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How Big Bear Plumbing Finds Valuables in Drains

Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating


The time will come when you lose a valuable down the drain. From wedding rings and bands to earrings, tie tacks, diamonds, other jewels and beyond, all different types of items can end up in the drain. Fret not, our Big Bear plumbing specialists are here to find the valuables in your drain and return them to your possession. We have a variety of ways to fish out these items from drain lines so don’t attempt a DIY (do it yourself) retrieval attempt.

What not to do After Losing an Item Down the Drain

If one of your valuables ends up in the drain, the worst thing you can do is turn on the water. Running water will inevitably push the value that much deeper down the drain line. Refrain from turning on the water and the lost item just might stay within the “P trap”, a pipe below the sink shaped similar to the letter J. It is possible our Big Bear plumbing crew will find the item in the P trap after disassembly. Do not make the mistake of using a traditional vacuum in an attempt to suck the item out of the drain as doing so has the chance to cause electrocution.

A Wet/Dry Shop-Vac Might do the Trick

If the lost valuable has not moved deep down the drain, it might be possible to suck it on out with a wet/dry shop-vac. Here’s how the process works: the pop-up stopper must be removed. The next step is stretching a nylon stocking across the shop-vac hose end. This stocking is held tightly in place while the hose end covered with the stocking is positioned over the drain’s opening. At this point, the shop-vac is activated in an attempt to suck up the lost item. The hose is lifted away from the drain and inspected, hopefully, to find the jewelry or other valuable stuck to the stocking.

However, the use of a shop-vac typically only works well when attempting to retrieve diminutive items that are light in weight such as an earring. If the shop-vac approach does not suck up the lost item in question, the P trap below the sink will likely need to be removed. However, some such P traps require nuanced tools for disassembly so do not hesitate to lean on our Big Bear plumbing experts for assistance. We have the Channellock pliers and other tools necessary to disassemble the P trap in the proper manner.

If it turns out the item is not in the P trap, it is an indication it has moved deeper into the branch line or possibly even into the main sewer. If this is the case, it is a mistake to flush the toilet or run the water at any point throughout the house. Do the smart thing by leaning on our Big Bear plumbing team for assistance.

Video Camera Inspection

If the lost item has moved down the branch line, it is time to make use of our high-tech tools. In particular, a video camera snake will prove quite helpful. We have fiber optic cameras for the in-depth visual inspection of subterranean lines and other pipes to pinpoint the exact location of lost valuables. Here’s how it works: a flexible rod equipped with a camera at its tip is moved down into the pipe where the item was lost. The camera is connected to a rod that moves similar to a snake to ensure it can bend around those angular corners and challenging bends within pipes without getting stuck. The camera transmits video footage to our team. This footage is recorded and saved for review.

Our drain line camera is also equipped with radio transmitters that provide specific depth and location points as it moves down the drain line. This precision ensures we can accurately pinpoint the exact location of the lost item and retrieve it in a timely manner. If the project goes as planned, we will find out exactly where your lost value is within the plumbing system, retrieve it from that specific location and return it to you in a timely manner.

Additional Benefits of Video Inspection

Our video inspection of the line will also clue us into other potential problems with your plumbing system. If we find extensive corrosion, root intrusion or another problem with the drain line, pipe or sewer line, we will bring it to your attention. If repairs are necessary, we will run the camera back on down the line after the work is done to guarantee the pipe(s) are in absolutely flawless condition.


Knowing that you’ve got a piece of precious jewelry or a gemstone stuck at the bottom of your drain can make you restless. Fortunately, the Big Bear plumbing team is equipped to put your worries to rest. Forget about DIY, and engage the professionals to effectively and safely retrieve the valuable item with the help of modern technology.

Call Big Bear Valley Plumbing Technicians for Drain Cleaning

If you have lost valuable or other items in your drain, our Big Bear plumbing specialists are here to retrieve it on your behalf. Give us a call at (909) 584-4376 to find out more about our plumbing services and schedule an appointment.


If you are looking for a Big Bear plumbing, heating & air conditioning contractor, please call (909) 584-4376 or complete our online request form.