumsy fingers or a precarious perch is going to be the best bet. You can purchase a drain guard and install it easily yourself. Or get a qualified, licensed plumber to help you out for a more professional job!

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