Dropped Your Keys Down A Drain? Here’s How You Can Retrieve Them

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Losing your keys (or anything else of any value) down the drain is something that may seem amusing when it happens to someone else. But if it happens to you, it can be not only extremely inconvenient but also very expensive. To make matters worse if it happens it will undoubtedly be at the most inappropriate of times, like when you’re on the way home from a night out, or maybe collecting the children from school.

The first thing people tend to do when they see their keys, smartphone, purse, or ring down a grid or plughole is panic. Now while this is totally understandable it is the worst thing you can do. So, before you try and persuade someone to put their hand down the grid or rush home and get a coat-hanger, or any of the other madcap schemes people come up with, just take a minute. There are a number of things you should do if you drop valuable possessions into the drainage system.

In this article, we will highlight some of these so hopefully if the worst happens you will be well-placed to retrieve them and keep any stress to a minimum.

Dropped Keys Down Drain

Public Drains/Grids 

We thought we would start with public drains because these are typically the type of grids that we drop our keys or mobile, phones down. Things can become a little complex if you’ve ever had the terrible experience of dropping something into a public drain. Our first piece of advice is to refrain from reaching for it by sticking your hand between the bars, as doing so frequently results in your arm becoming caught. Call your local council or water authority instead and let them know about the issue. 

It will be necessary for representatives of these organisations to find any missing items for you, but they will typically charge a fee for the service. Regrettably, you could have to wait a while as they might not arrive until after business hours, due to the fact that this kind of work is not prioritised. However, more often than not they are likely to be able to get your lost property back for you. 

If you feel the lost items can be retrieved without having to enter the sewerage system we can help. Here at Totally Blocked LTD, we offer a key recovery service within our 24/7 call-out facility. All of our team is experts in key recovery, and have access to the correct equipment, that helps them wherever possible recover your keys from drains and gulleys. We aim to be with you within 60 minutes of your initial call to ensure we can get you away as soon as possible.

Sinks and Plugholes 

Dropping things down the plughole in a sink or washbasin is something that happens quite frequently. Because of the size of plugholes these tend to be smaller items such as pieces of jewellery. However, just because the item isn’t that big doesn’t make it any less valuable and the experience any less stressful. Fortunately retrieving something from a sink plughole is something you may be able to do yourself. 

You might be able to get away with dangling a short magnet down the pipe on a string if the distance between the plughole and the bottom of the U-bend is quite small (if your jewellery is magnetic). If that does not succeed, your only choice is to disassemble the piping in order to recover your lost items. Despite the fact that this procedure is very simple, we have outlined the steps to minimise the danger of harm to your sink and pipes.

The first thing to do is turn off the water if you continue to let the water run into your drains your precious item is likely to be washed away. Once you have done that place a bucket beneath your pipework to catch any residual water as well as your items if they fall out. Having done this, you can take apart the pipework and retrieve your missing item. If you can’t reach your item using your hands, there are tools available from construction shops specifically designed for the task. 

If you are uncomfortable about attempting this work yourself contact the team here at Totally Blocked LTD and we will be happy to help you resolve the problem and retrieve your missing items. We can use tools like CCTV drain surveys and methods like drain rodding to get to your item without the need to take apart the plumbing. 

External Drains and Grids on Your Property

If you are unfortunate to drop keys or any other items down a grid that is located on your property, the best thing to do is contact a drainage professional. Attempting to take up grids or any other external drainage covers without the proper equipment is fraught with danger. Not only are you in danger of putting your health at risk, but there is every chance you could cause damage to your drainage system. 

The expert team at Totally Blocked LTD has all the necessary tools and drainage PPE to ensure we can safely retrieve any items from your drainage system. Because we offer a 24-hour-a-day call-out service, 7 days a week we can be with you quickly and have the lost keys or phone back with you in no time at all. So, if you drop your keys, smartphone or anything else of value down your drainage system get in touch with our experienced team for a quick and affordable solution. 

We also specialise in blocked drains, drain repairs, septic tank emptying, flood pumping, and an assortment of other drainage services across the UK.

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