Have you lost an earring in the sink? Had a necklace fall into the garbage disposal? Maybe your ring even went down the shower drain!
Many people have had a piece of jewelry fall into sinks and drains before. While this can be alarming, the good news is that most drains have a built-in failsafe if this happens. It’s called a P-trap, and this U-shaped bend in your drain pipe helps block water between your drain and the bottom of sinks, showers, and sewer lines. As your fixtures send water down through your drainpipe, the water in the trap is replaced with fresh water, creating a pull that eventually lifts solid matter out of the trap. The good news is that jewelry is heavier and can become lodged in the trap, creating an opportunity for you to get it out. It’s important to act quickly, however, as it’s only a matter of time before that jewelry becomes dislodged again.
Here at Carter Quality Plumbing, we are experts when it comes to all things drains. Keep reading to learn how to get jewelry out of your drains, and make sure to call our experienced plumbers for all the services you need.
Getting Jewelry Out of Sinks
The first question to ask yourself after a piece of jewelry falls into your kitchen or bathroom sink is whether that jewelry is magnetic. This won’t apply to real gold and silver, but other metal alloys in your jewelry may have magnetic qualities, in which case you can take another magnet, attach it to a string, and feed it down into the P-trap until you feel your jewelry.
If your jewelry is on the more expensive side, however, and a magnet won’t work, you will want to take apart the P-trap. You should be able to find this component directly under your sink. If you have a drain plug, remove that first. You should get a bucket, as this will cause water to come pouring out, potentially with your jewelry. If you do not have a drain plug, take a wrench and remove the p-trap directly. Once again, you should expect a lot of water to come out. Once the p-trap is removed, you will be able to inspect it, as well as the top end of the pipe, for your missing jewelry.
Getting Jewelry Out of Garbage Disposals
The first step before doing anything with your garbage disposal is to turn it off—of course, hopefully your disposal wasn’t on in the first place when your jewelry fell in! To be safe, avoid sticking your hand in, and use either tongs, a pair of spoons, or a wire hook to snake your jewelry out. You may also need someone to hold a flashlight so you can see what you’re doing. If you do this and still can’t find your jewelry, see the instructions above about taking out the P-trap.
Getting Jewelry Out of Showers & Bathtubs
Your shower or bathtub should have a drain cover to prevent anything from going down it. If, however, your jewelry somehow got past this part, you will need to take it off before you proceed any further. After that, you can use a wire snake again, or another retrieving tool to fish your jewelry out (your local hardware store should sell something that works) You can also use a powerful wet vac system to suction your p-trap out (once again, these tools can usually be bought/rented from your local hardware store.)
It is worth noting that in the case of your tub or shower, you will not be able to remove the p-trap directly, as it is located underneath your floor. The exception to this would be if you have an exposed basement ceiling. However, if this is the case, you may just want to…
Call a Professional Plumber
If you prefer not to go the DIY route, you can always call one of our skilled professionals at Carter Quality Plumbing to help you get that jewelry out of your drain. Just make sure to call us quickly, before it can travel further down your plumbing system! Remember, use drain covers where they are appropriate and be safe when approaching your plumbing system with jewelry on—and be sure to check out our plumbing blog for more helpful tips and tricks!
To schedule an appointment with Carter Quality Plumbing now, call (803) 998-2270, or send us a message online.