Dropped Something Valuable Down The Drain? Here's What You Should Know

You were washing dishes when your ring slipped off your finger or washing your hands when your bracelet slipped from your wrist–these are just two examples of how easy it is to lose something down a drain in your home. It can be pretty scary to see something of value washed away with the water and seemingly gone forever. However, you should know that whatever it is that you lost may not be completely gone. No matter what it is that you have lost down the drain, there are a few things that you should keep in mind to help you out. 

Turn the water off immediately and don't turn it back on. 

As soon as you realize you've lost something important, turn off the water in the sink and do not turn it back on. The more water there is flowing through the lines, the more likely it will be that your valuable gets washed on down into the sewer system or drainage lines where it cannot be retrieved. 

Grab a flashlight and take a look for yourself. 

Before you call a plumber to help you retrieve your item, see if you can get a good visual on it. If you can shine your flashlight into the drain and see the item, you will likely be able to retrieve the item on your own. Use something like long tweezers or a wire hook fashioned from a coat hanger to reach into the drain to try and grab the item. 

Get a professional plumber for help. 

There is nothing you should feel ashamed of about calling a plumber to help you retrieve something valuable from a drain; this stuff happens all the time. A plumber will be better equipped to help you retrieve your item if you can't see it from the top of the drain. They usually have:

  • long retrieval tools and wires that can pull things from deep in the drain
  • video equipment that can be sent into the drainage line to get a visual on the item
  • the necessary skills and tools to disassemble pipes if necessary to get your item

In some cases, even if the item has washed far into the drainage line, a plumber can get to it and pull it out. If the item has already washed into the septic system, the plumber may recommend having the septic pumping technician filter for the item the next time you clean your tank. Unfortunately, if the item has washed into a main septic line and into the sewer system, you may not ever get your item back.