My Toilet Auger Won't Work

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A toilet auger is a special tool specifically designed to effectively remove clogs in a toilet that a plunger cannot reach. There are occasions when a toilet auger will come up short of removing the blockage, and you will need to enlist additional efforts to remove clogs that are deeper or more stubborn. Follow a few simple steps to resolve plumbing issues when your toilet auger doesn't work.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Wet/dry vacuum
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Newspaper
  • Bucket
  • Drain auger
  • Putty knife
  • Replacement wax ring
  • Turn the toilet's shut-off valve completely to the right, shutting off the flow of water to the toilet. Remove the tank lid and set it in a soft and safe spot, such as on top of a nearby sofa or bed. Flush the toilet, holding the handle down for an extended time, allowing the greatest amount of water to exit the tank.

  • Vacuum all the remaining water left behind in the tank and bowl, using a wet/dry vacuum. Disconnect the water supply line from the bottom of the tank, using your hand or an adjustable wrench, if necessary.

  • Pop off the caps that cover the flange bolts that poke up through the base of the toilet. Use your hand or a slotted screwdriver. Unscrew and remove the nuts from the bolts, using an adjustable wrench. Spread newspaper on the floor nearby to serve as padding.

  • Lift and remove the toilet from the flange. Set the toilet on top of the newspaper. Examine the bottom of the toilet to make certain that the clog is not stuck in the toilet trap. Put on rubber gloves, and place a bucket near the exposed floor flange.

  • Insert the end of a drain auger directly into the drain. For deeper clogs, use a drain auger that's longer than the toilet auger. Crank the auger handle clockwise. When you encounter resistance, pull back on the auger while continuing to crank the handle clockwise.

  • Push the auger forward into the drain and crank the handle clockwise, allowing the auger to chew into the clog. Reverse direction and crank the handle counterclockwise while pulling the auger back out of the drain. Deposit the clog captured by the auger into the waiting bucket.

  • Scrape the wax residue from the floor flange and from the toilet horn, using a putty knife. The horn is the discharge outlet on the bottom of the toilet. Press a new wax ring in place around the toilet horn. Lift the toilet and lower it straight down onto the flange, checking to make certain the flange bolts pass through the base of the toilet.

  • Install the washers and nuts on the flange bolts, alternately tightening the nuts with an adjustable wrench. Do not overtighten. Place the caps over the bolts. Connect the supply line to the bottom of the fill valve underneath the tank, tightening the line one quarter-turn past hand-tight, using an adjustable wrench.

  • Turn the shut-off valve to the left, and allow water to refill the tank, while checking for any leaks around the toilet. Flush the toilet and check again for any leaks. Place the lid on the tank.

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