How To Retrieve Metal Items Down Sink Drain

By Robert Robillard on Workshop tips

Kohler sink

Retrieving Items Down Sink Drain

Today I was using a screwdriver near the sink and I accidentally dropped the driver bit into the sink and down the disposal.

Luckily the disposal was not on, but I could hear my plumber brother in the back of my head saying, “I told you to always plug the sink before working near or over it.”

Because the driver bit is metal I reached for my telescoping magnet. These magnets are popular in the automotive field and I bought mine at Sears for under $10.00.

How To Retrieve Metal Items Down Sink Drain

The magnet on this tool is incredibly strong and the second I dropped it into the disposal I hear that wonderful “click” sound.

How To Retrieve Metal Items Down Sink Drain

I lifted it out and viola! Problem solved.

How To Retrieve Metal Items Down Sink Drain

Next time I will remember to plug the sink drain.

A week earlier my friend called and told me his wedding ring fell into his drain. Most jewelry is not magnetic so he needed a different option.

I loaned him this flexible “grabber” tool.

How To Retrieve Metal Items Down Sink Drain

I got this at the same time as the magnet. Simply locate the item with a flashlight and depress the thumb lever to open the prongs and release the thumb lever to grasp your object.

How To Retrieve Metal Items Down Sink Drain

Prongs open.

How To Retrieve Metal Items Down Sink Drain

If the item was dropped while the disposal was on it may be necessary to remove the disposal, call a plumber for this.

Two other ways to access items in sink drains is to use a wet vacuum to suck out the item or open the P-trap drain cleanout cap located below the drain. In most cases, the P-trap is easily accessible.

How To Retrieve Metal Items Down Sink Drain

This cleanout drain plug, intended to aid cleaning the P-trap, is sometimes the easier way to get a lost item. Make sure to place a bucket under the drain to release the water inside the trap.

Use the channel-type pliers or a wrench to loosen the P-trap’s nut. Use a rag or tape if the p-trap nut is metal or chrome to avoid marring the finish.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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