Brits lose millions of pounds down the drain – literally

Published on in Banking News by

Usually when people say that it’s “money down the drain” they don’t mean it literally, but a new study has revealed the extent to which people actually do lose things by dropping them into toilets or sink plugholes in the UK.

Money down the drain

The research is part of the ‘State of the Nation’s Homes’ series and the main finding is that more than a third of the people questioned said that they have lost something in the drainage system, ranging from mobile phones and jewellery to cash and keys.

The study, carried out by the AA’s Home Emergency Response service, has revealed that the goods that disappear every year are worth millions of pounds collectively.

The most likely thing to be lost in this way is jewellery, with 15% of those who took part in the survey saying they had dropped such items worth an average of £175.

5% of survey participants had lost keys, which cost an average of £58.25 to replace and one in ten said they had lost mobile phones in the same way.

Head of the AA’s Home Emergency Response service Tom Stringer said: “It’s surprising what will fit down a plughole! We know the kinds of things we’re not supposed to put down the drain, like vegetable peelings and cooking fat, but we’re often not overly careful in making sure other things don’t accidentally end up down there.”

Women seem to be unluckier than men with 40% saying they’d lost an item, compared with just 28% of men. If you are under 35 you are more likely to lose something this way than if you are over 65, with 46% and 28% respectively reporting it had happened to them.

“It’s easy to imagine that a ring could slip off when you’re washing up, or that a set of keys could fall out of your pocket down the loo. But our own engineers tell us about the strange things they find in customer’s drains, and it does make you wonder how they got there,” Mr Stringer added.

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