A clogged toilet is a nightmare; no one wants to visit the loo and find it challenging to get human waste out of sight. It is embarrassing, an eyesore, and can pose a potential health hazard. And thus challenge can escalate in no time. Using a toilet auger is the best way to dislodge a stubborn clog, especially after trying a toilet plunger.
Unfortunately, plumbers are pricey. But thankfully, toilet augers are very affordable. But all homeowners know it is challenging to dislodge a clog without scratching the toilet. So, how does one use this toilet tool like a pro?
Kindly scroll down and continue reading this blog to learn more.
A Toilet Auger
A toilet auger is a three to six ft long bendable cable with a cranky handle and a coiled hook head used to unblock toilets. It unclogs toilets by breaking the toilet clog into smaller bits that can quickly run down the drain. It also works by pulling out the clog.
The most significant challenge while using an auger is that it can scratch the porcelain of the toilet. Toilet augers can leave ugly marks on toilets post using the toilet auger. Thankfully, the best toilet augers have a bowl guard and a long tube making it quick and stress-free to push in the cable and retrieve it as well.
Most toilet clogs are usually jammed at the drainpipe. The drainpipe is the lowermost part of your toilet, which is U or S-shaped. The flexibility of a toilet auger lets it convey itself through this pathway.
Materials Needed to Unclog Your Toilet Using a Drain Auger
Eight Steps to Using a Toilet Auger like a Pro without Scratching it
Unclogging your toilet may seem daunting, especially when you’re trying not to scratch it in the process. Be sure to learn the following steps to use your toilet auger like a pro, or risk messing it up.
1. Drain Your Toilet
If your blocked toilet bowl is filled with water or overflowing, you must drain out the water first before using your toilet auger. It might not be the most pleasant experience, particularly if toilet paper is in the toilet or, even worse, poop!
Before proceeding to drain your toilet bowl, it is crucial to protect your hands with rubber gloves.
Steps on How to Drain Your Toilet
a. Have your rubber gloves on
b. With a small bowl or cup, bail out some water from the toilet bowl and empty it into a bucket.
c. Your toilet tank is probably full of water. Search for a valve behind the toilet – on the wall – and turn it to the right to turn off the flow of water to the tank.
d. Remove the lid of the tank and carefully place it on a secure place to avoid breaking it
e. Reduce the water in the toilet tank to half. Do not use the same cup you used to bail water from the toilet bowl because the water in the toilet bowl isn’t as clean as the water in the toilet tank.
2. Pull the Cable in the Tube Backward
Pulling back the cable is crucial because the cable is very flexible that if you put it into the toilet bowl, it will swing around and knock the walls of the bowl and scratch it. On the other hand, the plastic tube is stable enough to allow you control things while pushing the cable.
Steps on How to Pull Back the Cable in the Tube
a. Pull the auger cable all the way back inside the tube.
b. Do this such that the auger head is touching the bowl guard.
3. Position the Head of Your Auger inside the Toilet Outlet
Toilet augers have two protective casings made of plastic or rubber. They have a hollow rubber or plastic in the middle, and a rubber elbow is close to the tip while a coiled cable runs all the way through the hollow tube casing, stopping in a coiled hook.
Steps on How to Position the Auger Head in the Toilet
a. Place your auger into the bowl
b. Push it in until the rubber elbow is nuzzled in the crook of the toilet
4. Feed Your Toilet with the Cable
You want to feed the toilet bowl with the auger cable slowly. Even though the auger has a cranking handle, you do not want to start cranking immediately after putting the cable in the toilet. This is because the handle will be too distant from your hand, and thus, you will need to hold the cable using your hand to push it down from the toilet.
Steps on How to Feed Your Toilet Bowl with the Cable
a. While holding the rubber tube, carefully start to push the cable in the toilet with your other hand. Doing this feed the auger cable into the s or u-curve of your toilet. Ensure you are doing this methodically and slowly.
b. Do not start to crank right away
c. Twist and push the cable at the same time to make this easy.
d. Ignore the urge to increase pressure because if you do, the wire will flip and get back out.
e. Instead of further pushing, jiggle the auger and spin its handle in the opposite direction.
f. Do not be rough but firm to avoid reversing your results.
5. Start to Crank
The next step is to crank. We have highlighted the steps to cranking below. However, it is essential to note that continuous cranking is dangerous even after coming across the resistance. It is that the auger could get entangled inside the drainpipe or trap and thus causing it to become hard to pull out. There is also the possibility of the head getting stuck inside the drainpipe, and continuous cranking could cause it to crack.
