You are currently viewing How to use a toilet snake | video + step by step

How to use a toilet snake | video + step by step

Want to avoid calling a plumber and save a lot of money? Use a toilet snake to unclog your toilet yourself. Anyone can do it and all it takes are minutes. But first things first: What is a toilet snake?

A toilet snake (auger) is a device used to unclog your toilet. You use a toilet snake when the blockage is so deep down the drain a toilet plunger doesn’t work. Due to the maneuverable cable, you can easily reach the blockage and clear your drain without damaging your toilet’s glaze.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about a toilet snake, but most importantly: how to use it. Including video + detailed step-by-step!

Toilet snake vs toilet auger

Before we begin you might be confused about the difference between a toilet snake and a toilet auger. They both do the same thing: unclog drains. That’s why professionals use the term drain snake and drain augers instead of toilet augers and snakes.

The difference between a toilet (drain) snake and a toilet (drain) auger is that drain snakes are typically used for blockages in smaller pipes. Think of bathroom and kitchen sinks. Drain augers are used for bigger pipes like your toilet.

But the technique of wiggling and twisting a device inside a curved drain is still called snaking. That’s probably where the term toilet snake comes from.

Drain Auger (used for toilets)

Drain Snake (used for sinks)

How to use a toilet snake

Using a toilet snake (or drain auger as you now know) to clear a drain can take 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how significant the blockage is.

It might be wise to wear gloves.

Here’s how to use a toilet snake (toilet auger) to clear your toilet:

1. Pull the handle all the way up to tuck in the cable

Each drain auger or snake comes with a protective plastic sleeve. This is so that you won’t scratch the glaze of your toilet, leaving scratches that are prone to harbor bacteria. Just be aware that the coil at the end of the cable does not go inside the sleeve.

  1. Make sure the cable is all the way inside the protective sleeve by pulling the handle as far as you can out. Now the cable is all tucked in.
how to use a toilet snake

2. Place the auger inside the bowl

Place the auger inside the beginning of your drain. This is why the end of the auger is curved. Make sure to carefully do this as the coil is not protected by a plastic sleeve.

how to use a toilet snake

3. Push down on the handle and rotate

Simultaneously push down on the handle and start rotating. This will make the cable travel down the drain through curves and loops regular tools cannot come. The rotating makes sure any blockage will be moved. You can also try moving the handle up and down.

how to use a drain auger

4. Flush the toilet

Flushing the toilet moves the now unblocked blockage down the drain and cleans the auger. If you have a dual flush, use the bigger button.

5. Retract the handle and rotate

Retract the handle and rotate it a few more times. If you were to just pull out the auger without retracting the plastic sleeve won’t protect your toilet from getting scratched anymore.

how to use a drain snake

That’s it! Super easy right?

Step by step video on how to use a toilet snake

Here’s a video that shows you how to use a toilet snake:

Are toilet snakes effective?

Toilet snakes are effective as they are long and maneuverable enough to clear a clog that our arms or plunger cannot reach. Also, toilet snakes are designed in a way that it doesn’t scratch the glaze of your toilet. This is a very important part people forget when they DIY a toilet snake.

When to snake a toilet?

You should snake a toilet when there’s a clog so bad a plunger no longer works and you cannot reach it without a specialized tool. Another reason to want to snake a toilet is that you don’t want to use chemicals that are harmful to the environment.

You should avoid using chemicals to clear a drain, as they might harm nature. Instead, you can try to use stuff you already have lying around if you want to quickly resolve a clogged toilet.

Best toilet snake

These are the most popular toilet snakes (drain augers) available:

When shopping for a toilet auger make sure the product (like the ones above) mentions they can be used for toilets. A lot of the search results for toilet augers are actually drain snakes (so not recommended for toilets!).

DIY toilet snake

To DIY a toilet snake you can use a metal wire which you can either coil or bend into a hook. You can use a metal coat hanger for this. Put a dollop of hot glue on the end of the wire to avoid scratching your toilet. Be very, very careful when you use a DIY-ed toilet snake.

It’s always better to use a tool that has been specifically designed to do this. This way you know you won’t damage your drains.

But if you need one right now, here’s how to DIY a toilet snake at home.

Frequently asked questions about Toilet Snakes

Find here some Q&A’s regarding toilet snakes.

Should a snake be used to unclog a toilet?

A snake, or actually an auger, is the perfect tool to unclog a toilet as its cable is designed to go through the curves of a toilet drain. Be sure to get a drain auger and not a snake. Even though they do the same thing, an auger is bigger and more sturdy.

Which is exactly what you need for your toilet.

How do you unclog a toilet with an auger?

To unclog a toilet with an auger you need to make sure the cable is tucked into the auger before placing it inside the bowl. Then, you rotate and press down the handle all the way down. After that, you flush and rotate, and pull the handle up.

Always read the instructions for your product first. There might be some product-specific steps you’ll have to do.

Disclaimer: is not responsible for any damage caused to your toilet by (wrongly) interpreting information found on this site. Please seek custom advice from a professional to evaluate your current situation.

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