What to do if you Drop something Down the Drain

Dropping something down a drain is something that can happen to any of us, whether an earring accidentally goes down the sink whilst washing up or a mobile phone drops into an outside drain.

If you lose something down a drain, it doesn’t necessarily mean an expert will need to be called. We’ve put together our top tips to help you whether you’ve lost something down a domestic or outside drain.


If you’ve been unfortunate enough to lose anything down a plughole in your home, you may be able to fish it out using a strong magnet. This will work if, the item you’ve dropped is magnetic, and if the distance between the plughole and the bottom of the U-bend is short.

Aluminium, gold and copper jewellery are not magnetic. Should this apply to your situation, or you have dropped another object that a magnet won’t pick up, the other option is to take apart the pipework.

This is often a straightforward task for many, though it is important you take care to reduce the risks of damaging your sink, as well as being aware of excess water spilling out from the pipes. We’ve put together our top 5 tips to help you retrieve your lost items!

1. Clear some space beneath your sink to give you some room.
2. Turn off the water, and put a bucket and some old towels beneath the pipes.
3. Find the U-Bend (where your lost item is most likely hiding) and untighten the nuts that are holding it in place. If you find the nuts are a bit too tight, try using pliers.
4. There may be some built up residue in your pipe, so get rid of that in your bucket and put on some rubber gloves before you fish through!
5. Once you’ve located your item, reattach the U-Bend, retighten the nuts and give your tap a quick run to ensure there are no leaks.

Street Drains

If you have regrettably dropped something down a public drain on the street, retrieving your item can become a bit more complicated. Drains on the street are the responsibility of the local council/water authority. You can find out the water authority for your area here. Representatives from these bodies will be required in order to help you retrieve any lost items. It is worth noting that often you will be charged for these services and prices can vary depending on your area.

Whatever the problem with your drain, here at Happy Drains we are able to help. If you’ve lost something down your plughole and don’t feel comfortable retrieving it yourself, we can give you a hand at a competitive price. If you’d like to find out more information in regards to retrieving lost items from drains, get in touch with a member of the team today via our contact page or by giving us a call…