If you or your spouse has accidentally dropped your wedding ring into a sink drain, you may think that it is lost forever. Even if you can't shrink to the size of an ant and retrieve the ring with ease, you can still be a hero and save the ring. You just need to remove the sink trap.
What is a sink trap?
The name says it all. A sink trap is a pipe fitting shaped like the letter "J" that is attached to a sink's drain pipe and "traps" foreign objects that enter the drain.
The curve of the fitting allows an object to remain in the bottom of the curve instead of traveling with the waste water to the main drain pipe.
What do you need to remove the sink trap?
You will also need a somewhat healthy back to work beneath the sink, as well as a tolerance for exposure to smelly, dirty water and sludge from the sink trap.
Removing the sink trap
You will begin by moving all objects beneath the sink drain that will be in your way or that you don't want to get wet. Then place newspapers, paper towels, or rags on the floor beneath the drain.
Use your adjustable wrench or locking pliers to remove the connecting nut from the short end of the "J" shaped trap. Turn the nut counterclockwise until completely disconnected.
Hold the sink trap as upright as possible,because it will be filled with smelly water and sludge. Using both hands, pull it down from the drain pipe. It should slide off easily, but if not, wiggle it back and forth gently until it releases.
Place the trap inside the bucket. This will cause the water in the bucket to become dark, so don't fill it too much. If you can't fit the bucket into the sink, use a garden hose to spray water into the trap gently.
If you can't see or feel the ring in the murky water, shake the trap while it is underwater until the ring becomes dislodged from the sludge.
When you have recovered the ring, use the faucet or hose to forcefully clean the inside of the sink trap.
Reinstalling the trap
Before you reinstall the trap, apply a strip of pipe tape (thin plastic ribbon) to the exposed threads of the drain pipe. Cover the threads by wrapping the tape in a clockwise direction.
Slide the upper portion of the trap to the drain pipe from the sink, then attach the trap to the threaded end of the drain pipe with the connecting nut. Use your wrench or pliers to ensure a tight fit.
Clean up your mess and bask in being a hero. Or if you don't feel comfortable completing any of these tasks, you can always call in professional plumbers, such as Aaron & Son Plumbers, who can help.
Many people think that a plumber is there to be called to unclog toilets and drain pipes, but they don't understand that there are a number of other tasks that a plumber can do around the home. As the wife of a plumber, I know very well how much my husband does when he is out working. He comes home and tells me his fun stories about the superhero that was flushed down the toilet or the hot water heater that nearly exploded. My blog is filled with all sorts of tips, stories and information that can help you get a better idea of everything that a plumber can do for you.