When the time comes that you know that your toilet is clogged, it would often give that frustrating feeling. This type of problem is inevitable in every home, and when it does happen, you can consider a few options to solve it efficiently. So, what are they? Well, you can first try using the plunger or pouring some chemicals down the drain, which can be harmful to the environment or to you while you work on the drain. However, these methods could only work on minor clogs, and if you got a more serious stoppage way down the drain, it might be high time to use a toilet auger, which is generally a do-it-yourself (DIY) solution to tougher clogs and other professional-level plumbing problems, though you can use it any time your toilet refuses to flush.
Basically, a toilet auger is a drain-clearing tool that is specifically designed to be used on a toilet drain. It works by clearing the toilet through to its drain pipe behind or under it. This device has a sharp spiral of wire on the tip and a semi-rigid wire that is flexible enough to bend in the bowl. You can feed the flexible cable into the toilet drain and clear the obstruction using an offset hand crank and guide tube to turn the spiral tip.
Now, if you are having a clogged toilet, you can brace yourself for a dirty situation and follow these steps on using a toilet auger to fix the problem in no time:
1. Clear The Room Or Area In Which You Will Be Working.
If your toilet has overflowed, you need to mop up any standing water that spilled on the floor, as well as clean and disinfect it with bleach—though you can do these 2 tasks after you have solved the toilet clog. You might also want to clear the area of any toilet accessories. Then, open the toilet lid and raise the seat to allow yourself to get the best access.
2. Prepare The Auger.
To get the device ready, retract its cable through its handle so the tip of the cable will be at the end of the guide tip.
3. Insert The Auger Down The Toilet Drain.
While holding the toilet auger housing with one hand to keep it in place, hold the handle with your other hand and crank the auger to push the cable into the drain. Insert its guide tip, while making sure the curve is facing the direction of the drain. To know which direction the drain is facing—front or rear—you can simply look into the bowl. You will know that the auger is properly inserted when you no longer see the cable, but only the housing. For the head of the cable to be close to the housing, pull the handle all the way up. The curved housing will make it easier for you to insert the cable, with the plastic covering protecting the toilet from scratches. To ensure that you have got the cable all the way in, you might need to change the direction of the cranking motion, which means that you can crank in one direction until the cable can go no further and then crank the other direction until the handle is as far as it can go.
4. Crank The Auger To Clear The Obstruction.
Pull the guide tube out of the toilet, and if it gets stuck, you can push and pull it gently or crank back and forth while gently pulling it up. Make sure you are not forcing the auger or you might break the bowl.
5. Pull The Toilet Auger Out Of The Toilet And Flush.
After you have broken up the clog, the drain should have cleared. Now, you can use the plunger to move the material down the drain. Flush the toilet several times to make sure stoppage has completely cleared.
After you finished all these steps, but still notice that the water is not draining properly, you can repeat the process until the problem is completely solved.
What Can You Save From Using a Toilet Auger?
By knowing how to use this device, you can save yourself from a service call for a plumber, which is often costly. You would be appalled to see that he is able to unclog your toilet in less than 5 minutes with just an inexpensive tool.
What Can Go Wrong During The Process?
The big problem with working on a toilet is dirty water, and you cannot tell that the toilet is clogged until you flushed it, and worse, you would commit the mistake of flushing it a second time. This means that you will have a bowl of dirty water. Again, you should clear out the area before you start anything and have some rags around to quickly deal with any mess. Moreover, always wear gloves when handling the toilet auger.
Purchasing a Toilet Auger
It is not that difficult to buy a toilet auger, which you can find in major home supply stores in your area. These stores have toilet augers for sale at prices that range from $15 and $75, with the more expensive ones being the heavier snakes that would not kink as easy.
More Useful Tips
For blockages or clogs that occur further down the toilet drain line, sewer pipe or waste stack, a toilet auger will not be an effective tool to use. Most of the time, this device has a reach of roughly 3 feet, with some models slightly longer or shorter. Also, avoid using other types of drain snakes, than a toilet auger, for your toilet because it can damage the unit. Aside from the obvious reason why you should not use the same drain snake for both a toilet and a kitchen sink, a toilet auger has a plastic cover to protect porcelain from being scratched. Remember that there are different versions of home drain snakes, so only use the one that would perfectly serve it purpose.