How to Unclog a Household Toilet Using a Closet Auger

Did the force cup plunger method fail to unclog your toilet? If so, you may need to reach for a closet auger. A closet auger is a 3 to 6-foot piece of flexible metal tubing that is partially covered in plastic. It is specifically designed to unclog toilets. One end of the auger’s tubing has a crank-style handle and the other has a rounded, metal tip that looks like the top of a cotton swab. You can generally purchase a closet auger through hardware and home improvement stores for anywhere from $35 to $50. Here’s how to use an auger to unclog your toilet:

Prepare the Work Area

Start by examining how much water is trapped inside the toilet bowl. If the bowl is more than half full, you’ll need to remove some of the excess water. Otherwise, it will splash all over while you work.

Once that is done, remove the closet auger from its packaging. Make sure that the plastic boot is in place. It is designed to help keep the metal tubing from scratching or chipping your toilet’s surface during the clog removal process.

Insert the Closet Auger

Insert the closet auger down into the toilet bowl. You will want to make sure that the auger’s bulbous tip is inserted into toilet’s drain opening before you start cranking. Once the auger tip is in the proper position, use the auger’s handle to crank the flexible tubing deeper into the drain opening. Use caution as you crank. Failure to do so could cause the tip of the auger to damage the inside of the toilet’s drain.

As you crank the tubing deeper into the drain, you will want to pay attention to the tension in the tubing. A change in tension is often an indication that the auger has hit the clog. Once the tip of the auger hits the clog, carefully push it in further until the tip is fully submerged inside the clog.

Remove the Closet Auger

Next, slowly retract the auger a few cranks at a time. The objective is to drag the clog out of the toilet. If you retract the auger too quickly, the auger’s tip could become dislodged from the clog and thus leave it behind. After the toilet’s clog has been cleared, you may want to use a septic system safe drain cleaner to remove any residual gunk from the toilet’s trap.

Source: Personal Experience

Killeen Gonzalez has a history of completing DIY home improvement projects with her family.

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