You’ve been dreading this moment since you first got engaged, and now it’s happened. Your wedding ring came loose from your finger while you were washing your hands or taking a shower. You watched helplessly as it followed the water’s current and rushed down the drain.
Fortunately, all is not lost. Your wedding ring is most likely still close by and can be saved with a plumber’s help. Here’s what you can do about it.
When Your Wedding Ring Washes Down the Sink
If your wedding ring flowed down the sink while you were washing your hands, it might not be far away. If your ring contains magnetic metals such as nickel, cobalt, steel, and iron, you can try the magnet trick. Attach a magnet to the end of a string and place the magnet in the disposal. If your ring attaches to the magnet, pull on the string to retrieve the ring.
If you can’t reach your ring with a magnet, it’s probably in the drain trap under your sink. If you’ve never handled the drain trap before, your best bet is to call an experienced plumber.
The plumber can retrieve your ring by removing the J-shaped pipe under your sink (called the J-bend). He or she must also unscrew the slip nuts on either side of the J-bend. When the plumber removes the J-bend, he or she will most likely find the ring hiding inside the P-trap. He or she can then retrieve the ring and replace the J-bend.
When Your Wedding Ring Washes Down the Shower Drain
Retrieving your wedding ring from the shower drain is a bit trickier because you don’t have access to the plumbing under the shower like you do with a sink.
As soon as your ring disappears down the drain, turn off the water right away. With any luck, your wedding ring didn’t go too far. Try removing the drain cover. If you see the ring inside the drain, remove it with a tool such as a grabber and retriever. A grabber and retriever is a long, thin tool with claws on the end that can grasp your ring.
If you can’t retrieve the ring this way, call a plumber. If the plumber can’t find the ring with advanced retrieval tools, he or she may be able to suck the ring out with a wet-dry vacuum.
The plumber can turn the vacuum on the wet setting to suck the ring from the drain. Once he or she sucks up the ring, he or she raises the hose in the air, allowing the ring to fall into the vacuum tank. The plumber can then remove the tank and retrieve your ring. Alternatively, the plumber might block the vacuum’s hole to retrieve the ring from the vacuum tube.
When Your Wedding Ring Washes Down the Disposal
You’re washing dishes in the kitchen sink when your wedding ring washes into the disposal. Stay safe and avoid putting your hands into the disposal. Turn off the electrical power to the disposal. Now, see if you can remove the ring with a grabber and retriever or another long utensil.
If this method doesn’t work, call a plumber. If the ring is inside the grinder itself, it may have caused significant damage. The plumber may need to repair or replace your disposal after retrieving the ring. If the ring is in the drain trap, the plumber can remove the J-bend to retrieve the ring.
When Your Wedding Ring Gets Flushed Down the Toilet
Another unfortunate scenario is accidentally flushing your wedding ring down the toilet. But the scenario isn’t hopeless.
A plumber may be able to retrieve the ring with a plumbing snake. A plumbing snake is a metal cable that can fit inside the toilet drain. The end of the snake hooks onto your ring to bring it to the surface.
If the snake doesn’t do the trick, the plumber will need to take apart the toilet to get to the toilet trap. The plumber:
- Removes the lid and refill tube
- Removes the tank and water supply line
- Detaches and lifts the toilet bowl
- Uses the plumbing snake to remove the ring from the toilet trap
- Replaces the toilet’s seal and reassembles all its parts
After retrieving your ring, make sure you clean it thoroughly. Soak your ring in a jewelry cleaning solution or in a mix of soap and warm water for about 20 minutes. Then, scrub off any dirt and debris with a small bristled brush.
Watching your wedding ring wash down the drain can be frustrating and even scary. Not only is your ring expensive to replace but its memories are priceless as well. Retrieve your ring from any drain with the help of a plumber. Call Rapid Rooter Plumbing for all your plumbing needs.