Accidents happen every time, sanctioned or unsanctioned. There are instances when, no matter how careful you are, minute details escape your mind. Others when there are just unavoidable events no matter how mindful and careful you are. One of the most dreaded accidents that involve your plumbing system is when you drop an object inside or down the drain pipes. Most times, it automatically becomes a non-issue if the object does not hold value to you but when it does, owners usually do everything to retrieve the item. To help you, here is a simple 5-step method to help you recover lost items in the sink drain:
Step # 1: Activate the Shut-off Valve.
All processes that involve water supply pipe repair, dismantling, replacement or installation should always start with preventing or closing up the pipes in order to prevent water flow. This will make the process easier, the damages minimal and the results better than expected. After you turn off the supply main; you can choose to collect water inside a bucket to use in cleaning out the drain pipes if needed.
Step # 2: Prepare a bucket.
This is a preventive measure against making a mess out of your retrieving process. Putting a bucket right under the sink to act as a catch basin for all the waste water and other filth that are sure to exist inside the sink drain pipe will help you avoid the hassle of cleaning dirt on your floor or splashes on your clothes after the retrieving is done. The bucket will save you from more cleaning after retrieving the item. Also, by putting a bucket under the pipes, this will assure you that there is that one place you can look for the item if you do not find it anywhere in the drain pipe or U-trap.
Step # 3: Dismantle the trap.
Once you observe your sink pipe thoroughly, you will notice that the fixture used in screwing the tap in place are nuts and bolts. Start dismantling the pipes by unscrewing the slip nut. There should be a washer right in between the trap and the slip joint. Make sure to keep that safe because you will need it again when you put everything back together. Now, unscrew the trap and let the water stuck inside flow to the bucket. After all the liquid is out, you should be able to see the inside of the pipe and look for the missing item. If you can see it already, you can now skip to Step # 5 to put the trap back together. If not, here is an optional step:
Step # 4: Scrape out the wastes.
As mentioned earlier, this is an optional step if you still did not find your lost item. You use a stick, disposable spoon, tiny spatula, wire or any other fixture you can get your hands on to serve as a ladle. Use that shift through the clusters of dirt and gunk that were accumulated in the trap. Big or small, your item will surely be somewhere in those grime clusters. For your safety, use protective eyewear to prevent the dirt from getting to your eyes and gloves to protect your hands from the dirt you will find there.
Step # 5: Reassemble the trap.
You surely cannot leave your trap and kitchen pipes looking as they are now. The final step is to restore your pipes by putting them back together. This is not a hard task. You simply have to follow the same steps you did while dismantling them, only, in a reverse order. Be careful in tightening the trap that you do not overdo it since this can lead to leaks in the future.