When faced with a clogged toilet, finding the right tool to unclog it can be a lifesaver. Having access to an emergency plumber can also provide immediate assistance in such situations. Two commonly used tools for unclogging toilets are the toilet auger and the plumbing snake. Both these tools are designed to clear blockages, but they have some key differences. In this article, we will explore the definition and function of a toilet auger and discuss the different types available. We'll compare the toilet auger and plumbing snake, and determine which tool is better for unclogging your toilet.
Definition and Function of a Toilet Auger
A toilet auger, also known as a closet auger or a water closet auger, is a specialized tool designed specifically for clearing clogs in toilets. It consists of a long, flexible shaft with a handle at one end and a coiled auger or corkscrew-like head at the other. The auger head is inserted into the toilet bowl and rotated by turning the handle. This motion allows the auger to break up and push through clogs, clearing the blockage and restoring proper water flow.
Different Types of Toilet Augers
- Standard Toilet Auger: This is the most common type of toilet auger, featuring a flexible cable with a bulbous head at one end. It is effective for clearing simple clogs located near the toilet bowl.
- Long-Reach Toilet Auger: This type of auger is designed for reaching deeper clogs in the toilet drain. It has an extended cable length, allowing it to navigate through the toilet trap and reach blockages further down the pipe.
- Electric Toilet Auger: For more stubborn clogs, an electric toilet auger can be used. This powerful tool operates using a motorized mechanism to break up and remove tough blockages.
Comparing Toilet Auger and Plumbing Snake
A plumbing snake, also known as a drain snake or a plumber's snake, is a general-purpose tool used for clearing clogs in drains and pipes. While it can also be used to unclog a toilet, there are some notable differences between a plumbing snake and a toilet auger.
- Flexibility and Reach: Toilet augers are specifically designed to fit and navigate the curves of a toilet's plumbing system. They have a shorter and more flexible shaft. This allows for better maneuverability within the confined space of a toilet bowl. Plumbing snakes, on the other hand, are typically longer and less flexible. This makes them more suitable for clearing clogs in larger drains and pipes.
- Auger Head vs. Claw or Hook: Toilet augers feature a coiled auger head. This is designed to break up and push through clogs in the toilet trap. Plumbing snakes, however, often have a claw or hook-like attachment at the end. This attachment can be useful for grabbing and pulling out debris or objects causing the clog.
- Versatility: Plumbing snakes are more versatile than toilet augers since they can be used to clear clogs in various types of drains and pipes. If you have multiple clogged fixtures in your home, investing in a plumbing snake might be a more practical choice.
Toilet Auger vs. Snake: Which Is Better?
The choice between a toilet auger and a plumbing snake depends on the nature of the clog and your specific needs. If you are dealing with a stubborn clog in your toilet and have tried other methods without success, a toilet auger is often the best tool for the job. Its flexibility, specifically designed auger head, and ability to navigate the curves of a toilet's plumbing system make it highly effective in clearing toilet clogs.
On the other hand, if you have a clogged drain or multiple fixtures in your home that require attention, a plumbing snake would be a more versatile option. It can handle a wider range of clogs and is suitable for use in sinks, bathtubs, and other drains apart from the toilet.
Ultimately, the best tool for your clogged toilet will depend on the specific circumstances. If you're unsure, it's always a good idea to consult a professional plumber. They can assess the situation and recommend the most appropriate tool for the job.
Conclusion: Toilet Auger vs. Snake
In conclusion, both toilet augers and plumbing snakes are valuable tools for clearing clogs in your toilet and plumbing system. A toilet auger is specially designed for toilet clogs and offers excellent maneuverability. A plumbing snake, on the other hand, provides more versatility for handling various types of clogs in pipes and drains.
Consider the nature of your clog and your specific needs when choosing between these two tools. If the clog is limited to your toilet and other fixtures are functioning properly, a toilet auger is likely the better choice. However, if you have multiple clogged drains or fixtures, investing in a plumbing snake can be a more practical option.
Remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions when using any plumbing tool. If you're unsure or the clog persists, it's always advisable to seek professional help from a plumber.
For professional plumbing call Cactus Plumbing and Air in Glendale, AZ at (623)257-5117. We’ll take care of your clogged toilet for you.
Are toilet augers safe to use in all types of toilets?|
Yes, toilet augers are safe to use in most standard toilets. However, caution should be exercised with certain fragile or specialty toilets. Refer to the manufacturer's guidelines or consult a professional plumber if you're uncertain.
Can a plumbing snake damage my toilet or plumbing system?
When used correctly, a plumbing snake should not damage your toilet or plumbing system. However, excessive force or improper usage can potentially cause harm. It's important to follow instructions and use the tool carefully.
How do I know if a clog requires a toilet auger or a plumbing snake?
Generally, a toilet auger is suitable for toilet-specific clogs, while a plumbing snake is more versatile for handling clogs in various drains. Assess the situation, consider the location and severity of the clog, and choose the appropriate tool accordingly.
Can I use a toilet auger or plumbing snake for preventive maintenance?
Yes, both tools can be used for preventive maintenance to keep your toilets and drains clear. Regularly using a toilet auger or plumbing snake can help prevent clogs and maintain optimal plumbing performance.
Should I attempt to unclog my toilet myself or call a professional plumber?
If you're confident in your abilities and the clog seems manageable, you can try using a toilet auger or plumbing snake to clear it yourself. However, if you're unsure or the clog persists, it's recommended to seek assistance from a professional plumber to avoid causing further damage.