Steps on How to Crank
a. After shoving in a good cable length, hold the handle of the auger and start to crank.
b. Crank clockwise as you push it downwards.
c. By now, the auger should have moved through the trap and into your toilet drainpipe
d. Apply extra force and crank a bit harder but carefully and gently.
e. If you encounter any resistance while cranking, then crank in the opposite direction, thereafter, clockwise. Keep at this until you push through the resistance.
f. If you succeed at pushing through the resistance, it means that the clog is beginning to disintegrate and you will feel it from your auger. However, if there is still water in your bowl, the clog isn’t completely gone.
g. Continue to crank until the water disappears from the toilet bowl. As this is happening, you will likely hear a swooshing sound.
6. Retrieve Your Auger
It is now time to retrieve your auger after its whole length must have been used. However, to avoid scratching your toilet, you do not want to pull the toilet auger out all the way. To do this like a pro;
Steps on How to Retrieve Your Auger
a. Crank the auger handle anticlockwise to take out the auger with one hand while ensuring that your other hand is securely grabbing the tube and the bowl guard in place.
b. After the water subsides, you want to pull out the cable by yanking the handle backwards. Do this until the entire cable is exposed.
c. By now, all the cable must have been taken out of the bowl
d. When the auger head is at the toilet bowl guard, take out the bowl guard slowly again, ensuring it doesn’t touch the porcelain.
e. After retrieving the auger, it will have debris in it. With your gloves still on, place the soiled part of the auger on old newspapers.
7. Flush Your Toilet
At this stage, there is a high chance that the clog has been taken out of the way. Even after the previous step above, you did not come out with any debris; perhaps whatever was clogging it was broken down into tiny pieces and fell further down.
Steps on Flushing Your Toilet
a. Flush your toilet and observe what happens
b. If the toilet flushes well, you want to fill the toilet tank by opening the shut off valve you turned off earlier
c. Flush the toilet again to ratify that it is truly unclogged
d. If perhaps your toilet is still clogged, you want to restart the process again by going down with the auger. Do not be discouraged by this because sometimes. It takes multiple attempts to unclog a toilet. While doing this, however, ensure you take precaution as mentioned above.
8. Clean Your Auger
Like every other tool, it is essential to take care of your auger because only then can it serve you for a long time. You do not want to store your toilet auger right after taking it out of the drainpipe as it will undoubtedly be wet with water and might also contain bits of toilet paper, mineral buildup in the drain, or even poop.
Storing it without first cleaning will undoubtedly cause it to rust and thus become weak. And when a toilet auger is weak, it can cut off while inside the toilet bowl. So, to avoid this, be sure to follow the steps below.
Steps on Cleaning Your Toilet Auger
a. Submerge the auger in a bucket filled with disinfectant and detergent
b. Perhaps you are more of a greener person, you can use vinegar and hot water
c. Soak it for five minutes. You do not want to soak it for too long as it may cause it to rust
d. With your toilet brush, softly scrub the coil at the tip and the flexible cable, removing any visible dirt
e. Use a pipe cleaner to clean inside the tube, focusing on the bits you can access
f. Rinse the auger in clean warm water
g. Dry it completely with newspaper or a rag. This is crucial because storing a toilet auger while it isn’t dry will cause it to rust. And rust reduces the lifespan of metallic tools in general. It is even worse for toilet augers as toilets do not get clogged every day and you may not have a need for it in many months, which is a sufficient time for it to get rusted.
Carefully Inspect Your Toilet
Now that you’ve succeeded in dislodging the blockage clogging your toilet, it is crucial to find out why it got blocked in the first place. One great advantage of toilet augers over plungers is visibility. While toilet augers tug the blockage out when the handle is pulled out of the toilet, plungers will push the blockage out of sight.
You want to scrutinize the item, especially if it isn’t regular toilet trash. It could be a piece of tiny toy. If this is the case, you want to talk to your kids about not dumping things in the toilet drain. Installing a seat clamp can help to prevent this challenge from happening again.
Remove the cistern lid to see if everything is working fine. This is essential because the blockage may have originated with your gasket, valve, or flusher. It is also helpful to check whether any bits are broken or cracked. Although you might not know how to repair this type of damage – especially as a home-owner – you can at least show it to your plumber and explain the problem.