If you have a clogged toilet and have kids, you just might have a toy stuck in your toilet. This can be a tricky problem to solve because just using a plunger usually won’t work. The solution is to get the toy out of the toilet and one way to do that is with a tool called a “closet auger”.
In over 20 years as a Licensed Plumber I have seen a lot of clogged toilets because a toy was dropped in the toilet. Sometimes you know what the problem is and sometimes you just know the toilet is plugged up and won’t flush.
If you aren’t sure what is causing the clog, plunge the toilet until it will flush several times with just water. Then wad up some toilet paper and try to flush it. Don’t go crazy but use enough paper so if there is something stuck in the bowl it will catch the paper and clog up.
If the toilet stops up now there may be something stuck in the bowl. At this point the process is pretty much the same whether you have a toy in the toilet or anything else that doesn’t belong there. You’ve got to remove whatever is causing the clogged toilet.
There are two basic ways to remove a toy or other object from a clogged toilet. The first, an easiest way is to try to pull it back out the same way it went in. To do this you need a tool called a closet auger.
A Closet Auger is a special tool consisting of a steel cable inside a tubular handle. One end of the tube is bent and covered with something to help prevent scratches in the toilet bowl. The cable has a sort of hook on one end and a crank type handle on the other end.
The way to use a closet auger is to insert the “business” end into the toilet bowl outlet and push the cable down while cranking. But there is a special trick you need to do if you think something like a toy is stuck in your toilet.
First, take a pair of pliers and separate the very last turn at the end of the cable so that the “hook” is bigger and will have a better chance of grabbing whatever is in the toilet. Then, when you run the auger through the bowl, stop feeding the cable in as soon as it looks like you have enough cable in to reach through the drain passage in the toilet and you start feeling some resistance. Now just crank it a few times and them pull the cable out while maintaining the pressure on the crank. The idea is to snag whatever is stuck and pull it out.
If you have successfully snagged the toy or whatever else is causing the clogged toilet, you should be able to pull it back out through the toilet bowl. You may need to keep slowly cranking the handle while you pull the cable back to keep the object snagged. Just keep this up until you get whatever was causing the problem.
OK, if you now have a very dirty toy (or whatever) you can make sure everything works. Wad up some more toilet paper and do a couple of test flushes. If it all goes down fine you are finished. If not, you will want to see part 2 of this report on what to do if you have a toy in the toilet.
Here’s Part 2: