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toilet-auger-pic1A toilet auger is a useful tool when you have a clogged toilet. You may want to try 'Using a Toilet Plunger' before you attempt to use an auger, it is a little easier.

Not sure what your problem is? See the article 'How to Fix a Toilet' to troubleshoot your problem.

When you hear those fateful words, 'the toilet is clogged again', it gives you less than good feeling. You try and brace yourself for a dirty situation. What do you do?

There are two tools that can take care of a clogged toilet efficiently. One is a toilet auger. With one of these you can get rid of most clogs in five minutes or less. The other commonly used tool is a plunger. The auger will generally be needed for tougher clogs, although it can be used any time the toilet refuses to flush.

This article will help you with the when and how of using this tool. You don't need to dread it when the toilet clogs up. Instead, you can be the hero that is able to fix it quickly and efficiently. This article will give you the information you need.

Using a Toilet Auger - Information

What Can You Save?

A service call for a plumber will likely be around $75. You will be dismayed when he unclogs your toilet in less than five minutes with a tool that costs around $20.

How Hard Could It Be?

Using a toilet auger is not hard or complicated. It can be a little messy.

  • Difficulty Level of: Easy
  • Skill Level of: Handyman

For and explanation of the terms in this section, see 'How to Use This Site'.

Check the Simple Things!

Using a plunger is about the simplest thing for a toilet clog. Plungers will work most of the time, although it may take repeated tries.

What Can Go Wrong?

Dirty water is the big problem with working on a toilet. You can't tell that the toilet is clogged until you flush it. Many times, the mistake of flushing it a second time is made. This means a bowl full of very dirty water. Clear out the area before you work on the toilet. Have some rags handy to quickly deal with any mess.

Purchasing a Toilet Auger

A toilet auger is a manual snake that is just long enough to get through the piping in your toilet. It will dislodge objects that are caught in the trap. You can buy a toilet auger for twenty five or thirty dollars and it will last for years.

Purchasing a toilet auger is not too difficult. Big box home supply stores have them in stock.

This tool is less common than a plunger. It is essentially a snake that is designed to go through the trap on a toilet. It has a long handle with a twist crank at the top. This allows you to turn the auger while pushing it down through the trap.

Home supply stores have toilet augers for sale. One will cost between $15 and $75. The more expensive ones will have a heavier snake that will not kink as easy. This tool is somewhat distinctive, in that it looks a lot like a 'J' and stands about three feet high.

Using a Manual Toilet Snake

Toilets have a trap in them that create some sharp bends in the pipe. This is where the clogs generally occur. The metal snake in the toilet auger is just long enough to get through the trap and to the base of the toilet.

Pull the handle all the way up and position the auger in the trap opening Push down while turning the handle. When the handle gets to the bottom it is all the way through the toilet. Similar to the plunger you may need to try a few times. When it gets caught try to force it through, this is probably the culprit. Don't hurt yourself, but use a little elbow grease.

The toilet auger does do a dirty job so cleaning it off is a concern. Once the toilet is unplugged you can flush it a time or two with the snake still inside the toilet. The water will help rinse off the snake. The remainder of cleaning can be done outside with a garden hose.

Using a toilet auger is not too difficult, but it does require some arm strength. The crank has to be turned manually and pushed through the trap.

Remove everything from the area that could be damaged by dirty water. Some water will probably splash, move anything you don't want ruined. Have a mop and rags nearby, just in case.

If the water level is up near the rim, you may need to get a small pail and bail some of the water out. A plunger will displace water when it is used. In addition plunging will agitate the water. A high water level will cause splashing and spillover.

Again the toilet auger is a manual snake that is just long enough to get through the piping in your toilet. It will dislodge objects that are caught in the trap. It is not electric and therefore requires some arm strength to operate it. The idea is to turn it and force it through the trap at the same time.

Pull the handle all the way up and position the auger in the trap opening. The bottom of the auger is turned to help get it started. Make sure the end of the metal snake is turned toward the back of the toilet. Push down while turning the handle. When the handle gets to the bottom it is all the way through the toilet.

Some toilet clogs may resist your efforts. It may require more than one try to free up the clog. Don't despair, pull the handle back and try it again. It may feel like you have hit a wall and can't get the snake to go through. When it gets caught try to force it through, this is probably the culprit or the top of the trap. Don't hurt yourself, but use a little elbow grease. You need to get the snake all the way through the toilet, or extended the full length to make sure the clog is gone.

A toilet auger is a manual snake that is just long enough to get through the piping in your toilet. It will dislodge objects that are caught in the trap. You can buy a toilet auger for twenty five or thirty dollars and it will last for years.

Toilets have a trap in them that create some sharp bends in the pipe. This is where the clogs generally occur. The metal snake in the toilet auger is just long enough to get through the trap and to the base of the toilet.

Pull the handle all the way up and position the auger in the trap opening Push down while turning the handle. When the handle gets to the bottom it is all the way through the toilet. Similar to the plunger you may need to try a few times. When it gets caught try to force it through, this is probably the culprit. Don't hurt yourself, but use a little elbow grease.

The toilet auger does do a dirty job so cleaning it off is a concern. Once the toilet is unplugged you can flush it a time or two with the snake still inside the toilet. The water will help rinse off the snake. The remainder of cleaning can be done outside with a garden hose.

Unclogging a toilet with an auger is done when there is something caught in the trap. A toilet auger is a little harder to use than a plunger and most homeowners do not have one.

A toilet auger is a manual snake that is just long enough to get through the piping in your toilet. It will dislodge objects that are caught in the trap. It has a hand crank on it to turn the snake. This tool is especially useful for dislodging obstructions that are caught in the trap, such as a toothbrush or a children's toy.

To use the toilet auger make sure that the snake is in the retracted position. Place the end of the auger in the bottom of the toilet basin, witht the snake pointed toward the back of the toilet. Hold the auger steady with one hand.

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Push down while turning the handle.You will likely get some resistance when the auger hits the obstruction and when it tries to make the turn in the trap. This is normal, keep turning the auger until it works its way through.

When the handle gets to the bottom it is all the way through the toilet. Similar to the plunger you may need to try a few times.

Summary

You may want to do some maintenance on your toilet at this time. See the articles 'Adjusting Toilet Tank Water Levels' and 'Checking the Toilet Flapper' for more information.

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