The story of a Friend, my plunger, his auger, and my toilet. A "doo doo" or don't do situation!

Hi, an acquaintance was at my house helping me with a clogged toilet. He has more gusto then me and removed my toilet. He had an emergency come up, and now I am stuck here left with the aftermath. I don't have the money for a Plumber right now. I'd like to try everything I can before I do that.

The Situation

As stated, the toiet is off and there is water in the pipe. His goal was to drain the pipe in order to pour de-clogging liquid down there and get closer to the clog. So he was putting a plunging directly on the hole and rotating that with using a bathroom auger (6 feet long total) and he had it mostly drained out.

Normal behavior?

I read online that dish detergent and hot water worked miracles, so I tried it. Currently I filled the pipe back up and liquid/detergent is to the top. I am assuminng that is indeed meaning it's clogged? I don't know the normal behavior of how the water normally drains/rests in the pipe/toilet and maybe that's normal behavior.

If you can help me answer those questions and/or have any advice on what I should do, I would greatly appreciate it. I know I might need to call a plumber but as I said i'd like to try doing it myself first. Thanks in advance!

  • 1
    Where in the world are you? Does your home drain to public sewer or to in ground septic? Clogs usually happen in the toilet trap itself, as that’s narrower than the waste line. So it could be your sewer or septic line clogged.
    – Tim B
    Commented Dec 24, 2021 at 22:17
  • Normal unclogged drain is when you keep pouring water in and it disappears instantly. Clog can much further down the pipe, probably need longer snake.
    – crip659
    Commented Dec 25, 2021 at 0:37
  • An auger is the best/fastest way to open it but you'll need one long enough to reach the clog. Another option is Hair and Grease drain opener which I have found to be very effective. Follow directions and let it sit overnight.
    – HoneyDo
    Commented Dec 25, 2021 at 2:22

2 Answers 2


If there's water backing up in the pipe with the toilet removed, the pipe is clogged.

The trap seal of a toilet is inside the toilet itself, so what's under the toilet (or behind in the much rarer wall-mount style) is an open pipe to the sewer/septic system, and should be empty if all is well (usually needs to be plugged when removing a toilet to keep sewer gasses out of the house.)

If the clog is cleared, you should be able to pour water from a bucket or hose down the pipe without it backing up at all. Your clog needs more work. Dish soap can sometimes help, but won't always solve the problem. Your clog appears to need more mechanical work to dislodge it.

If you choose to use stronger chemicals, beware of (and take precautions to prevent) being splashed by any of the water/chemical in the pipe if you later resort to more mechanical means.


If other toilets / sinks in the house are also backing up you probably have a main sewer line blockage, and it sounds like it's pretty bad. You will not be able to clear that yourself, you need someone with the right tools and experience.

If it's only this toilet you stand some chance, but may eventually need a plumber.

A toilet auger is used to clear the toilet's trap, but that's not your problem. A typical household drain snake is used for 1 or 2 inch drain pipes, not 3 or 4 inch ones. If you have one, try it but don't expect much. Chemical cleaners won't work well on a totally blocked pipe, and I think I'd avoid them in the scenario you're describing where you'll be using a snake to pull crap back out of the pipe.

If you really don't want to hire a pro, go buy a "sewer rod", that's a snake for larger pipes, and see what you can do with it. I don't think it's an easy tool to use with no experience, but it's not hugely expensive and now the toilet's off you can give it a try.

To put the toilet back you'll need to buy a new "wax ring", and watch some youtube tutorials on it. Buy three rings ... they are very cheap, and not reusable so you may need one or two for practice.

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