Toilet Auger


Superior to a plunger

We try not to think about clogged toilets, an unpleasant subject, until it happens to us. I don’t know why plungers became the default household tool for unclogging toilets, because they don’t work 100% of the time. Closet augers do, and they don’t require bending over a smelly mess and splashing the foul water up and down, either. That’s why plumbers use them when you pay them hundreds of dollars for a house call. Augers are cheap ($30), very easy to use and also easy to store (they’re called closet augers, after all). So get one, now, before you need it. Then when you do, leave the bathroom, and take a few deep breaths to relax while you watch one of the short how-to videos on YouTube. You pull the handle out so the bulb is right up against the curved tube, protected by no-scratch plastic. Then put the auger into the bowl (no need to bend over), and push and spin at the same time until the handle is all the way down. The most gratifying part is the moment when you actually break through the clog – whoosh, the toilet flushes just like it’s supposed to. A few more normal flushes to rinse the toilet and the auger, pull it out to dry, and put it back … in the closet.

-- Matthew Perks 02/14/14