A Guide On Using A Closet Auger To Unblock Toilets
In the event that your toilet gets clogged, you’ll most probably grab a nearby toilet plunger as the first option to clear the clog. Toilet plungers resemble the standard plungers used on sinks and shower drains.
The difference is that toilet plungers have a flange at the center that works by sealing the toilet drain opening when plunging. In most cases, a plunger will remove the clog.
What if a plunger fails to work?
Stubborn toilet clogs may not be unblocked by a plunger. If a plunger doesn’t get the job done, then get a functional toilet auger. Toilet augers are also known as closet augers, named after the older term for toilets (water closet).
The auger comes with a long cable that goes through the toilet drain upon rotating the handle. The end of the cable has an elbow covered with rubber. The rubber sleeve protects the bowl from getting scratched when pushing the cable through it.
While it’s possible to unblocking a toilet using a regular drain snake, it’ll scratch the toilet bowl and make it look disfigured. Toilet augers won’t scratch the toilet bowl porcelain.
Basically, the auger has a flexible length of cable that goes through a toilet drain. You simply rotate a handle or hand crank, thereby making the cable dislodge stubborn clogs. Toilet augers are only suitable for unclogging toilets. It’s worth owning an auger since a toilet can clog at any time.
How To Use An Auger
You’ll require these materials:
- Toilet auger
Step 1: Inserting the auger cable
First, you’ll need to insert the cable through the toilet bowl. The cable has a curved end and this is what you’ll insert into your toilet. The curving makes it easy for the cable to go through the toilet drain, with the rubber covering ensuring it won’t scratch your toilet.
If the cable is properly inserted, you’ll only see the auger housing. If you can still see the cable’s end, then you’ve not inserted it properly. Remember to wear some gloves before handling the auger for hygiene purposes.
Step 2: Cranking the auger handle
Toilet augers, just like other drain snakes, work by cranking the handle, thereby making the cable to rotate while moving through the drain. It rotates by a screw mechanism.
In most toilet clogs, the clog sets in the toilet trap. The toilet trap is the first section of a toilet drain. It’s located right below the bowl. The auger cable is long enough to reach beyond the toilet. In case the clog is beyond the soil stack, then you’ll need to try another strategy to clear it.
Follow these steps when working the auger:
- Hold the auger housing with one hand. Crank the handle using your other hand. Crank it slowly. Avoid using excessive force. Applying excessive force can make the cable coil backward rather than moving through the toilet drain.
- You may have to crank the handle a number of times in the reverse direction to get the entire cable length to move through the toilet. Crank the handle patiently in one direction until you feel the handle is tightening. Rotate the handle until the cable reaches its full length. If you feel some resistance when the cable is rotating, it means you have reached the clog.
- Upon getting to some resistance and the cable forces its way through, then it means you’ve removed then clog. At this point, start pulling out the auger by rotating its handle in the opposite direction while pulling it backward.
- Once you’ve removed the cable, try flushing your toilet to check whether it’s draining smoothly. If you’re lucky, the clog will be flushed down the drain. Flush your toilet severally to ensure the clog is completed cleared.
- If your toilet is not draining smoothly, snake it again with the auger.
- Once you’re done with unclogging your toilet, wipe your auger cable. Never store it when wet to avoid rusting.
In case you’ve snaked your toilet severally and it’s still clogged, then it means the clog lies deep within the drain. In this case, you’ll want to call in a professional plumber to remove deeply stuck clogs with advanced equipment. Luckily, an auger works in most cases and you might not have to call your plumber.