How to Get an Object (Like a Ring) Out of a Shower Drain

If you’ve ever dropped a small item down your shower drain, you know the panic and frustration that can ensue. Whether it’s a piece of jewelry, a razor cap, or a toy from your child’s bath time, retrieving an object from a shower drain might seem like a daunting task. However, the situation might not be as dire as it initially appears. With a little patience and the right tools, you might be surprised at what you can accomplish. This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to get an object out of a shower drain.

Understanding Your Shower Drain

Before we delve into the process, it’s helpful to understand the basic design of a shower drain. The top part, which we see and step on, is the drain cover or grate, designed to catch larger objects while allowing water to flow into the pipes below. Beneath the cover, you’ll find a drainpipe that leads the water away and a curved section known as the ‘trap.’ The trap’s purpose is to retain a small amount of water to prevent sewer gases from coming up the drain. If you drop an object down the drain, there’s a good chance it’s caught in this trap.

Tools You Might Need

Here are some tools you might need when trying to retrieve an object from a shower drain:

  • Screwdriver: To remove the drain cover if it’s screwed in place.
  • Flashlight: To see into the drain.
  • Wire hanger, plunger, wet/dry vacuum, or drain snake: These can be used to attempt to retrieve the object.

Steps to Retrieve an Object from a Shower Drain

Now, let’s discuss the steps to get an object out of a shower drain:

Step 1: Remove the Drain Cover

Start by removing the drain cover. Some covers can be easily lifted off, while others might be attached with screws. If screws are present, use a screwdriver to remove them.

Step 2: Inspect the Drain

Use a flashlight to look down the drain. If you can see the object, you’re off to a good start. If you can’t see it, it may have moved further down into the trap.

Step 3: Attempt to Retrieve the Object

Using a Wire Hanger

Unwind a wire hanger and make a small hook at the end. Gently lower the hanger into the drain and try to hook the object. Be careful not to push the item further down the drain.

Using a Plunger

If the hanger doesn’t work, you could try using a plunger. Make sure to cover the overflow drain (if your shower has one) before you start plunging. This creates a vacuum that could dislodge or bring up the object.

Using a Wet/Dry Vacuum

If you have a wet/dry vacuum, this could be a highly effective tool. Set the vacuum to vacuum liquids, cover the vent to create a seal, and then power on the vacuum to try and suck the object out.

Using a Drain Snake

A drain snake, or plumber’s snake, is a flexible auger used to dislodge clogs. If you have one, you can insert it into the drain until it reaches the object, then try to hook and retrieve the object.

Step 4: Call a Plumber

If you’ve tried everything and still can’t retrieve the object, it’s time to call a professional plumber. They have specialized tools and the expertise to handle this situation without causing damage to your pipes.


Dropping an object down the shower drain can be a distressing experience, but it’s often possible to retrieve it with a little patience and the right approach. Remember to take your time, and if in doubt, don’t hesitate to call a professional. It’s better to get expert help than to risk causing damage to your plumbing system. Whether you’re fishing out a priceless ring, a vital screw, or your child’s favorite bath toy, knowing how to get an object out of a shower drain is a handy skill for any homeowner.

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