What Do You Do If You Drop Something Down The Drain?

Sink drains, unfortunately, take in more than just water and leftover food scraps. How many times have you seen those stories on the news where a wedding ring went bouncing down the pipes? In the aftermath, you're left with endless headaches and steep plumber's bills.

Any doctor worth his or her salt will tell you that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The same general principle applies to household fixes.

Too Late To Protect Your Drain?

If you haven't already, it's practically inevitable that at some point in your life you will drop something down the drain. And while the immediate horror that follows this event can be somewhat mitigated if the dropped item isn't valuable, you still have to deal with a clogged (or very soon-to-be clogged) drain.

Calling a professional plumber is always an option, but before you shell out hundreds of dollars to have your kitchen ripped apart, consider finding the rogue little item yourself with these steps.

Don't Panic

In times like these, it's best to chill. The first thing you should do is to remove anything that is obstructing your view of the drain (such as a drain plug) and take a peek. Although a tad unlikely, it's possible that your lost item got stuck on its way down the drain and is accessible by hand, stick, or retractor. Even if your object seems to be within reach, however, make sure you don't make things worse by using an inadequate tool and pushing it down further.

So you've taken a look down the drain to no avail. The relatively good news is that whatever you dropped down the drain is likely still sitting nearby in your sink's pipes, as opposed to riding down your town's sewage system. This is due to the fact that almost all modern sinks are outfitted with a U-shaped curve in their piping directly below the drain, which prevents sewer gasses from making their way through your sink and into your kitchen.

Trust Your Tools

If you can't see the lost object, it's time to turn to some tools. Magnetic probes and grasping claws can be helpful, but offer limited assistance if you can't actually see what you're grasping at. They can also make things worse by pushing the object further down the pipe without your knowledge. It's best to use an endoscopic camera like this one to locate your lost treasure first.

This particular scope, which is easily maneuverable into a variety of tight and dark spaces around the home, features an 8-way adjustable LED and a 1080p HD camera that sends a crystal-clear visual feed right back to any device you're using via Wi-Fi. And thanks to an IP68 waterproof rating and a length of three meters, this probe is perfect for long, winding sink drains. It's also currently on sale for $39.99—60% off its regular price.

Slowly insert the endoscopic camera down the drain, using the LED to light the way. Once you've located the object in question, you can move on to retrieving it safely and confidently

Get Your Hands A Little Dirty!

It's likely that the U-shaped curve in your sink's plumbing will be easy accessible, and will feature a drainage port that can be opened with only the twist of a wrench. If this is the case, make sure to place a small bucket underneath the piping in order to collect the water that will inevitably spill out of the drain once you open the port. (This should go without saying, but you would be wise not to run the water, or operate the garbage disposal during this procedure.)

Now that you've located the object with your endoscopic camera, you can use a magnetic probe or grasping tool to retrieve it with precision. If you have a helping hand, it's often helpful to use a retrieval tool and the endoscopic camera in tandem, with your assistant acting as navigator.

So remember: If that fails, take a peek down the drain yourself. If that fails, use a wireless HD endoscopic camera to locate the lost object. Finally, use a retriever tool such as a magnetic probe to free your object from the depths of your plumbing once and for all.

Written by Curiosity Staff September 20, 2017

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