How to clean the toilet bowl with a cable: choosing a tool and instructing on its use

Amir Gumarov
Checked by a specialist: Amir Gumarov
Author: Elena Nikolaeva
Last update: April 2019

Blockages are a common problem. It is the scourge of not only cast-iron highways, but also modern plastic pipelines and thoroughly thought-out plumbing fixtures. The most effective way to deal with traffic jams in the sewer is a plumbing cable. But they need to be skillfully used. Do you agree?

The article presented for familiarization describes in detail how to choose this type of plumbing tool for jamming. We will tell you what to look for, choosing it for work. You will learn how to clean the toilet with a cable, what preventive measures should be carried out in order to use it less often.

Causes of Clogging

The choice of the type of tool and the method of eliminating the problem depends on what kind of blockage you have to deal with.

System failure
Regardless of the cause of the problem, clogging provokes a malfunction of both plumbing fixtures and the sewer system as a whole

There are three types of blockages:

  1. Operational. It occurs due to the ingress of organic and household waste into the system, for example: food debris, grease, sand, wool and hair. The deposits and deposits formed on the walls narrow the diameter of the passage opening, preventing the normal passage of water.
  2. Mechanical. Occurs in violation of generally accepted rules for the operation of the sewer system. For example, due to carelessness or lack of knowledge, large rubbish is thrown into the toilet. It is a hindrance to wastewater, forming a dense clog.
  3. Technological. It arises as a result of a violation of the installation technology of the communications system or because of its wear.

The simplest cable ropes of 5-6 meters length and 6 mm and 9 mm in diameter can easily cope with operational plugs.Simple mechanical clogging helps eliminate spring-loaded cables.

Clogging of technological type with a cable will not work. Fixing a defect by solving the problem is possible only by complete pipe replacement.

The main types of plumbing cables

The plumbing cable used for cleaning is a flexible shaft that performs the function of transmitting torque. The tool is used not only for “punching” sewer pipes, but also for cleaning water pipelines, as well as for processing inside pipes of boilers and boilers.

Tool Features
A rotation handle is attached at one end of the steel plumbing cable, and a rigid bushing-tip is installed on the opposite side of the device

The tip has two functions:

  • fixes interchangeable tools that can be used to facilitate the cleaning process;
  • interferes with the self-dissolving of the cable, thereby prolonging the life of the product.

The cable design is represented by a rod or shaft, the central part of which is provided with a core. Around the core in several layers in different directions are wound strands.

The direction of the strands of each layer alternates: the first layer is laid to the right relative to the axis, the second to the left. In the manufacture of the core, the number of layers of the strands is repeated until a certain shaft diameter, specified by technological standards, is reached.

Manual way to control the degree of pressure
Although the design of the cable is simple, it has a clear advantage in the form of the ability to control the degree of pressure on the tool during cleaning while passing through pipe bends and other “vulnerable” sections

In addition to the main function - cleaning the clogs of the water supply and sewage systems, cables are often used to eliminate clogging in boilers and boilers, as well as to clean the soot from the chimney soot.

On sale there are three main types of tools: wire rope, spring-wound and spring.

It should be remembered that during cleaning with a cable, faience sanitary ware can be seriously damaged. In order not to bring the situation to the need for mechanical destruction of the blockage, the following preventive measures are recommended:

Rope type device

A lifting cable is used to clean small clogged pipeline sections inside an apartment. It is made of galvanized strong steel, which is famous for its high parameters of strength and durability. Rope-type products are traditionally made with a diameter of 6 mm, due to which they are flexible and elastic.

Rigging Option
Rope-type devices are able to freely pass through all joints and bends of the sewage system without violating the integrity of the connection points of apartment sanitary equipment

The end of the rope-type products is crimped by a ferrule to prevent the opening of wire strands. To simplify the task of pulling hair lumps from the pipeline, manufacturers give the tip the shape of a fluffy brush.

