Sunday, July 13, 2008

unclogging a slow (not blocked) toilet

So the toilet started slowing down. I mean, it didn't overflow -- it just looked like it was going to. I tried emptying buckets of hot water into the toilet, hoping that it would melt any grease that might be causing the slowdown... but no joy.

I have a 15-foot "snake" that looks something like this one but I couldn't get it to go where I needed it to.

After reading a fix-it-yourself book and talking to Pat (aka "The Man"), I decided I needed a toilet auger, so I got one from Home Depot for $7.65 plus tax. It looked approximately like this. These things are terrific because you can push the elbow-shaped pipe into the right place, then feed the cable with the auger-end into just the right place. (If that link doesn't work, try this article. Note, however, that their text apparently came from a different kind of unclogging operation!)

Anyway, I fed the toilet auger into the toilet, and pushed and pulled the cable a few times, and pretty soon got the impression that something was getting broken up. You really don't want any more details than that.

A pail of cold water went right down, and everything was happy after that. I went outside and sprayed off both the snake and the toilet auger with the hose, then with WD-40.

I love a successful home repair; it makes me feel like a Real Man.

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