Toilet Auger Stuck in a Narrow Toilet

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Improper use of a toilet augur can damage a toilet's porcelain.
Improper use of a toilet augur can damage a toilet's porcelain. (Image: John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Toilet clogs can disrupt a household for hours while you wait for a plumber to come to the rescue. If you have the right equipment on hand, such as a plunger and toilet augur, you may attempt to unclog it yourself. Occasionally, a complication arises — like the toilet augur becoming stuck in the toilet, which will require a little more time and effort to extract the equipment without damaging the toilet.

The Right Way to Use A Toilet Auger

A toilet auger is a specialized tool designed to snake down through the twists in the toilet drain to reach blockages and move them out of position. This action is done through the use of a flexible, metal “snake” that is unwound from the guide tube, allowing it to move further down through the toilet drain. Generally, it is about 3 feet long. As the snake is extended down the drain, the auger may catch on the material clogging the toilet. The clogging material then may be pulled up as you rewind the tubing, or dislodged as you poush forward, so it may be flushed away.

Problems Using Toilet Augers

To avoid the problem of having an auger stuck in the toilet, follow recommended techniques for using the tool. First, locate the drain hole of toilet. This hole may be in the front of the bowl or toward the back. You then set the guide tube of the auger into position in the drain and begin unwinding the flexible tubing. Try to get a feel for the tubing’s movement as you unwind it. If it becomes snagged, unwind it further to push through the clog. If the tubing will not go any further in the drain, rewind it a bit and then unwind and try again. Do this several times, gently pulling up on the guide tube, the AcmeHowTo website advises.

Removing a Stuck Toilet Auger

To remove a stuck auger, first try to wind in the flexible tubing and re-extend it several times, the Rona website recommends. You may have to continue this technique for some time before the tubing finds its way free and can be pulled out of the drain. Generally, this will help to release the tubing if it has folded in on itself. In some cases, the tubing gets caught on something inside the drain. In such cases, you will have to remove the toilet from its base and attempt to remove the object and the auger from the bottom side with a screwdriver or other tool. You will then need to reseat the toilet on a new wax ring and secure it.

Preventing Problems When Using Toilet Augers

Always rewind the auger back into its tubing after cleaning it with bleach. It is a good idea to dry off the tubing before rewinding so that the material does not corrode, making the tool difficult to operate effectively. When using the toilet auger, avoid scratching the porcelain of the bowl and drain. If all attempts to remove a toilet auger from the drain fail, consult with a plumbing contractor for help. Never use excessive force to push through the snag or remove the auger. It could break inside the toilet, creating an even bigger problem.

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