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If you've arrived on this page, you most likely have a toilet blockage of some sort and want something that will help you unclog it. Toilet Augers, or drain snakes as they're sometimes known, are the next line of defence if your plunger doesn't get the job done.
We've analyzed some of the leading brands on the market, and look for specific features that help them stand out from the competition. We'll be exploring the cable length, handling, the sleeve, and much more below.
Have you got an object or tissue blocking the trap passageway? The first option to resolve this would be by utilizing a plunger to create a seal and plunge the clog by putting pressure on it. However, sometimes this won't work. The blockage may be deep in the pipes, and that's where a drain snake becomes useful because it is able to extend through the pipework.
They include a length of cable that can be twisted and controlled using a handle. The bottom end of this cable will have a elbow curve and a crank for getting around the twists and turns to the clogs location. Not all types crank however, and that can make things a bit trickier.
Start by inserting the cable into the bowl. The sleeving around the cable protects the bowls surface from getting scratched or damaged. You will then crank the handle to extend the cable. It may feel like it can't go any further at times, but with a bit of luck, reversing and extending, and twisting it will get you to the clog. Be careful and concentrate while doing this as you don't want the cable to double back. Once you find yourself up against the clog, keep extending it to force the corkscrew like tip through, then slowly wind it back in and out of the bowl. Repeat this until it's fully unclogged and normal service resumed.
It's a simple process, but something that may need a little bit of practice in order to succeed.
While it may be too late for many of you reading this, there are still steps you can take to prevent it happening again in the future.
Stop flushing things that don't belong - As a general rule, stop flushing stuff that isn't human waste. Use paper that is designed to break down and dispose of feminine hygiene products the right way.
Catch it early - If you notice that the flushing performance isn't quite the same, you may find that it's partly blocked. This can be an easy fix for a plunger if you deal with it early enough. Leaving it too long can make things worse, with the clog getting larger after each bathroom visit.
Reach - The extension length of the cable is an important spec to take into account. You don't necessarily want something too long that goes way beyond the clogs and into the drains, but you don't want something too short that won't let you reach far enough inside. 6 ft toilet augurs seem to be a popular length.
Brands - There are many manufacturers to choose from. RIDGID, Cobra Products, MIBOW, PROSOURCE among them, all of which design a number of light and heavy duty models that are easy to use and flexible.
Budget - If you don't want to splash out on anything expensive, you're in luck as there is a number of reasonably priced options out there. Just make sure you set yourself a budget, be sensible, and plan ahead.
Consumer feedback - Use shops and forums online to read customer reviews. While they don't give the full picture, they will let you know more about a products quality. We use Home Depot, Wayfair, Lowes, and several others for this. Too many complaints? Move onto the next one. There are too many options out there to risk purchasing something that may not be as effective as advertised.
Without a doubt, it's worth buying a toilet snake and trying to remove the blockage yourself before calling a plumber. Over the long run the purchase may save you money because over the long run, plumbing services can be expensive. But make sure you've read the full guide above and the specs to watch out for. If you get blockages consistently, you may want to consider getting a new toilet. Most modern flush mechanisms are able to handle large quantities of waste.