How to use a closet auger on a plugged toilet

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Terry, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Personally I would call the drain cleaning company and complain! The drain cleaning guy hosed you! He needs to learn that Toto Drakes do not clog! I have pulled many toothbrushes out of toilets with my General 3' Closet Auger with a drop head. There is no reason for a telescoping auger. 3' will go through any toilet and if the problem is in the line the auger will not be used to clear it.


  2. Okay Redwood,


    Explain to me how every time I've opened a drain that eliminated pulling a toilet and I "did" open that drain due to toilet paper/solids.....


    they never called me back....because I removed the obstruction. ???


    Pulling a toilet is a bigger charge, I'm not about to bounce a charge on someone if I can do it without unnecessary additional work. That creates a situation with finding a bad closet flange, dealing with a bad angle stop, possibility of causing tank to bowl bolts to leak. I don't want that excess responsibility when all I'm called out to do is unclog a toilet drain.

    If your statement is true...

    I've opened hundreds of toilet clogs incorrectly....and not one person has called me back stating the clog is back. It's because I did remove it.

    How so...

    teach me
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2008
  3. rgwb

    rgwb New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Missouri
    I don't blame the Drain Guy for not finding the toothbrush - I understand how easy it would be for an auger to miss it - but he *insisted* that there was NO WAY anything could get by his super-duper, almighty auger, and that therefore the problem must either be a defective toilet or a defective flapper. So since he was an "expert," it was he who planted my seeds of unbelief in the Gods of the Drake. Only by my own sheer stubbornness and reading of this forum was I increasingly sure that some mysterious object was lodged in the bowels of the toilet, and not a defect in the toilet itself, and I was going to be dam*ed if it was going to get the best of me. I'm just glad I didn't pay him anything more to actually pull the toilet and accomplish the job I managed to do myself.

    SO, I do humbly bow once again to the power and mighty flushing force of the Drake, and repent of my previous doubt. And I have learned to do my own research and not just rely on the opinion of one dude with a closet auger.

    RGWB
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2008
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    A 3' closet auger will reach all the way through any toilet made. If the clog is further out than 3' it is in the line. If its in the line and there is not a cleanout to allow access to hit the clog the toilet will be pulled and I'll snake the line using proper equipment.

    Go ahead take your chances on punching a 1 1/2" hole through a clog in a 3" or, 4" pipe. I'll pull the toilet and run the line. If there are problems such as a bad stop valve or, flange I'll fix those as well.
  5. richrc1131

    richrc1131 New Member

    Messages:
    88
    Location:
    Central Connecticut
    Problem with clogged toilet

    The 2nd floor toilet at my house was recently clogged. I plungged it, snaked it, and let a chemical sit in it over night. While the water will eventually go down, the power in the flush is greatly decreased.
    The shower and sink share the drain and they don't have any problems.

    Any ideas?
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,820
    Location:
    New England
    There's likely something caught in the trap of the toilet. Could be a comb, toothbrush, pen, pencil, toy, etc. Chemicals rarely help. A toilet auger sometimes can catch the thing, but not always. Sometimes the only way to get rid of it is to pull the toilet off and go at it from the bottom.
  7. DaveNJ

    DaveNJ New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    NJ
    I was just about to post a similar thread - I tried a 3' toilet augur - no good. Tried a 6' augur - same thing, no good. The toilet in the bathroom next to it flushes just fine, so I don't think it's the stack. Do those CO2 plungers work at all?
  8. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I use a 3' General closet auger with a drop head. It has a hook on it that does a pretty good job of catching things that are caught in toilets...
  9. bh20653

    bh20653 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Maryland
    Toilet clogged after relative visted.

    Had a relative use the toilet and she clogged it claims that she didn't do anything that would have caused a clog. She is 16 so I don't know if embarrassment is keeping the truth from coming out or not. Tried the plunger with no luck. Went to Lowes and got a snake, found some resistance and pushed through and the water level started to slowly drop. Went back to plunging and after some work it seemed fixed.

    The next day it was clogged again, after my wife used it for number one so just a few sheets of TP clogged it. We had to leave for vacation so I hoped if it sat for a few (5) days that the clog would break down over time and be fixed when I got back. No such luck broke out the snake and plunger and got it working again, or so I thought. That afternoon it was clogged again by a small amount of poo and TP. It was a 2 year old that clogged it and I saw what went down because I had to help, and it was very little. Did the pulnger and snake again and had no luck. I then tried hot water and soap and was once again confident it was fixed. However a small amount of TP clogged the toilet again. I have tried the snake, plunger, hot water, and dish soap with no luck.

