It can be upsetting when water overflows and spills onto the surrounding floor from a clogged toilet.
Although quick action may be required, there’s normally no cause to worry over a clogged toilet, as it is usually rather an easy fix. You would rarely need a professional plumber to help with this.
A plunger can be used to clear most clogs. But if that does not work, try using a toilet auger before removing the toilet or getting a plumber.
Toilet augers are made up of a cable which goes through a long hollow tube having a sweep elbow at its base, and a rubber sleeve protection. The cable is fitted with a hand crank at the auger top.
This tool is particularly designed for toilet use, in that the rubber sleeve serves to avoid scratches on the porcelain. You should never make use of a drain snake that is not meant for the toilet, as it can be badly scratched by the metal.
Toilet Augers: Ready the Auger
Retract the cable of the auger such that its tip is at the hollow tube end. Put the tube into the toilet, such that the sweep elbow is at the toilet bowl bottom and the cable end gets to the opening of the drain.
Crank the Auger
As you gradually push the cable inside the toilet trap, crank the auger handle clockwise until the cable can go no further. Ensure to crank gently to avoid kinking and double-backing of the cable in the toilet.
If required, you may need to change the direction of cranking in order to coax it through the toilet drain bends. After fully extending the cable of the auger, the clog will likely have been penetrated.
Toilet Augers: Remove the Cable
- Gradually pull out the cable from the toilet as you rotate the handle. Do this carefully so as not to scratch the fixture.
- Flush the toilet to check that the clog no longer exists.
When to Get a Plumber
You will likely have to call a plumber if toilet augers and/or a plunger fail to remove your toilet clog, as the clog may lie beyond the auger’s reach. If you notice when flushing the toilet that water backs up into your other drains (like the bathtub), this could indicate a serious issue.
Preventing Clogs in Toilets
- The best and most efficient treatment for clogged toilets is to avoid clogging altogether.
- Reduce the amount of toilet paper you use. Consider flushing incrementally so as not to overload the drain.
- Try not to flush dense paper products, like wet wipes, paper towels, and lady care products.
- Teach children not to flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilet drain.