How to retrieve a ring dropped down the bathroom sink

Written by chris hoke
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How to retrieve a ring dropped down the bathroom sink
Rings and other pieces of jewellery can be retrieved from the J-bend under a sink. (water in a sink image by terex from

The "P-trap" refers to a bend or series of bends in the pipes below your bathroom sink that keeps sewer gas from escaping through your drain. The P-trap contains a particular bend known as a "J-bend," shaped like the letter "j," that tends to collect metal objects such as rings, earrings and other pieces of jewellery. To retrieve a ring dropped down the drain requires you to disassemble the P-trap, which can usually be done without any tools due to the plastic slip nuts that hold the pipes together.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bucket
  • Pipe cleaner

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  1. 1

    Turn off the water immediately to decrease the chances of the ring being flushed out of the J-bend.

  2. 2

    Place the bucket under the J-bend, which is the first big bend beneath the sink. It's shaped like the letter "J." The bucket will catch any water that will leak from the J-bend when it is disassembled.

  3. 3

    Locate the two slip nuts at each end of the J-bend. The slip nuts are usually made from plastic and connect two sections of pipe.

  4. 4

    Use your fingers to unscrew the slip nut closest to the drain. Turn the slip nut counter-clockwise until it loosens.

  5. 5

    Unscrew the slip nut at the other end of the J-bend, turning counter-clockwise until loose. Slide this slip nut out of the way, onto the horizontal pipe coming out of the wall.

  6. 6

    Apply gentle downward pressure on the J-bend until it comes free. Dump the content of the J-bend into the bucket. Retrieve the ring from the bucket. If the ring is not there, it may have become caught in debris, such as hair, still inside the J-bend. If this is the case, use a pipe cleaner to retrieve the ring from the J-bend.

  7. 7

    Wash the J-bend in another sink with warm water and then position the J-bend back into position between the two slip nuts.

  8. 8

    Tighten both slip nuts by hand to attach each end of the J-bend to the pipes. Do not overtighten.

  9. 9

    Run water from the faucet and check the slip nuts to ensure there are no leaks. Remove the bucket from under the sink and discard its contents.

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