Is an earring dropped down a basin drain gone forever?

All it takes is the slightest twitch of the fingers, and an earring can be dropped down a basin drain in an instant. As you watch, horrified, it disappears down that hole, possibly vanishing forever. Don’t worry; plumbers in Lane Cove can help you get it back with a few tips.

Don’t Run Any Water

You do have a chance to save your earring, or any other small item that has gone down the drain. It just needs to be done before any water is run down that drain. If you don’t have time to get it out immediately, make sure everyone in the house knows not to use that sink until you do.

Get Under the Sink

Now you actually have to get to work. You’ll need a bucket and some sort of large adjustable wrench (also known as a plumber’s wrench). Not all sinks have precisely the same plumbing, but this is the general technique for getting things apart.

Once you’re in the cabinet, you’ll notice that there is a bend or J shape to the pipe. Known to most lay-people as a trap, that bend is where your earring is. Small objects that fall down the drain land in the bend, and can be retrieved by taking the pipe apart. But with a strong current of water, an object can be forced past the bend and away down the pipe. This is why you need to do your retrieval before the sink is used again.

Set your bucket under the trap, and see if there is a drainage bolt at the very bottom of the bend. If there is, open that up and let out the water that is currently sitting in the trap. A small enough object may drain right out at this point and you’re done. Just put the bolt back on.

If nothing has come out, you have to remove the bend. The trap portion should be attached to the rest of the pipe in two places, as it is intended to be removable for this very reason. There should be bolts or sleeves at either end of the trap that can be turned like screws to loosen the section of pipe. Plastic pipes may have flanges that can be turned by hand, but most will require a wrench.

Once the pipe is removed, just give it a shake or use your fingers to fish out the earring from the trap. You might want to wash it off at this point since the trap likely has hair and soap residue in it too.

Put It Back

Now you just need to put the trap back into place and tighten up the bolts again. There aren’t any tricks to it, just make sure the fasteners are tight enough to prevent any leaks. If this is your first time doing this chore, leave the bucket under the pipe when you run the taps next.

A Little Prevention

If you often change earrings over a sink, you should consider getting a mesh cover or insert for the drain. Not only would such a device prevent more fallen earrings, but it would also keep hair and other debris out of the pipes. And since it stays in the drain all the time, you don’t have to remember to put it in. Or you could simply put the plug in the drain each time, if you think of it.

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