how to retrieve an item dropped down the drain - cash

Retrieving Items Lost Down the Drain

Don’t panic! If you want to know how to retrieve an item dropped down the drain, we have the tips and instructions that will wake you up from this nightmare!

It’s never a good feeling when you hear that dreaded clink as you watch your beloved wedding ring — or anything of sentimental or monetary value — slide down the sink drain.

Spare yourself the heart attack. Recovering that lost earring, bracelet, or ring doesn’t always require the help of a plumber. Next time you lose something down the drain, just follow these simple steps!

First Things First: Turn Off the Water

When you first notice you’ve lost something in the sink, immediately shut off the faucet. Keeping the water running may make the item harder to find. You should also turn off the water supply by turning the shutoff valve on the fixture clockwise.

Next: Try the Magnet Method

If you happen to have a strong magnet nearby, tie it to a string and attempt to catch your lost jewelry. Some items may not be magnetized, but it’s always worth a try before getting your hands dirty.

Also, there are tools you can purchase that have magnets attached to the end of them. Mechanics use them all the time to retrieve screws that fall into unreachable places by hand.

Magnetized pickup tools to retrieve unreachable or lost items
You can find a magnetized pickup tool like the above in various sizes. Get a telescoping model that is long enough to reach from the drain entry to the bottom of the P trap.

Locate the P-trap and Remove

Watch our Retrieve a Lost Ring Down Your Drain video here or on YouTube. This method is the safest bet for retrieving your ring or other item and it’s pretty darn easy too. Just remove the P-trap.

The P-trap is the funky, U-shaped valve (or a sideways P shape) underneath your sink basin. If it’s accessible, use a set of large channellock adjustable pliers or a wrench and loosen the two slip nuts on either end of the P-trap.

It’s best to have a bucket underneath the trap to catch any excess water, gunk, and hair that could be in there (gloves are always a good idea!). Hopefully, your jewelry will fall out among the filth so be sure to sift through the yucky stuff. 

how to retrieve lost item down the drain - use channellock pliers
Use a channellock adjustable plier on the P trap to help you find your lost item. Remember to turn off the water first!

Other Options to Retrieve an Item Dropped Down the Drain

Here are a couple more options on how to retrieve an item dropped down the drain.

  1. Similar to the telescoping magnet but with four prongs instead. These four-pronged tools are easily found at most hardware stores and work wonders when it comes to locating and retrieving any small, valuable item. For extra help, have someone shine a flashlight down the drain while you go fishing.
  2. To prevent future mishaps and nightmares, consider installing a drain guard on your sink drains
Pick up tool with 4 prongs - how to retrieve an item lost down the drain
Consider purchasing a pick-up tool with four prongs. If it’s long enough to reach your lost item, you’ll be able to retrieve it easily.

If all the above options don’t give you any luck recovering your lost item, give 1-Tom-Plumber a call at 1-866-758-6237! We have special equipment just for retrieving things from drains.


Obviously, losing a precious item down a drain is no fun. Really scary at first. The first thought is that it’s gone forever. Fret not. Most times, that’s not true.

Just stay calm, you’ve just learned how to retrieve an item dropped down the drain. And you know that your first step is to simply turn off the water. After that, just follow the above options and instructions.

Call 1-Tom-Plumber for Help

If you need more help finding a lost item in a drain or pipe, don’t hesitate to contact us or call us at 1-Tom-Plumber (1-866-758-6237). We immediately handle any emergency plumbing, drain cleaning, and water damage problem, including excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines.

Check us out on Facebook and Google!

Similar Posts