How to Snake a Toilet | How to Use a Toilet Auger

How to Snake a Toilet

how to snake a toilet with a manual auger

Your toilet is clogged, and the normal remedies won't work. Now you went the extra mile and bought or rented a toilet auger, but you haven't ever used it before. The point of this tool is to make things easy, but at this point, you have this seemingly complicated tool that you've never operated. It's really not that difficult if you follow the steps we layout here. You can learn how to snake a toilet in no time.

What Is a Toilet Auger?

Also referred to as a snake tool, a plumbing auger is used to dislodge clogs in your plumbing. Technically, there is a difference between an auger and a snake. A snake tool is used for smaller drains, like sinkholes. An auger is used for larger drains, like the shower or toilet. So, in this case, you are snaking the toilet with an auger.

How to Use a Toilet Auger

  1. Ensure you are prepared for a dirty job by wearing rubber gloves and having an empty bucket on hand.
  2. Place the action end of the snake tool in the toilet bowl, pointing it into the drain.
  3. If you have a manual auger, crank the handle clockwise. If you have an automatic snake tool, like the Milwaukee drain snakes, just let the machine do all the work. Keep cranking until you feel it stop because you've reached the clog.
  4. Pull gently on your tool, and if you feel any resistance, it should mean that you have hooked the culprit. If you do not feel resistance, try to hook it by prodding the clog and pulling it back until you snare it. Once you've got it, retract the auger (crank counter-clockwise) and then dispose of the waste.
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  6. Repeat this process until all the waste is gone. If you cannot remove it, try to break it up so that it will move down the line.
  7. Place the dirty auger end in the bucket.
  8. Before flushing, take the tank lid off the toilet. That way, when you flush, if you're at risk for an overflow, you can close the flapper manually with your hand to prevent a mess.
  9. If the toilet is now flushing properly, you can dump the waste from the bucket (in segments, if necessary) back into the toilet and flush it. 
  10. Clean your tool and bucket with hot water and bleach. Vinegar also works.

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Related resources:
How to Fix a Leaking Toilet Tank
How to Use a Plunger
Draining a Toilet
How to Replace Toilet Supply Line
How to Unclog a Toilet with No Plunger

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