A toilet auger, which is sometimes referred to as a plumbing snake, is a tool that is designed to dislodge a difficult clog that has occurred. The design of the tool allows it to navigate through the trap of the toilet so that a clog can be removed without any chemicals, soap, or other removal methods.
The auger has a shaft that is long and flexible, usually made from metal. It has a bit on the end that goes through the toilet trap and a handle that cranks on the other end. Although the exact look can vary somewhat based on who manufacturers the tool, the basics described above remain present.
How to Use a Toilet Auger
Most toilet augers do not come with any instructions. You just go down to the store and purchase it or have it delivered from an online order. Using one properly can save you a plumbing headache today and prevent damage to your toilet. Here’s what you’ll want to do.
1. Position the auger so the curved part of the pipe is facing the same direction as the drain.
2. Push the metal cable of the auger down the toilet drain. You may need to crank the auger clockwise to have it move. Some augers allow you to press downward to forcibly push the cable down the drain.
3. You will feel when the metal cable encounters a blockage. Crank the cable to dislodge as much of the clog as possible. You may need to move the cable up and down as well.
4. Do not force the auger. You may cause damage to the internal trap of the toilet and that may cause future blockages.
5. Continue rotating the auger or moving it up and down until the water in the toilet bowl drains on its own. Then flush the toilet, but only if you feel that the obstruction has been completely removed.
6. Clean the toilet bowl according to your preferred method.
What Happens if the Clog Isn’t Removed?
A toilet auger can remove difficult clogs, but it may not be successful with foreign objects. If you are unable to remove the clog after a few attempts with this tool, then it is time to contact a professional plumber to fix the problem.
A toilet auger is an affordable way to eliminate clogs without the use of chemicals or additives. Since many can be purchased for $20 or less, consider it a wise investment.