How To Use A Toilet Auger?

You often feel frustrated when you find a clogged toilet.

You can solve this problem in several ways, and every home will face it at some point. Let’s take a look. Using a plunger or a drain cleaner chemical can help. Nevertheless, they can be dangerous.

You can also use a toilet auger if you don’t see results after you’ve tried these methods.

For tougher clogs and other plumbing issues, toilet augers are a great DIY option, though you can use them when your toilet isn’t flushing.

Read More About Auger:

clogged toilet

Using a Toilet Auger: A Step-by-Step Guide

How Do Toilet Augers Work?

A toilet auger also called a plumbing snake or a drain snake is a long and flexible tool used to unclog clogs that cannot be removed by a plunger.

With its handle, it rotates a flexible metal cable capable of clearing clogs.

There is a spiral wire on the tip of the device and a semi-rigid wire that can bend inside the bowl.

With a hand crank and a guide tube, the spiral tip of the cable can be turned to clear obstructions in the toilet drain.

To prevent scratching of the porcelain surface of the toilet bowl, the cable for a toilet auger comes with a rubber sleeve.

While using a toilet auger, the most common concern is scratching the porcelain of the toilet bowl. Using an auger can leave very unpleasant scratch marks on toilet bowls. Bowl guards are usually included with most augers of good quality. It features a long plastic tube that makes it easy to drive and retrieve the cable.

Here are some of the most popular toilet augers on Amazon

What is the best way to use one? To remove a deep clog, you should employ a few techniques.

Here’s a guide to unclogging stubborn toilets without hiring a plumber.

In order to effectively use a toilet auger, you need to make sure that the bowl guard is correctly positioned at the outlet.

1. Make Sure The Work Area Is Clear

If your toilet overflows, you will need to mop up the water and use bleach to clean and disinfect it.

Any toilet accessories should also be removed from the area.

Then, raise the toilet seat and open the lid to gain access to the toilet.

2. Drain The Toilet

A clogged toilet containing water should always be drained before it is snaked.

The experience will be uncomfortable if the bowl contains poop, toilet paper, or both.

When working, you should always wear rubber gloves.

  • Drain the bowl of water using a small cup.
  • Behind the toilet is a shut-off valve.
  • To turn off toilet water flow, turn it clockwise.
  • Place the toilet tank lid should be stored safely.
  • Reduce the water level to about half.

Ensure the tank’s water is clean before moving to the next step.

3. Determine The Source of the Clog

Toilets are clogged in two ways.

Most often it is the flushing of the toilet that causes the clog. The item that fell into the toilet may have caused the clog. A common source is a dirt in washing water, toys, or others.

toilet debris

The sewer is another possible clog source. You will need a plumber to remove that type of blockage. Sewers that are blocked leave dirty water in sinks and have multiple clogs.

4. Get Rid of Visible Debris

It’s an important step that most people overlook, even though it doesn’t seem exciting.

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If anything is messy, wear heavy-duty gloves and throw them away in a bucket.

Once you’ve completed your cleaning, fill the toilet again with hot water to see if there’s any more dirt stuck inside.

Instead of flushing it, you are using a bucket. Regular flushing may result in murky water in your bathroom.

In a bucket, pour a little bit at a time, keeping an eye on the water level and preventing spills.

5. Prep the Auger

Your toilet’s water supply valve should be turned off to prevent a messy overflow.

Then put on your gloves and get your auger ready.

using toilet augers

6. Pull Back The Cable

Retract its cable by pulling it through the handle. Make sure the auger head touches the bowl guard when you do this.

When the auger cable is placed directly into the bowl, it will bounce back and forth and scratch the wall of the bowl.

However, the rigidity of the plastic tube allows you to push the cable with greater control.

7. Push The Cable

Use the spring end of the auger to push it through the pipe and into the toilet.

Feed the cable inside the toilet while holding the plastic tube with another hand.

Ensure that you do not touch the porcelain as you put the toilet auger head into the toilet bowl outlet.

Your toilet trap will still be scratched by the auger.

You will not be able to see that part. It is very important to not crack it, so you need to be very gentle with it

8. Spin & Twist The Auger To Clear The Obstruction

Spin the handle to move the coiled extension deeper into the toilet.

Repeat until you reach the obstruction.

Holding the auger handle, start cranking clockwise as you push downwards after you have inserted a considerable length of cable.

unclogging toilet

By doing so, the cable will pass through the trap and down the drainpipe.

Make sure you crank hard, yet gently.

In order to move past resistance, you need to turn counter-clockwise and then clockwise again until you get through.

Even if you continue cranking after experiencing resistance, the auger could end up entangled in the toilet trap of the drainpipe, making it nearly impossible to remove.

A broken bowl may result from forcing the auger too hard.

9. Flush the Toilet after Removing the Auger

Congratulations if you were able to remove the clog.

Maybe you were able to break down the clog into tiny pieces even if you didn’t find anything. Flush it to confirm.

flush the toilet

As soon as you have reached the bowl guard with the auger head and have retrieved all the cables, remove the bowl guard slowly again so that the auger head does not touch the porcelain. Otherwise, you might scratch the toilet.

Let the water fill the tank if the toilet flushes perfectly. Flushing the toilet again will confirm that it is unclogged.

The toilet auger must be used again if it is not unclogged. Multiple attempts may be required to unclog the toilet.

If, after completing all these steps, the water still does not drain properly, you can repeat the procedure until the problem is resolved.

