How to Unclog a Toilet With a Snake

Having toilet plumbing problems? These situations can really be daunting especially if you always had that plumber come over each time you have standing water in your tub or a clogged toilet. Perhaps you have tried the plunger but it didn’t work. And worse, it’s a weekend and your plumber will not be able to come.

By learning some new skills and investing in a plumber’s snake, you can clear a clogged toilet when that old plunger just couldn’t cut it. Clogged toilets can sometimes be slow drainers where water in the toilet bowl will flush but not as fast as it normally does and the water remains high. Why don’t you head to the local hardware store and get yourself a snake and other tools you will need to start fixing your clogging problem? Get a small snake since there are several sizes and types available to ensure it will fit inside the toilet. The hardest part about using a snake is you have to get a good shot of the lower part of your toilet to know where it should go in. Good thing this tool is flexible enough to get through bended pipes and in this case, fit in the design of the toilet bowl since you need to insert the end of the snake so it can reach the obstruction and shred or pull it out. A reminder, though. You might want to use rubber gloves with good grips while you work. And to give you an idea, here are some instructions on how to use the snake to unclog your toilet:

Step 1:

The first step is to find out what is the reason for the clogging of your toilet. By this time, you already have tried the plunger but it did not fix the problem. You also must not try to flush it since the toilet will overflow and mess your bathroom floor. If you have children at home, try asking them if they have accidentally or intentionally flushed a toy. Kids sometimes get curious and these things can happen.

Step 2:

Shut off the valve connected to the line that sends water to the bowl, just in case you accidentally push the flush lever. Water is important to flush the toilet but you do not want to do this at this time.

Step 3:

Get the snake and pull it back to ensure the end with the coil is exposed. You will notice that the metal coil is covered with plastic. This is to prevent the metal wire from damaging the porcelain of the toilet bowl.

Step 4:

Set the snake inside the hole in the toilet, pushing the coil all the way to the handle so it ends up on top of the plastic.

Step 5:

Swirl the coil up and down as you push the snake metal wire all the way down the toilet. If you are doing this for the first time, you might want to practice doing it using a toilet that is working fine. From the winding spindle, unwind about four feet of the cable wire while setting the snake head at the bottom of the toilet bowl, at the opening.

Step 6:

Work the coil all the way down, push it until the top end of the plastic touches the bended part of the handle. This means that the snake has reached all the way down or the whole length of the metal wire is already farther down the drain pipe.

Step 7:

Next, twist the end of the handle in one direction, clockwise, with a number of rotations and do it in reverse. Turn the handle slowly but firmly at first. Put a little force as you feel it bind. You will feel some resistance as the snake hits the clog. Just wind the snake and pull it back. After several turns clockwise and counter-clockwise, grip the plastic and pull the metal wire slowly while keeping the plastic in its place so the coil will not scratch the porcelain of the toilet bowl. Perhaps you can find a toy at the end of the wire metal that could have been the culprit. If not, you will notice some debris from the clog that had been broken apart by the twisting and pulling of the coil. You might also want to wipe the metal wire with a paper towel or cloth just so it will not drip on the toilet floor.

Step 8:

Pull the metal wire all the way back and remove the plastic from the toilet bowl.

Step 9:

Get a bucket of water and pour it in the bowl, from at least 2 feet high to flush the toilet. Gravity will push the water into the drain pipe along with the gunk and sediments that have built up.

Step 10:

If it does not work completely, do it several times. Repeat steps 3 to 8 until it finally works.

Step 11:

Open the valve to fill the toilet bowl with water. By this time, your clogging problem should have been cleared and your toilet flushing well as it should.

Types of Snakes

Here are the different types of snakes you can use for your clogging problems:

Hand Spinner

Great for sink and bathtub clogs, this type should not be used for toilets since it can damage the porcelain or become tangled inside the drain pipe of the toilet. The hand spinner fits perfectly well in small pipes.

Drum Auger

This type is better used by someone who is already experienced in fixing clogs since this has modular blades that are used to shred tree roots. This can damage copper pipes.

Electric Auger

Also used to get through tree roots, this type has rotating blades and works great to shred tree roots blocking sewage pipes.

Cable Auger

This is the type of a plumber’s snake that you use to solve clogging problems in your toilet. It has a corkscrew at the end. This design is useful to retrieve whatever material is causing the obstruction.

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