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Getting That Ring Out of Your Bathroom Drain

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You removed your ring and placed it on the edge of the bathroom sink to wash your hands. It only took a second for your sleeve to brush it off into the sink. Before you could stop it, the ring went down the drain. You could call a plumber to get the ring out of the drain, but with a few simple tools, you can get it out yourself. Here is how to take apart the drain to find your ring, or any item you drop into the sink.

Tools You'll Need

  • screwdriver
  • channel lock pliers or small pipe wrench
  • flashlight
  • some rags for cleanup
  • small bucket or bowl

Taking Apart the Pop-Up Stopper

Your ring may have become stuck on the pop-up stopper, so that's the first place to check.

  1. Place the bowl or bucket under the sink to catch any spills.
  2. Look under the sink for the drain pipe that heads straight down from the sink.
  3. Look for the rod that comes out of the sink horizontally and connects with a flat metal plate. This is the mechanism that opens and closes the stopper.
  4. Pinch the clip or unscrew the screw holding the plate to the rod and slide the plate off.
  5. Unscrew the large nut holding the rod in the drain and remove the nut.
  6. Slowly pull the horizontal rod out of the drain.
  7. Look in the hole in the side of the drain to see if your ring is hanging on the end of the stopper. Reach in carefully and remove the ring. If the ring should slip and fall further down in the drain, don't worry, because you'll get it out with the next steps.

Taking Apart the Drain

If you didn't see your ring, or it slipped further down the drain, you'll find it at the bottom of the P-trap.

  1. Follow the vertical drain pipe coming out of the bottom of the sink to the first large connector. This connects the drain to the P-trap, a curved piece of pipe used to trap items from going down the drain and to prevent sewer odors from coming up out of the drain.
  2. Unscrew the large connector between the drain and the P-trap.
  3. Follow the P-trap to its other end and unscrew the connector securing it to the horizontal drain pipe coming out of the wall.
  4. Carefully, and without tipping it, pull the P-trap from both pipes.
  5. Drain the P-trap into the bowl or bucket and retrieve your ring.
  6. Be sure to clean the ring thoroughly before you wear it again!

Putting the Drain Back Together

  1. Wipe off the ends of the drain pipes and the inside edge of the P-trap.
  2. Slide the long, straight part of the P-trap onto the horizontal pipe coming out of the wall.
  3. Push the pipes together until they stop.
  4. Push the other end of the P-trap onto the drain pipe coming down from the sink until the pipes stop.
  5. Hand tighten the two large nuts that connect the pipes together.

Reassembling the Pop-Up Stopper

  1. Look into the hole of the drain where you removed the rod for the stopper and turn the stopper until you can see the slot at its bottom.
  2. Place the short end of the rod that you took out of the drain into the hole while slipping the rod into the slot in the stopper.
  3. Secure the rod in the drain with the large nut and hand tighten.
  4. Attach the flat plate to the rod and secure with the clip or screw.
  5. Try the pop-up stopper and adjust the plate along the rod until it's easy to open and close.

Problems You May Have with This Project

If you encounter any of these situations, you'll want to call a plumbing service company to finish the job for you.

  • The drain pipes are metal and the connectors won't loosen. The pipes are likely corroded and you'll need a plumber to cut the pipes apart and replace with industry standard plastic.
  • Your ring is not in the P-trap. If you ran water in the sink after the ring fell, it may have been carried down further into the drain system. A plumber may be able to access a lower level of the drain before it empties into the city waste water system. For more information, contact a plumber immediately.