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To unclog a toilet, might take more than one attempt.

10. Taking Care of the Toilet Auger

You can use your toilet auger for a long time if you take good care of it.

You will also find bits of poop and toilet paper in the auger when you retrieve it from the toilet. Additionally, the auger will contain minerals from the drain.

In any case, storing it like this will lead to it rusting and subsequently weakening. While inside the toilet, a weak auger can be cut off.

Use a cotton rag/towel and bleach to clean the auger as soon as you are finished using it. Completely dry it with another dry cloth. Apply any hydraulic oil or WD-40 to the cable if you have it.

Keep your toilet auger dry when storing it. The longer it stays dry, the longer it lasts.

11. Call in An Expert

You should contact a professional plumber if you are unable to unclog a toilet using an auger.

Their tools and equipment are sophisticated and they have tons of experience.

Problems With Toilet Augers

In some cases, the auger won’t go into the drain when you’re trying to unclog your toilet with an auger: it stops or seems to be stuck. This can be caused by:

  • Excessive force was applied.
  • An extremely hard clog was encountered.
  • Pipe bends are preventing it from moving.
  • Your auger is being used incorrectly.

To use it correctly, understand how it works. To push it fully into the drain, keep the coil head as gentle as possible. A plumber can help you if you experience a hard clog. Disconnect the toilet traps and clean them.


toilet auger not working

If you cannot use the auger, you may have a clog that is too hard or has passed the U trap. Drain snakes, wire coat hangers, or professional plumbers may be able to help.

You should also take a few other things into consideration when using an auger to unclog a particularly stubborn clog.

Use Liquid Soap

By pouring some warm water and liquid soap into the toilet, you can loosen clogs.

Pour in some water if needed

Add a few inches of water if there is no water in the toilet. Hopefully, this will solve your problem. Add only enough to avoid an overflow, but don’t add too much.

Use the Auger tip carefully

A toilet’s porcelain finish can be damaged by the tip of an auger. Be careful not to make contact with the pipe when inserting the tip.

Can’t get the toilet to work? Get a plumber to help.

Is it possible to use an alternative to the toilet auger?

When it comes to unclogging your drains, you have several options, including a toilet auger. A few alternatives are as follows:

Toilet Plunger

By creating suction, a plunger can move blockages.

It is important to use the right tool for the job.

Drain Snake

In addition to the toilet auger, you can also use a drain snake (plumbing snake) to remove a toilet clog.

Various types of snakes are available. As opposed to a toilet auger, a drain snake removes a clog by pulling it out and then disposing of it. Some people may find this unpleasant.

You may need to unclog the drain more than once, depending on how much gunk is present.

A plumbing snake is more effective in cleaning tub drains and other drains.

Drain unblocking chemicals are also available

The chemicals disintegrate the blockage. You cannot disintegrate some materials and substances using chemicals.

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Chemical products have some disadvantages that are worth mentioning. In the first place, they can be harmful to your health. Next, they can cause environmental damage. The pipes could also be damaged.

Wire Coat Hanger

It is sometimes possible to unclog a toilet by straightening a wire coat hanger.

Make sure the coat hanger hook is inserted down the hole, then wiggle it around. If you want to prevent your porcelain bowl from being scratched, wrap the tape around the wire.

Baking soda and vinegar work well.

When vinegar and baking soda are mixed together, they will disintegrate toilet paper blockages in a manner similar to chemical unblocking fluids.

Over chemical alternatives, baking soda and vinegar have fewer negative effects. Therefore, you are not harmed, and neither is your toilet. This is also a more inexpensive alternative to chemical drain unblocking fluids.

Toilet augers are not effective for blocked drains, sewer lines, or waste stacks that are deeper down.

Generally, this device can reach about 3 feet, although there are models with longer or shorter ranges.

Likewise, when using a drain snake other than the toilet auger, be careful because it could damage your toilet.

The toilet auger has a plastic cover that protects porcelain from scratches. A drain snake should not be used for both your toilet and kitchen sink.

Among the numerous versions of drain snakes for home use, choose one that will perfectly serve its purpose.

This is how a toilet auger is used to unclog a toilet.

You will need something longer if your toilet has a clog deep within the drainpipe. It is most likely clogged inside the drainpipe itself if you noticed that the auger went down quite easily while using it.

This is another reason why you shouldn’t use the same drain snake for your toilet and your kitchen sink.

Use only the drain snake that would perfectly serve its purpose among the various versions of home drain snakes.

Consider hiring a motorized auger that is longer than usual. These toilet augers are capable of reaching up to 100 feet or more.


In the event that you have unsuccessfully attempted to unclog your toilet, you may want to try one more thing before you call in a plumber. The most effective way to unclog a toilet is usually to remove your toilet.

Removing the toilet will make it so easy to remove a hand towel or hair comb stuck in the toilet trap with bare hands.

If you are afraid of scratching your toilet, you can also remove it before using a toilet auger. A longer toilet auger will be especially necessary in this case.

You can use toilet augers to unclog your toilet.

Rather than hiring a plumber or using a drain specialist, you can do this yourself for a fraction of the cost. Unblocking your drains with it is easy and quick.

By using this method, you will be able to avoid many of the issues associated with a blocked toilet. While a toilet auger can be effective in most situations, it cannot always guarantee a fixed toilet.

If your toilet is clogged for an extended period of time, you might have to seek alternative solutions.

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