    I am down to a few options.
    1) I have pushed the blockage past where the snake can reach it, which is 15-20 feet. However that would put the blockage into the main pipe that most of the house uses before it goes into the sewer. When the water leaves the toilet it drops down about 1 foot into a 90 and is connected into the main sewer line that the house uses to exit the basement. The bathroom sink connects into that 1 foot section and I have had no backups with the sink. If the main pipe was clogged I would think other things would back up in the house. That is a fairly large 3 or 4 inch pipe and I would think clogging that would be hard, but I would like to hear if others agree.

    2) Something is wrong with the toilet. The toilet seems good to me, but the only thing I know to check to make sure the flapper stays up long enough for water to leave the holding tank. That seems good.

    3) I have a 2 and 4 year old and something other than toilet paper and waste is causing the problem. I have asked them but if the 2 year old put a car in there I am doubtful I would be told about it.

    4) Something I am completely missing.

    I would welcome any comments or help with this. It is Friday night so I don't want to call a plumber on weekend rates. Luckily we have another toilet so we can wait till Monday but I would love to fix this without calling a professional.
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,794
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    [​IMG]
    We use a closet auger with the large 1-3/8" end on it.
    Smaller cables can go right by the obstruction and not move it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    This is the plunger we like.
    Leave a littel bit of water in the bowl, and use short quick strokes untill the water starts to vibrate,
    Then lift up slightly.
    Hopefully, it lifts the mass up so it can get another run at it.

    You can also pour a five gallon bucket of water into the bowl. ​
  11. bh20653

    bh20653 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Maryland
    So if I had the GI Joe in my toilet and used a bigger auger to push him though am I going to just push the problem into the main sewer line or since that is a larger pipe will it be ok? I am starting to think after reading this post there may be a car in there somewhere, so even if I could push the car through do I really want to?

    Thanks.
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,285
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Or you can wash it off and put it back in the holder. Then just "happen" to mention it a few days later.
  13. SacCity

    SacCity In the Trades

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    I've done a number of augers as well, if I pull a bockage then I won't pull the toilet, but if I clear without pulling anything back then I'm going to pull the toilet and inspect.
    I charge an hour minimum so cost to the client is the same, risk is my guarrenty. I stand behind my work and will keep coming back until hell frezzes over.
    The last few were q-tips and wiquker from the laundry hamper, so much for forcing teen agers to clean the bathroom.
    Michael
  14. juror58

    juror58 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Central NY State
    Toilet Clogging Problem

    I had a 16" ADA height, elongated bowl, 1.6 gpf Drake for about five years. I loved it. It never clogged (and I can clog one pretty good). Last April we had to pull it for some minor renovations, and when I tightened it back down I broke it. ["SUNNUVA B!!!!!"] :mad:

    The replacement Drake is also a 1.6 gpf, two-piece, elongated bowl, ADA height (only now 17.25" high). I have two problems with it.

    First, it has a disturbing tendency to clog. This one has clogged more in the last six months than the old one did in the previous five years. Secondly, I can't find plunger to seal the hole to effectively "plunge" it when it does clog.

    Has anyone else noticed this clogging tendency with the newer Drakes? And what works to unclog it when it does?

    Thanks
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2011
  15. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,308
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I would bet a sizable amount that there is a foreign object wedged in the trap. Could be any number of things that would catch paper and cause a clog. The only things that should be flushed in a toilet either come out of the human body or toilet paper, and the toilet paper should have a low or no rag content. Young kids often flush toys or toothbrushes, but there is no end to possibilities. Sometimes a toilet auger can get them out, but often the toilet has to be removed and the problem approached from the underside.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2011
  16. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,820
    Location:
    New England
    Contrary to the instructions on most boxes, it's better to put the wax on the flange, then set the toilet over it rather than the other way. Regardless, the wax may have shifted and is partically plugging the hole, or, someone dropped something in the toilet and didn't tell you. Also, make sure that the hose is pointed down the overflow tube properly and attached with the clip. If the bowl doesn't fill properly, it won't flush properly.
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