How to Use a Toilet Auger

Oh no! The toilet won’t flush. This is a nightmare situation and, to be frank, pretty embarrassing, especially if you don’t live on your own.

The first thing you might try to do is keep flushing the toilet, but that might cause it to overflow.

Next, you might grab the plunger, which will unclog the toilet more often than not. This is your friend in situations like these.

But what happens when the toilet won’t unclog with the plunger?

That’s when you pull out the toilet auger. This strong tool is necessary for a clog that just won’t come undone.

In this article, you can expect to find information on what a toilet auger is, how to snake a toilet, and tips you’ll need to know for unclogging your toilet with an auger.

What is a Toilet Auger?

A toilet auger, also referred to as a toilet snake, is a toilet unclogger tool that is more powerful than a regular plunger. This is a long tool designed for toilets that has a cable on the end, which is meant to get into the toilet’s trap way and get rid of the clog.

What’s nice is that the toilet auger can also be used to get rid of clogs that have moved into the waste line and out of the toilet. It will break up all this blockage and allow your toilet to flush as usual. They’re pretty similar to snakes, only snakes can be used in other products, whereas augers are designed specifically for toilets.

Plus, you won’t have to worry about the auger damaging and scratching the porcelain of your toilet.

Additional Information:

  • Toilet augers can extend between 3 to 6 feet. This means that you will be able to have the cable extend even further into the waste line to get rid of the clog.
  • Toilet augers typically come in the following types:
    • Closed coil head: pushes through the clog and breaks it up
    • Open coil head: hooks onto the item causing the clog
    • Fixed head: ideal for a narrow drain
  • This might be a no-brainer, but make sure to clean the auger after every use. A dirty auger will not last very long.

Now, let’s get into how to unclog a toilet with a snake.

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How to Use Toilet Auger

It might seem like learning how to use a plumbing snake will be difficult, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not very hard.

What You’ll Need

  • Toilet auger
  • Gloves
  • Bucket

What To Do

  1. First, check if the water level in the toilet is too low for the bend of the handle to be submerged. If so, add some water- but make sure that it isn’t hot. This will ensure that you don’t crack the porcelain. Then, turn off the flow of water to the toilet, either by pulling the valve arm in the tank or turning the shutoff valve. Make sure you have the area prepped because there may be a mess.
  2. Now you’re ready to begin. Pull the crank up from the handle as far as you can, which will cause the spring of the auger to be right up against the end of the auger tube.
  3. Then, place the lower part of the auger into the toilet. You should only be able to see the bent part of the auger that is covered in rubber. This is to prevent the toilet bowl from scratching. Insert it into the drain and make sure that it is in the same direction as the drain. If done correctly, you should not be able to see the cable at all.
  4. This is where things may start to get messy. Push the crank down again toward the handle. You may start to feel some resistance or it may even stop. When this happens, you’ve reached the clog. Turn the crank clockwise while pressing down. Continue this until the crank is all the way on the handle, which means the cable is fully extended into the toilet pipe.
  5. Then, you will need to pull the crack up off the handle so that you can remove the clog. If the water in the toilet bowl goes down, you’ve removed the clog. Remove the auger from the toilet and try flushing to see if the clog is gone, but be ready to stop the flapper in case the clog is still there. It is possible that you may need to try again. It’s possible that you may need to flush again to clear the toilet.

And you’re done!

Keep in mind…

  • If you just can’t get the toilet to unclog, don’t keep trying to do it yourself or you risk ruining your toilet. This is when you need to call in a professional.
  • Don’t force the cable down into the toilet if it won’t move any further. This will cause you to ruin your toilet.
  • Be ready for a mess as you would with a regular plunger. Have old clothes, a bucket, and gloves with you in case anything gross happens.
  • Don’t keep trying to flush the toilet if it won’t flush. Try to use the toilet snake again, and if it doesn’t work, call a plumber. The reason for the clog might be something completely out of your control.
  • Always clean and dry off your auger after every use to prevent rust.

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Sure, it might be embarrassing to have a clogged toilet, but it’s something most of us will have to deal with at some point or another, so it’s a good idea to know how to unclog it whether using a plunger or an auger for more serious blockages.

Remember to let the auger do the work on its own and don’t try to force it. Work slowly the first time so that everything is done correctly to avoid causing damage to your toilet.

And if the clog just won’t come undone, make sure you call in a professional- don’t keep trying yourself!


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