Lost Jewelry Down the Drain? Here's How to Retrieve It.


When many of us were kids, we feared staying in the bathtub while the water drained because we were afraid of getting sucked down with it. It’s a common fear that goes away as we grow up and realize that there’s no way a person could fit in a drainpipe and be lost forever – but what about precious items such as rings, earrings, and other pieces of jewelry?

It’s not uncommon for plumbers to get calls from customers who – between tears – tell them that an engagement ring, heirloom earrings, or a precious stone from a piece of jewelry fell down the drain. We certainly don’t fault anyone for feeling like all hope is lost, and the good news is that it’s not! While it might seem like your precious item fell into a hopeless dark abyss, it may not be more than a few feet below your nose.

Your Jewelry Is Probably Stuck in the P-Trap

If your jewelry fell down the sink or shower, it’s probably stuck in the drain’s P-trap. Considering the circumstances, that’s very good news!

A P-trap is a plumbing fixture designed to help prevent wastewater from backing up in the sink or other drainage system. It works by trapping just enough water in its bend to create a seal that stops sewer gas and odors from escaping into the home. The P-shape of the trap can also trap foreign objects – such as jewelry – from escaping down into the main sewer line.

Very small or very light objects can escape the P-trap and go down the rest of the drain, but objects made of precious metals and stones may be large and/or heavy enough to remain at the bottom. You can increase your odds of recovering your jewelry by closing the tap as soon as possible and refraining prevent anything else from going down your drain until you can make your recovery attempt.

How Do I Get Jewelry Out of a P-Trap?

Getting jewelry out of a P-trap can be tricky. It’s important to approach the problem with patience and caution because you don't want to cause any damage to your plumbing system in the process.

Here’s how you can retrieve your jewelry from a P-trap:

  1. Shut off the water supply to the P-trap.
  1. Separate the two pieces of the P-trap with a wrench or pliers and carefully remove the trap.
  2. Search inside the trap for your jewelry. If you are lucky, it may be sitting right at the opening of the P-trap.
  3. Carefully inspect each part of the P-trap for any sign of jewelry. It’s possible that your item may have gotten stuck deep within the trap, so a thorough search is essential if you hope to recover the lost item.
  4. Use a flashlight and a long pair of tweezers or needle nose pliers to retrieve any jewelry from hard-to-reach areas in the pipe or trap. Once you locate your jewelry, don’t forget to reattach all parts of the P-trap before turning on the water supply.

Attempting this process on your own is risky because you may lose your jewelry into a deeper part of the drain or damage your plumbing system. With that in mind, you may need to call a professional plumber for assistance.

Carter Quality Plumbing, LLC to the Rescue!

With our many years of experience and specialized tools, you can count on Carter Quality Plumbing, LLC to come to the rescue! Although we can’t guarantee that jewelry is recoverable in all cases, we know that it’s trapped in a P-trap most of the time it falls into the sink. With that in mind, you can confidently contact us to perform a professional plumbing repair to help you retrieve your lost jewelry.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (803) 998-2270 now!