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Old 07-07-2010, 02:41 PM   #1
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valve retrieval in a drain

I thought I would see what kind of fishing options people might have used to retrieve a valve (similar to the ones pictured below) out of a drain.

A valve accidentally, much to my dismay, went down the drain of a washing machine outlet box (picture below). The outlet box resides behind the drywall, thus it reduces the angle that I can insert items down the hole. The outlet box also stands approximately 3 feet off the ground. The assumption is that the valve is residing near the p valve (I am guessing the piping is similar to the one pictured below. The only difference would be that the drain is between the hot and cold water valves). The valve is made of brass so magnets aren’t any help…

A few ideas that I will try before cutting pipe:
  • Hanger
  • Fish Hook
  • Dry Vac with garden hose attached (Would probably only work if I get good contact to the vac, and the vacuum attaches well.)
  • Using a digital inspection camera while fishing (Probably expensive to rent.)

Any other ideas or tools that you might know of would be great in my attempt to lift this darn valve out of the drain. I didn't know if there were any good plumbing tricks out there. Thanks for looking at the post!


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Old 07-07-2010, 04:33 PM   #2
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Try a WET/dry shop vac first. (You will get water from the trap.) That may pull it right out.
I personally would not try to fish it out as that may end in it just being pushed out of the trap and on into the drain line.
The fastest, easiest way to retrieve it is to just hacksaw-cut the short piece of drain line right after the p-trap (between trap and street T) and reconnect it with a PVC coupling, PVC primer and glue. You might need to cut a short piece of that connecter pipe off to make the coupling fit just right.
Good Luck!


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