What Is A Closet Auger Used For

Luke Keith

Closet Auger

A closet auger is a tool specially designed to clear clogs in toilets. Unlike a plunger, it can reach deeper and handle tougher obstructions. This tool can save money on plumbing services by fixing blockages at home.

The closet auger has a long cable with a flexible end that goes down the toilet drain. It can maneuver through curves and bends to reach the clogs. With a simple crank, it can break up or pull out the blockage, making it a handy tool for any household.

By using a closet auger, you can avoid costly repairs and keep your plumbing in good shape. Whether it’s a toy stuck in the drain or a buildup of waste, this tool can tackle most problems easily. Learn to use it correctly, and you can handle many common plumbing issues on your own.

Understanding the Closet Auger

The closet auger is an essential tool for unclogging toilets. It consists of various parts that work together to break and clear blockages in the drain. Knowing how to safely use this tool is important to prevent damage to the toilet.

Components and Mechanism

A closet auger usually has three main parts: the handle, the metal cable, and the auger bit. The handle helps you turn the cable. The metal cable is flexible and long enough to reach deep clogs. The auger bit at the end is shaped like a corkscrew. This part breaks up the blockage.

The handle often has a grip to make it easier to hold. Some models come with a bowl guard. This part helps protect the porcelain toilet from scratches. When you turn the handle, the cable pushes into the drain, twisting to break the clog. The design makes it effective for clearing toilets, different from other tools like standard drain snakes.

Safety and Precautions

Knowing how to use a closet auger safely is very important. Always wear gloves to protect your hands. The metal cable can be sharp and dirty. Handle the tool carefully to avoid damaging the porcelain toilet. If you are not careful, you could scratch the surface.

Before using the tool, check that the auger bit is clean. A dirty bit can spread germs. Insert the cable gently into the toilet bowl. Do not force it, as this can break parts of the toilet. Turn the handle slowly to clear the clog. If you meet resistance, pull the auger out and try again.

Types of Closet Augers

There are a few different types of closet augers. Some have a telescoping handle, which can extend to reach deeper clogs. Others have different lengths of metal cable. The standard length is around 3 feet, but some are longer. Choose an auger based on the type of clog you often find.

Some closet augers are manual, while others may attach to a drill for automatic turning. Manual augers are simpler and cheaper. Automatic ones can be faster to use but may be more expensive. Depending on the clog and toilet type, the best choice may vary.

Proper Use and Maintenance

Using a closet auger correctly can help clear clogs in your toilet while minimizing damage. Maintaining the tool ensures it remains effective for future use.

Step-by-Step Guide for Unclogging

  1. Gather Supplies: Get rubber gloves, a bucket, and the auger.
  2. Prepare the Toilet: Turn off the water supply to the toilet and drain the toilet bowl by flushing.
  3. Insert the Auger: Put the auger’s end into the toilet drain.
  4. Crank the Handle: Turn the handle clockwise while holding the auger housing steady. This moves the cable into the drain.
  5. Break the Clog: Keep turning the handle until you feel the clog break up.
  6. Remove the Auger: Carefully pull the auger out without splashing water.
  7. Flush: Turn the water supply back on and flush the toilet to make sure the clog is gone.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

  • Cable Stuck in Drain: Gently push and pull the handle back and forth without forcing it. You may need to turn the crank in reverse.
  • Persistent Clog: If the clog doesn’t break up, try using a plunger after the auger.
  • Toilet Bowl Scratches: Use the auger’s bowl guard to avoid scratching the porcelain. This guard keeps the metal cable from hitting the toilet bowl.
  • Weak Crank Rotation: If cranking is hard, ensure the cable is not tangled. Check that the handle has no obstructions.

Maintenance and Care

  • Clean the Auger: After each use, clean the auger with water and dry it completely to avoid rust.
  • Inspect Regularly: Check for any signs of wear or damage before each use.
  • Store Properly: Keep the auger in a dry place to prevent moisture damage. Avoid leaving it in damp or wet areas.
  • Lubricate If Needed: Apply a light oil to metal parts if they start to get tight or rusty.
  • Check Crank Handle: Ensure the handle moves freely. Tighten any loose parts.

Regular maintenance and proper use of your closet auger will ensure it works well every time you need it. These steps can save you from calling a professional plumber and reduce costs.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section addresses common questions about using a closet auger, focusing on usage instructions, identifying differences with other tools, operational issues, selecting the right product, and more.

How do you effectively use a toilet auger to unclog a toilet?

To effectively use a toilet auger, insert the auger into the toilet drain and carefully turn the handle. Push the auger slowly into the drain until you feel resistance. Turn the handle to break up the clog. Repeat if necessary until the clog is cleared.

What are the differences between a toilet auger and a plumbing snake?

A toilet auger is designed specifically for toilets. It has a shorter, flexible cable to navigate toilet bends. A plumbing snake is longer and more rigid, used for other drains like sinks or bathtubs. A toilet auger has a bowl guard to protect toilet porcelain, while a plumbing snake does not.

Why might a toilet auger not go in when attempting to clear a blockage?

If an auger does not go in, it might be because the clog is too solid or stuck in the trapway. The cable might also be kinked. Make sure to guide the auger properly. Applying steady and gentle pressure usually helps.

What are the best practices for selecting a toilet auger from a home improvement store?

When selecting a toilet auger, look for a model with a solid handle and a bowl guard to avoid scratching the toilet. Check the length of the cable. Typically, a 3- to 6-foot cable is ideal for most household toilets. The cable should be sturdy but flexible enough to navigate the drain.

How does one properly operate a toilet auger as demonstrated in online tutorials?

Most online tutorials recommend starting by inserting the auger into the drain. Twist the handle slowly to extend the cable. Use gentle, even pressure. When you hit a clog, continue turning the handle to break it up. Withdraw the auger and test the flush to ensure the clog is cleared.

What is the appropriate length for a toilet auger to ensure it reaches common clogs?

The appropriate length for a toilet auger is usually between 3 to 6 feet. A 3-foot auger is sufficient for most clogs near the toilet bowl. For deeper clogs, a 6-foot auger is more useful. Longer augers can reach farther into the drain system to clear those obstructions.