On average, a groom’s wedding band costs a little less than $500. The bride? Including the engagement ring, that average cost skyrockets to over $6,000.
With all those zeroes, you might feel like you’re flushing a lot of money down the drain. How are you going to feel if you literally flush all that money down the drain?
Perhaps you’re here because you already did. Your wedding ring went right down the bathroom drain, or worse, got flushed down the toilet. Don’t panic!
With a few tools and a little know-how, you can get your ring back safe and sound. And hey, if you don’t want to take on the job yourself, you can always contact an emergency plumber!
Retrieving a Wedding Ring from the Sink Drain
If your wedding ring went down your kitchen or bathroom drain, there are a few simple steps to getting it back. First thing’s first: do not run the water!
With luck, your ring stopped in the p-trap (also called the u-bend) of your sink’s pipe system. As long as you don’t run the water, it should stay there.
If you want to go really DIY, you can try fashioning a long hook out of wire and go fishing for your ring from the surface of the sink. Chances are, you’re going to pull up a lot of gunk while the ring evades your homemade contraption.
You’re going to have a lot more luck if you head for the pipes under the sink. Grab a bucket, some towels, and a wrench.
Place the bucket and towels beneath the p-trap to catch any water or other unsavory bits pour out when the p-trap is removed. Hopefully, your ring will be floating around in whatever lands in the bucket.
Use your wrench to loosen the pipe connector that is holding the p-trap in place. Depending on your piping, you may have two, one on either side of the p-trap. If so, loosen both so that you can disconnect the p-trap all the way.
Clear out the p-trap by either dumping out its contents or running something through it, like that wire hook you made that is finally coming in handy. Check to see if your ring is somewhere in the debris!
If not, shine a flashlight into the connecting pipes and see if it’s visible. If you can’t see (and reach) it by now, you’re going to have to get that plumber on the phone.
Retrieving a Wedding Ring from the Shower Drain
Things get a little trickier if your ring fell down the shower drain because you don’t have access to all the plumbing beneath a shower like you do a sink.
Turn the shower off as soon as the ring has disappeared. You may want to finish rinsing the shampoo out of your hair first, but a second shower will cost a lot less than a replacement wedding ring!
Next, try to remove the shower’s drain cover to give yourself more room to poke around in the plumbing. Shine a flashlight down the drain and look for the glint of your ring. If you can see it, there’s still hope that you can get to it, yourself!
Now you’re going to need something to retrieve it. Again, you can try the old wire hook trick, and you may have more luck with it this time since you can actually see the ring.
If you want to get more technical, you’ll want to use something like a grabber and retriever. If you’re not familiar with this handy piece of equipment, it looks like the kind of tool you might use to pick up trash or reach things on a high shelf. The only thing is, for this particular job, you’ll need a slender one since most shower drains are about 1 1/2″ wide.
If you can’t grab it with your grabbing tool, or if you can’t locate it at all, you’ll want to call a plumber. Plumbers have special vacuums that can suck your ring right out of the drain for you.
Do attempt this with a regular household vacuum. It’s not going to go the way you want it to, and you’ll end up having to replace your wedding ring and your vacuum. Let the professionals take care of it.
How to Retrieve a Wedding Ring that was Flushed Down the Toilet
So the worst has happened. Your ring flushed down the toilet. Honestly, you should call a plumber.
If you happen to have a plumbing snake retriever handy, you can give it a whirl, yourself. Plumbing snakes are metal cables that contour to the shape of a toilet drain. Lift the lid, send in the snake, and hope that it grabs hold of your ring.
If that doesn’t work, you should seriously call a plumber. Why? Because what happens next is basically the disassembling of your toilet, and that’s probably not how you intended to spend your afternoon.
The toilet tank lid and refill tube need to be removed, followed by the tank and water supply line. Next comes the toilet bowl, and the snake is sent back into battle, this time with a greater advantage.
Your ring is retrieved and thoroughly washed. Your toilet is put back together. Your spouse is annoyed but relieved that they don’t have to buy you another ring that you might flush down the toilet again.
Or, do it yourself and try not to break your toilet. Maybe you’ll discover your natural talent for plumbing!
Don’t Flush Your Hope Down the Drain
It’s not exactly a fun time when you’re fishing valuables from down the drain. But hopefully, you’ve found that it’s not the end of the world, either!
If you’ve read through this and know deep down that you are no handyperson, don’t stress. Make sure everyone in your household knows which sink not to run or which toilet not to use, and contact a plumber.