That stubborn toilet doesn’t want to unclog. You’ve tried everything you can think of to get it clear, ranging from the plunger to the commercial unclogging chemicals, without much success.
Before you call your local plumber for some help, it might be time to invest in a plumber’s snake.
It’s sometimes called a toilet snake, and you’ll see why once you start using the tool. When you extend the item into the drainage point, it looks like a thin metal reptile.
Here are the steps to follow when a plumber’s snake is needed to unclog your toilet.
Steps to Follow When Unclogging a Toilet
1. Get the tool.
Most hardware stores offer toilet snakes for sale. Although you can rent pro-quality ones, a retail product for about $20 at your local shop typically gets the job done. You’ll want to buy one with a rust-resistant spring wire. The housing is made of plastic or rubber, offering an angled handle with a crank at the end.
2. Put on the safety equipment.
Even though this toilet is yours, it is still crucial to protect yourself from splashes or contact with the materials in the bowl. Put on some rubber gloves, get on old clothes that can get ruined, and have a five-gallon bucket next to you.
Place the end without the crank into the toilet bowl. It should go directly into the drain in the bottom without extending the metal end. If the spring, cable, or rotation mechanism contacts the ceramic’s surface, it can scratch things. Contact CanduPlumbing for any type of emergency plumbing in Chatsworth
3. Crank the handle.
The toilet auger or snake needs to get cranked clockwise to release the cable to extend down the drain. Keep turning or pushing the product through the chute until it stops.
Once you feel the impact of the tool, you’ll know that you have reached the drain.
4. Pull the snake back.
After you experience the clog’s impact, try to drag the snake back slightly by using the crank handle. Don’t jerk the tool back because that action can scratch the ceramic.
If you feel resistance, that means you potentially hooked the problem in the toilet. You can now spin the handle counterclockwise to start bringing the unwanted materials back to the bowl.
Keep turning the toilet snake handle until you retract the entire extension into the tube. If you get the clog out, it’ll appear in the bowl. Use your gloved hands, a small container, or something secure to remove the issue.
After placing the clog in the bucket, check to see if your toilet flushes. If it does, your work is done! If not, you’ll need to repeat step three until the job is finished and clear flushes occur.
5. Push the spring into the clog.
Some toilet snakes and augers have a spring on the end of the metal component instead of a hook. That design makes it easier to push the clog through the drain instead of pulling it up to the bowl.
You might need to use some force to dislodge a clog with this tool. The trap doesn’t always receive water when it’s blocked, which means the materials in there can dry out and stick to the toilet.
You’ll know that the clog is gone when the water in the bowl flushes. You can pull the toilet snake out at that point. Give it another flush to see if it is working correctly.
If it is not working, you’ll need to repeat the steps until it is repaired.
What If I Can’t Get the Entire Clog Out of the Toilet?
If you can’t get the clog to come out with the toilet snake, the next best option is to break it up enough that you’ll get a flush.
After cranking the cable until you reach the clog, try to jiggle it around lightly to bust up the materials stopping the water from flowing.
Retract the cable a little, then repeat the above process several times. You’ll know that you’re making progress because the snake will reach further than it did when you started.
Once you have a breach, you can use plungers or other cleaning agents to remove the rest of the offending materials if the toilet snake doesn’t seem to catch the materials.
What If My Toilet Overflows While I’m Working?
When you think you’ve busted up a clog, the next step is to flush the toilet to check on your work. If the materials still prevent movement, the bowl can overflow quickly.
That’s why it helps to remove the tank lid while working on a clogged toilet. If a flooding event might happen, you can manually stop the flapper from releasing more water. You’ll need both hands to finish this step.
Flush as usual, then close the flapper with your other hand. Once you know the clog is clear, you can operate the toilet as normal.
How Do I Clean a Toilet Snake When I’m Finished?
Once you have the toilet clog removed, it is time to get everything cleaned and sanitized.
The first step is to dump any waste you collected in the bucket next to the toilet. If it works correctly, you should be able to flush these items. When the product is too large or shouldn’t go into the waste stream, you’ll want to use a separate trash bag for the item. Put it outside the house as soon as possible.
Clean the bucket once the waste materials are gone with soap and very hot water or bleach. You can use the same agents on the toilet snake before placing it in storage for the next clog.
The final step is to avoid future clogs. When you flush toilet paper and waste only, you’ll get the best results from your toilet and plumbing. Items like paper towels, dental floss, or cat litter should never go into the drain.
If you have an older home or sensitive plumbing, it helps to use a lighter ply toilet paper to keep everything flushing along.
When you need help with this work, a trusted Chatsworth plumber can get the job done! Contact our team today if you require assistance, and we’ll get out there as soon as we can.