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Thread: How to use a closet auger on a plugged toilet

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Default How to use a closet auger on a plugged toilet


    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.




    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.
    Last edited by Terry; 10-03-2009 at 11:13 AM.

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    DIY Junior Member rgwb's Avatar
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    Question 3-month old Toto Drake gets clogged, GI Joe

    We did a bathroom remodel 3 months ago in our 104-year-old house and installed a Toto Drake in the spot where the old toilet had been (i.e. no new plumbing). It worked great until last week, when it started getting clogged anytime solid waste or TP was flushed. We tried every DIY trick in the book, then finally called a drain guy today who augered it several times and told me he can't think of any reason why this would be happening except that the toilet has a defective trap. He showed me how the toilet would flush fine but immediately clogged up when he put in a wad of paper.

    In researching online I haven't come across any posts about Totos being defective, but I know anything is possible. But could there be any other possibility? It just seems strange that it would work fine for 3 months and suddenly develop this problem. We're not having any trouble with any other drains in the house, or water backing up in the basement, etc. And I don't hear any gurgling in the toilet when the taps are run, so I assume it's not a vent problem.

    TIA for any help or suggestions!

    RGWB
    Last edited by Terry; 10-09-2008 at 09:43 AM.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    With a 4-year-old, there could be anything in the trapway - pen, pencil, toys, who knows what. A toilet auger won't always get out things. You have a clog. It could be in the toilet, it could be further down the line. Hope you didn't pay that guy much...

    You may need to remove the toilet. If it is caught inside, sometimes you can see it from below. If not, they you've got good access to clear the drain.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    We had a similar job we went out to, the first plumber told the homeowner that they had a defective bowl.
    Jamie went out with his auger, and decided to pull the bowl.
    This is what he found.
    The first plumber had run his auger through, but it went right by Mr GI Joe.

    I've always believed that if a bowl is having a problem, you should at least pull it out, and look in the lower part of the trapway. Mirrors help too.
    Last edited by Terry; 01-22-2008 at 03:47 PM.

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    DIY Junior Member rgwb's Avatar
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    Curses, I was afraid that might be the answer. Guess I've got that to look forward to tonight. This problem happened right after we had two little girls over to play, but I was hoping that was just a coincidence.

    By the way, Mr. Drain Guy suggested that the problem was the hole in the Toto flapper, and that it needed to be plugged up or replaced so that it wouldn't close so fast. Even I in my ignorance knew that that wasn't the answer.

    RGWB

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Mr. Drain Guy suggested that the problem was the hole in the Toto flapper, and that it needed to be plugged up or replaced so that it wouldn't close so fast. Even I in my ignorance knew that that wasn't the answer.
    And that's why it's hard to find a good plumber.
    Worked great for three months, and one night, it's the flapper.
    Not logical Mr Spock.
    So........since you can understand something like that, (the plumber didn't) have you considering entering the field of plumbing?

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    DIY Junior Member rgwb's Avatar
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    ROFL - I'll suggest that to my husband tonight and see what he says.

    I just read your thread on the toilet auger and that's the same one Mr. Drain Guy used. But I guess even a large one like that could miss an obstruction?

    My son got a kick out of the GI Joe picture - he said it looked like he was trying to make a break for it but just didn't quite make it.

    RGWB

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    It isn't that hard to pull a toilet. Whether you'll find the problem in the toilet or further down the drain is still open. Having the toilet off makes it easier to use a proper drain cleaning snake. If you are lucky, you might see it if you have a small inspection mirror, or feel it if you've got a small hand.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Junior Member rgwb's Avatar
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    ARGH. I pulled the toilet and no obstruction was visible. Are you suggesting that I try using a snake by going in from underneath the toilet? And also snaking the line while the toilet is off? What is the "proper snake" to use?

    I didn't sign up for this and I don't know what the h*** I'm doing.

    RGWB

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    This is the auger we use with a 1-3/8" end on it.
    If you can't see anything from the outlet, it could be at the top bend.
    We did have a rubby ducky stuck at the top bend before.
    I'm not kidding, someone put a rubber ducky in and tried to flush it.

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    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Default Closet auger is my best tool on the truck

    But I use the telescoping auger that reaches 6' and with the regular bulb end.

    I've tried those larger ended augers and I've ended up not clearing the toilet because I can't maneuver the top of the trapway in the toilet. Doesn't matter if I hard jam it, wind forward or reverse.

    I've been averaging 3 clogged toilets a week which is what I want knowing it's 8 minutes here's your bill I gotta go.


    Poop Soup!!!!! Name:  shocked2.gif
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    Read what the end of this sentence means.

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    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rgwb View Post
    I didn't sign up for this and I don't know what the h*** I'm doing.
    RGWB
    I feel the same way about life in general. My favorite toilet snake is a length of 1 1/4" bilge pump hose -- the corrugated plastic kind. I taped one end over with duct tape and just push the whole thing down (or up) the trapway. Now that you've got the toilet up, you may as well snake backwards -- it's conceivable that GI Jane or whoever is stuck, and might only come out the same way she went in. You did remember to buy a new wax ring for resetting the toilet, right?

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    DIY Junior Member rgwb's Avatar
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    Funny, I used a piece of corrugated hose (from a wet shop vac) last night because I don't own a snake. It would have worked great except the end was too long to make it around the curves into the trap. So then I switched to a stiff bungee cord, and I was able to get it through the trap with some wiggling, but it did feel like it was pushing past/through something.

    AAAAGGGH WHAT is in there?? Remember this has been snaked/augered repeatedly by both my husband and Mr. Drain Guy. Someone talk me down before I take a sledgehammer to the Drake. I am just a wee bit frustrated with the "toilet that never clogs."

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    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Try using a small mirror and flash light to look up into the trap way from the bowl. I dealt with a toilet at a police station and found a Marijuana test kit stuck in the trap way. The auger just passed by it every time. Tooth brushes are notorious. They will catch all the paper but let the auger by.

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    DIY Junior Member rgwb's Avatar
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    Default Eureka!

    Using the advice and encouragement from you folks, I tackled it again with great gusto this morning, and Voila! http://www.flickr.com/photos/73142370@N00/2214827654/

    A certain 9-year-old boy who owned a certain blue toothbrush is going to have some explaining to do when he gets home from school today.

    RGWB

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