If you have ever experienced clogging a toilet, it can be a terrible experience. Not only is a clogged toilet a bit gross, but it can also be an embarrassing situation and even a danger to your health.
If you have ever heard of a plumbing snake, then you already know what a toilet auger is! This is a tool that can go through the drain of your toilet, and clear anything stuck inside of it.
One end is a crank handle, while the other is a small sharp bit. This means that rather than calling a plumber in a clogged toilet emergency, you can simply grab a toilet auger and get to work.
Using a toilet auger is simple, start by turning it in a clockwise motion. When you feel it stop, you can push it forward. It should grab on to something. You should also feel it breaking up the clog. At this point, you can turn it and pull the cable, and maybe the clog, out of your toilet.
Two Types of Clogs
There are two types of toilet clogs,
- Toilet paper, a child’s toy, beauty products, or other items that should not go in a toilet.
- Sewer clogs. Unfortunately, you cannot solve these clogs and you will need to call a plumber. This can result in dirty water filling your sink.
Step 1: Remove Visible Debris
The first method you should try in order to unclog your toilet is to put on heavy-duty gloves and remove anything that is inside your toilet. This might be a bit disgusting, but it will be helpful. Take a bucket and remove anything inside your toilet.
After completing this, pour another bucket of hot water into the toilet to loosen anything inside. Using your own water (from a bucket) helps you to control how much water is in the toilet bowl. If you simply flush the toilet, you may end up flooding the bathroom which will lead to more mess.
Step 2: Use Dishwashing Soap
If hot water alone does not work, often you can add some dishwashing soap to loosen it up. Take ¼ cup of dishwashing liquid and pour it into the toilet. After, take a bucket of warm water and pour it in the toilet slowly.
Be sure that this is as most hot water, but not boiling. The hot water should melt any lumps inside the toilet, but boiling water could crack the bowl.
If the toilet is still clogged, you can try using a toilet plunger. This may allow you to push the clog down the pipes. If you believe there is a blocked item in your toilet, then you can use your toilet auger.
Step 3: Insert Your Toilet Auger
If you are not already wearing gloves, now is the time to put them on. So as we previously explained, your toilet auger is also known as a plumbing snake. Toilet augers are typically three feet long when at its longest.
You should also have a crank handle on the end. Begin by placing the auger in the toilet, and then push it into the toilet until the rubber elbow is at the end of the toilet seat.
Step 4: Wiggle the Cable Inside The Bowl
After you are sure that the auger is all the way inside of the bowl, turn your handle back and forth. Be gentle so you do not crack the bowl, but do it with enough force that it will break up anything inside as well.
Toilet clogs typically need a few tries. Because you do not want to break anything, you might have to go in several times before you achieve success.
After you feel some resistance on the auger, you will know that the clog is starting to break apart. This is great news, but note that if there is still water that has not gone down the bowl, you still have work to do.
You must continue cranking your handle back and forth until the toilet flushes, and all of the water in the bowl disappears. After the water is officially down, you can begin by pulling your toilet auger out of the toilet. As you crank it out, it might have debris on it.
Continue wearing your gloves throughout this process. You may also want to have a newspaper or cardboard on the ground so you can place the dirty auger somewhere once you are finished.
Step 5: Flush the Toilet
If you attempt to flush the toilet and it does so successfully, then you have successfully cleared the blockage. Alternatively, if the water stays in the bowl and does not flow down, you will need to repeat the process again.
It might be necessary to repeat this three or four times before your problem is solved. Once again, you can add dishwashing soap if you want to try it. This will help to reduce the smell as well.
Now, repeat the snaking and flushing process until you can confirm the toilet is blocked. Once you are sure you have fully unblocked the toilet, flush one more time, and wash off the auger.
Step 6: Clean and Store Your Auger
After you successfully unclog your toilet, your toilet auger will probably have human wast, grime, and toilet paper attached to it. There are a few methods to clean your auger.
- Submerge it in a bucket filled with soap and disinfectant.
- Submerge it into a bucket with hot water and vinegar. Be sure not to soak it longer than five minutes, or it may rust.
After soaking the auger, use a toilet brush to scrub it. Scrub the flexible cable as well as the coil. Make sure you remove all visible dirt before storing it, as there might be bacteria on it that can make you sick. Finally, rinse the auger with clean and warm water, then fully dry it with an old rag.
Do not store your auger while it is wet. If you do this, it will rust which can stain your toilet the next time you use it. Especially because you probably will not need to use your auger very often, you want to follow these storage steps properly.
Sometimes a blockage is due to a large amount of natural human waste, while other times it is due to something that should not have been in the toilet, to begin with. Now if you just spent an hour or two attempting to unclog your toilet, we will assume you do not want this to happen anytime soon.
The best way to avoid a blockage is to understand what clogged your toilet to begin with. If it was a child’s toy, then speak to them about not placing these items in the toilet.
It could also be a menstruation product that should never be placed in the toilet as well. Despite this, it is important to know if it was a foreign object, an issue with your toilet, trouble with your water pressure, or a larger sewer system malfunction.
If I have tried to unclog my toilet multiple times but I still cannot, what should I do?
If all else fails, you may need to call a plumber. Sometimes a clog in a toilet is too far down the drain for your three-foot standard toilet auger. Plumbers have better tools to help you fix the problem.