What happens if you drop a ring down your sink? Whether it’s a favorite piece or even a family heirloom, it’s easy to panic when you drop a ring down the sink. Don’t worry. The ring isn’t gone forever. It has most likely stopped in the trap, where it can be rescued. You’ll want to call your plumber right away, but there are also things you can do to make your ring easier to retrieve.
Before the Plumber Arrives
When you’re waiting for the plumber to arrive, you can take a few steps to avoid washing your ring further down the drain:
- Don’t run water:Avoid using the faucet above the drain that the ring fell down. If you do, the water could wash the ring out of the trap, which could make ring retrieval difficult or impossible.
- Avoid connected drains: Is the fixture on the first floor? Sometimes fixtures from the second floor share a drainpipe with those on the first. It’s unlikely that the ring is far enough that the water from the second floor can affect it, but you may not want to take any chances. Don’t run water from a fixture above the drain the ring is in.
- Don’t stick something down the drain: You may be tempted to try DIY ring rescue by putting some kind of tool down the drain. This attempt is more likely to push the ring further down the drain than to lift it back out. If you do push it further, it may be swept to the sewer main, in which case it is lost.
How the Plumber Finds Your Ring
Your plumber will first find the ring with a camera. He or she will use a plumbing scope, a thin tube equipped with a light and camera, to look for the ring. In most cases, the ring is found in the trap beneath the sink. If it is there, your plumber will carefully remove the trap and empty its contents to find the ring.
What if the ring is not in the trap? Things get a little dicier. Your plumber will run the scope through your plumbing, looking for the ring. If they find it, they will use special equipment to suck the ring back up. They may need to make an access point closer to where the ring is in order to do this.
If the plumber can’t find the ring, they may try running a wet vacuum to suction out anything in the pipes in the hopes the ring will be found that way.
Cleaning Your Ring
Once your ring is returned to you, you’ll probably notice that it is covered in some pretty gross stuff. How can you clean it off? First, place a strainer or sieve above the sink drain so that you don’t lose the ring again. Mix in some dish soap with hot water and allow the ring to soak for 20 to 40 minutes. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush (one you’ll never use in your mouth again) to gently remove anything that remains, and rinse under warm water.
You may also need to polish your ring to get it looking good again.