Clogged Toilets San Antonio
Nothing interferes with my reading time like a toilet-clog! This is true, at least, for an older guy like me. Maybe for you younger men it’s merely a necessary device. Or, do you bring your laptop?!
Ick Factor= from 6 to 10.
Anyway, if you tried to cure your toilet-clog with your plunger but couldn’t get it to clear, then it’s time to break out the trusty closet (toilet) auger. The picture above left illustrates a typical and inexpensive toilet auger. You can purchase one at most hardware stores, home improvement centers and plumbing supply stores. This tool is widely used by plumbers for toilet-clogs.
These augers come in 3 foot cable lengths and 6 foot cable lengths. The three footer will cost between $30.00 $40.00 and the six footer between &40.00 and $50.00. They also come with either a “bulb head” or a “drop head”. Get the drop head style.
The 3 footer will go through the toilet, yet just barely. The six footer will go through the toilet and then through the “closet bend” and into the vent behind the toilet. The closet bend is a piece of 3″ or 4″ sewer pipe with a long sweep 90 degree turn in it. It is the section of pipe that carries the sewage from the toilet to the sewer line. The advantage of the six footer is that sometimes what you think is a toilet-clog is actually a closet bend clog. So I suggest you get the 6 footer since it will almost always be less than a plumbers fee and, of course, you’ll have it for future use.
Look at the picture below left. You can clearly see the path the auger takes to work its way to the toilet-clog. Once it reaches the flange, which is connected to the top of the closet bend, you will notice a small metal “button” right below the turning handle on the cable slot. If the toilet-clog hasn’t cleared by this popint, push on that button (you may need to use a pair of channel locks) and while pushing down on the auger, pull up on the handle until that button “snaps” into place in the opening at the bottom of the cable slot. This is how you get your extra 3 feet and can continue into the closet bend.
When taking on a toilet-clog with an auger there are several things to consider:
Using The Auger The first thing to do is take the tank lid off and gently set it aside. This is a precationary measure in the event you think you cleared the toilet-clog but didn’t, then flushed it. In this case you can quickly pull up on the fill valve or float rod to prevent overflow of the toilet. (i.e., ick factor = 10!). That gives you time to reach down and turn off the angle-stop.
When you start with the auger, pull the handle as far as you can so the the first three feet of cable come out of the slot. Bottom the auger head in the toilet and make sure that the drop head is started into the discharge opening. Then push down on the handle while using your other hand to hold the auger up close to the handle. Now start turning the handle as you push down on it. Frequently the stoppage will be at the top of the inverted trap, as shown on the toilet above right. If the toilet clears as you go, continue to push and turn until you’ve used the first three feet of cable. The stoppage will occasionally be at the discharge point at the base of the toilet where it connects to the flange. If, at this point, the toilet clears, then gently pull the cable back while flushing the toilet.
If the toilet hasn’t cleared, then use the final three feet of the auger, as instructed above.
Is it a Toilet-Clog or a Sewer-Clog? If your toilet “gurgles” when you are using water somewhere else in your house then you have a main line stoppage. In this case the auger will do you no good. Other symptoms are sewage coming up in your tub and/or shower. Remember that water always seeks the lowest possible level. Therefore, if you run water anywhere in your house and it comes up in that lowest point, i.e. shower, sunken shower, bathtub or toilet, then you have a sewer stoppage. Also, when you tried plunging and the water just rocks back and forth with little resistance, you probably have a sewer stoppage. More on that soon.
Do You Know What’s in the Toilet? This is valuable information and can save you a lot of frustration. Did a toddler drop a toy in it? Did Grandpa use half a roll of paper towels? Did your cell phone fall out of your pocket and into the Johny? The toilet-clog could be lots of things.
A “soft” stoppage is usually easy to clear. The auger should do its business and, hopefully, push the clog into the sewer where it most likely will do no harm. A “hard” stoppage can be more difficult. The idea here is to try to get the drop head on the auger to grab onto the hard object and pull it out. Sometimes it does…sometimes it doesn’t.
If you have a hard stoppage and your auger keeps getting “hungup” tight on it, DO NOT keep “cranking” on the auger. Work it a few times, yet don’t let the tension build up so high that you can barely turn the auger. If you do that and then suddenly let go of the handle, that handle will spin viciously and potentially harm you!
When to “Pull” the Toilet If you have made several attempts to clear a hard stoppage and are getting nowhere, it may be time to pull the toilet, as explained in the first part of the toilet installation page.
Follow the removal instructions, including the safety issues, and carefully take the toilet outside. Gently turn the toilet over so that it rests on the tank and the front of the bowl. Set it on a soft surface, not concrete! The water will drain, including any “ick” that is in the toilet. To prevent that I always used a wet vacuum and pulled all the fluids and solids out of the toilet prior to pulling it. Then I would try the auger a couple more times before pulling the toilet. Sometimes the stoppage will fall down into the bowl when there’s no water holding it up. But this happens only if your lucky!
You can shine a flashlight up through the bottom opening and maybe see what the stoppage is. A small inspection mirror really helps with this. You can try running the auger backwards through the toilet. That will often push the hard stoppage back into the bowl.
There are rare occasions when a hard stoppage gets so tightly wedged in a toilet that you can’t get it out without breaking the toilet. Like I said, it’s rare.
Once you get the toilet-clog out of the toilet, go back to the toilet installation page and follow those directions. Always remove the old wax ring (a good 3″ putty knife will help you) and install a new one to insure a proper seal.
The last thing you want to do, after you have reset the toilet and turned the water on, is to flush it several times and check for leaks. Pay special attention to the tank to bowl gasket. It can get jarred and then leak, especially on an older toilet, when you turn it upside down. That’s why I suggest you be gentle with the toilet.
For more information visit this website @ https://chamblissplumbing.com/residential-plumbing/
MAN….SOMETIMES I JUST CAN’T HELP IT!