Do you take your ring off when you do the dishes or wash your hands? Seeing an engagement or wedding ring bounce its way towards the drain is a heart-stopping moment.
If you think it’s never going to happen to you, think again. It might surprise you to learn how many calls plumbers receive for this emergency. The thought of losing your precious ring to the sewer system and all the memories it contains is not something you ever want to come to reality.
However, if you experience the misfortune of losing your ring to the disposal or laundry sink, we have a few tips for you on how to retrieve it. Before you pick up the phone and start dialing the plumber emergency hotline, try a few of them.
The first step is not to panic – relax, you got this, and there’s nothing that can happen from here on out that’s under your control. All you can do is your best to try and retrieve the ring. Start by turning off the water locally at the faucet under the sink.
1. Try Using a Magnet
Take an old wire clothes hanger and stretch it out straight. Attach a magnet to the end of the wire using tape and try to fish the ring or metallic item you dropped in the disposal or sink. When executing this strategy, make sure you remain patient, and slowly move the magnet around in the drain.
However, most precious metals aren’t magnetic, and you’ll have a tough time trying to get them to stick to the magnet. In that case, you’re going to have to look for alternative options.
2. Use a Kitchen Fork
If you can’t get into the drain, you can try and use a carving fork or a long-handled tool to retrieve the item from the drain. If you have a set of prongs, you can use them for recovery. However, chances are this is going to bring little success.
3. Take Apart the Drains P-Trap
We recommend going straight for the p-trap in the sink or disposal if there is one available. The p-trap is the plastic-neck between the sink drain and the main drain connecting to the sewer line. The p-trap contains water, forming a barrier between the main sewer line and your home.
If you drop your ring or another precious item into the sink, it falls into the neck of the p-trap. Provided you aren’t blasting the water down the drain; the ring should remain in the p-trap, allowing you to recover it.
Grab a bucket and your toolbox. Set the bucket up under the sink and p-trap to catch the water overflow. On either side of the p-trap connection, you’ll see a clamp that secures the p-trap to the pipework.
Remove this clamp using the screwdriver, but make sure no to damage the rubber on the p-trap. After removing the clamps, the p-trap should slide right off each end of the pipework, and the overflow water will end up in the bucket.
Empty the p-trap, and you should find your ring among the debris in the trap. While you have the trap out, take it to another sink and clean it for quick maintenance.
Replace the p-trap in the pipework under the sink or disposal and secure it with the pipe clamps.
Clean up around the base of the sink and turn the water back on. Check that there’s no leak coming from the p-trap, and it’s ready for use.
4. Install a Drain Guard
Let’s face it, the hassle and inconvenience of losing something down the drain are a nightmare no-one needs. Ask your plumber about installing drain guards in your sinks or drains around your property.
A drain guard is a simple and cost-effective solution to securing your plumbing and your valuables away from accidents. However, in some cases, the drain guard may not be enough, or the ring could escape the p-trap. If that’s the case, you’ll need professional help with retrieving your valuables from the pipework.
Call a Plumber If you Need Help
If you don’t have the time, tools, or patience to deal with plumbing issues, call your local plumber. Professionals have the right tools and expertise for the job, and they’ll recover your ring in no time.
Most plumbers operate emergency callout services for these types of accidents. Give them a call, and they’ll send someone to help right now. You’ll have your ring back in minutes, without taking a loss.