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How do I find something dropped down the sink?

Posted 05-18-2009 at 05:40 AM by faucetman886

Have you ever dropped something of value down the sink? Your wedding ring? A contact lens? A part of something you are working on or cleaning in the sink? Well all Is not lost. Because of the “P” trap configuration of most sinks the item may not be lost at all but instead is probably caught in the trap just below the drain. The “P” trap is a function of plumbing which traps a water barrier in the drain as to prevent sewer gases from flowing back into the house. It actually isn’t a “P” at all but rather a “U” in your sink drain usually directly below the sink. Here is a simple step by step method to look for your lost valuable.
1. Turn the water off immediately both at the sink and then find the shut off valve and turn it off also, to avoid the possibility of washing your lost item on down the drain. Because most heavier items, such as jewelry, tend to drop to the bottom even if some water has run after it you may still be in luck and find it in the trap. I have read that items have been found years later that never washed on through.
2. Look below the sink and locate the “U” that I mentioned above.
3. Place a bucket under the trap because it is filled with dirty water and when you disassemble it the water will go everywhere if you don’t catch it and the trap in the bucket plus this will eliminate the possibility of the item getting lost under the sink once you open the trap.
4. The “P” trap is attached with large hex shaped nuts that only need to be hand tight. In some cases of older corroded fittings a pair of channel lock pliers may be needed to loosen these nuts. Loosen the nuts on each end and drop the whole assembly into your bucket.
5. Now the dirty work. You may want to wear protective gloves. Fully empty the trap into the bucket and search for your item. With any luck it will be there.
6. Simply reassemble the trap by tightening the hex nuts back in place, turn your water supply back on and immediately run some water down the sink to restore the water barrier in the trap.
7. If your item was not in the trap there is one additional possibility that your system contains a “grease filter” in line to your sewage system. This is not an easy nor pleasant task to handle but if the item lost was of extreme value invest in your friendly local plumber to assist in locating and cleaning the filter and look for the item.
For this blog and 50+ more articles of DIY and life interests visit my blogsite. URL is listed on my profile. I hope you enjoy them and find solutions to your problems. Comments and questions are welcomed always
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