How to Retrieve an Item Dropped Down the Sink Drain – Part 3

By |Last updated on |Bathroom, Bathroom Sink|15 Comments

I’ve recovered the lost earring from the bathroom sink drain, cleared a clump of hair and cleaned the pipe joints. Now the P-trap is put back together. This repair is continued from How to Retrieve an Item Dropped Down the Sink Drain – Part 2.

Reassemble the Sink Drain P-Trap

I begin by aligning the sink drain J-bend to the pipes and screwing on the left slip nut. Do not over tighten the slip nut, when snug give it a 1/4 extra turn or so. Note the self-seating gasket formed into the end of the PVC elbow (left side).

Bathroom Sink: Assemble the P-Trap

Bathroom Sink: Assemble the P-Trap

The nylon gasket must be slipped down the drain pipe to meet the J-Bend before the slip nut is screwed on.

Bathroom Sink Drain: P-Trap Nylon Gasket

Bathroom Sink Drain: P-Trap Nylon Gasket

The nylon gasket is seated in the J-bend:

Bathroom Sink Drain: P-trap Gasket Seated on the J-Bend

Bathroom Sink Drain: P-trap Gasket Seated on the J-Bend

Turn the slip nut until snug, then give it a 1/4 extra turn or so. Do not over tighten or you could crush the nylon gasket.

Bathroom Sink Drain: Slip Nut Screwed on to Fasten the J-Bend

Bathroom Sink Drain: Slip Nut Screwed on to Fasten the J-Bend

Here’s the reassembled P-trap and J-bend.

Bathroom Sink Drain: P-trap Installed

Bathroom Sink Drain: P-trap Installed

The the pop-up drain pivot rod and drain stopper are re-installed in How to Retrieve an Item Dropped Down the Sink Drain -Part 4.


Bob Jackson

Copyright © 2018   Reproduction strictly prohibited.


  1. scott June 26, 2013 at 6:28 am - Reply

    I put on the gasket and tightened the nut but the water leaks out of it. Everything is snug, but still it leaks.

    • BobJackson June 26, 2013 at 6:26 pm - Reply

      Take apart the trap and clean the pipe, fittings and white plastic compression gasket. The gasket must be clean, smooth and undamaged for a watertight seal. Take care the gasket is oriented correctly with the wide/flat side facing the nut, then tighten the nut.

      If the trap still leaks, buy a new P-trap kit to replace the old drain parts. A new P-trap kit is inexpensive.

  2. marisa August 10, 2013 at 10:56 pm - Reply

    It took me two minutes (if that) to unscrew, get my diamond earring, and put back together. Thank you so much!!!

  3. Mary October 20, 2013 at 9:16 am - Reply

    Thank you so very much. I dropped a brand new cultured pearl 10K earring down the bathroom sink yesterday and your directions were absolutely fantastic and I am so very grateful to you. Thanks again.

    • BobJackson October 20, 2013 at 10:51 am - Reply

      You’re welcome! It’s always a heart-stopping moment when valuable item goes down the drain, hopefully to be followed by the elation of finding it in the p-trap.

  4. Joan November 15, 2014 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    What if the slip nut won’t budge?

    • Bob Jackson November 15, 2014 at 2:18 pm - Reply

      Use a pair of channel lock pliers to grip the slip nut. Apply just enough pressure to grip the plastic nut without crushing it. Channel locks and replacement slip nuts are available at home improvement stores.

  5. Kate December 5, 2014 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    Worked perfectly! The step by step photos were a huge help. Thanks for taking the time to write up such a detailed walk-through. Much appreciated!

  6. Sandra Lee April 14, 2015 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    these directions are so great! I love that they are clear and the photos with labels make it all too easy. I appreciate you very much

  7. Robin February 29, 2016 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much! My favorite earring was hanging from a thread (of my own hair) Thank you!

  8. Veronica March 1, 2016 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    Thank You so much! I accidentally dropped my earing down the bathroom sink. I was tight on time and couldn’t leave to my meeting without my earings. I’m very minimalist so I don’t have an extra pair. I was able to follow all of your steps within 5-10 minutes! You saved my day. Thank you!

  9. Renee March 28, 2016 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    Hi I just replaced my moms vanity and sink and the alignment of the drain pipe, Ptrap and line to wall are in a very similar angled pattern to what your example shows. It seems the drainage from the sink is very slow now with the new configuration. I cleaned everything out as far as I could and the old sink was aligned with sink and Ptrap straight to the wall drain previous.
    My question is: does the drainage slow down considerably with an angled Ptrap from the wall extension? Or could this be due to other issues further down the line?
    Any info you could provide would be helpful. Thanks!

  10. Joel December 11, 2016 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    Just for those who might have dropped a drain plug chain down the bathtub drain. Being a guitar player, the solution? Take an old low e guitar string. Make a hook at the end and put down the drain. Worked like a charm.

  11. Sunaina January 7, 2018 at 10:30 am - Reply

    Thank you very much for this tutorial. I just got back my gold earring that I thought would be lost forever. THANK YOU!! :-)

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