To clean the plumbing inside the apartment, rigging cables with a length of 2.5 to 5 meters are used. It is impractical to purchase longer products, since the trunk rarely exceeds a length of 5 meters.

Spring Loaded Cable

A spring-coiled cable is a more rigid product with a diametrical cross section of at least 9 mm. He is chosen for cleaning toilets, as well as in-house water and house sewer pipes.

Spring-loaded tool example
The device got its name due to the fact that its main structural element is a wound spiral, the inside of which is empty

Such a cable is equipped with a rotating handle, which has a design of a curved shaft. The device ends with a bend or tip, with which it easily moves in the cavity of the pipe. Devices of this type for domestic use are not equipped with special nozzles.

Due to the excellent elasticity of the tool, despite the sufficient rigidity of the structure, the cable easily copes with all the complex obstacles in its path.

Tension spring coil

Spring cable belongs to the category of professional equipment. It is used by plumbers to punch serious complex blockages both in horizontal pipes and in vertical risers. The diametrical size of the products varies in the range of 13.5-16 mm. The length can reach from the mark of 25-60 meters.

Small diameter products are used for cleaning toilets, urinals and sewer pipes in public places. A large cross-section spring with increased stiffness is used, if necessary, to remove blockages of sewer risers passing through interfloor ceilings

Tensioner Spiral
The basis for the manufacture of a spring-type cable is a rod wrapped in a strong steel un galvanized wire having a cross section of 2 mm

With increasing diameter of the cable, the size of the wire used for its manufacture also increases:

  • for products with a thickness of 10-12 mm use a metal cord D 1.4 mm;
  • for cables of 14 mm - thread D 1.4 mm;
  • for rods D 16 mm - wire D 2.1 mm.

Products of the spring type, as described above their simpler counterparts, are equipped with a handle. But in models of this type, it serves as a tensioner. At the moment of rotation and tension, the spring acquires special rigidity, making it easy to destroy even the most complex blockages.

In professional models, used for pipes long, the handles are often made sliding. Due to this, they easily move along the length of the rod and are fixed in the desired position. This design solution allows you to avoid folding the cable during operation.

Depending on the model, the equipment can be equipped with various nozzles.

They are selected, focusing on three parameters:

  • type of pipe;
  • material of their manufacture;
  • design features (the presence of joints and knees).

For punching crumbs from stone and sand, a bottom nozzle is used, a piercing tip is chosen to remove compressed blockages, and nozzles in the form of loops and hooks are used to extract lumps of dirt and old rags.

Tool Selection Criteria

When choosing a product, it is necessary to probe and inspect it for mechanical damage. The cable must not have memory for bending. Make sure the handle is securely fastened. Pay attention to the pipe. It should be a little springy and plastic.

All elements of the tool, including nozzles designed for impact, must be made of stainless steel only.

The main parameters that should be considered when choosing a sanitary cable:

  1. Device diameter. The size of the plumbing cables on sale ranges from 6-18 mm. The required size of the rods is selected, focusing on the diameter of the laid pipes and the complexity of the clogging.
  2. Design. The handle may have a G- and Z-shape. On sale there are handles equipped with a locking system. They are convenient in that they hold the rods and at the same time allow them to rotate in any direction.
  3. Options for interchangeable nozzles. Among the variety of interchangeable nozzles on the market, “harpoons” are most in demand, with the help of which it is convenient to extract large elements of dense plugs, and reinforced punches capable of breaking through the hardest blockages.

To work with sewer and drain pipes D 100 mm made of plastic, rods with a diameter of 10-12 mm are chosen. Models of this size are also indispensable if the pipeline includes a large number of turns with an angle of more than 45 °.

If it is necessary to work with sewer pipes D 100-200 mm, having a long length, choose tools D 14 mm. For pipes D 200 mm and more, tools with a diametrical size of 16 mm are used.

Nozzle options
In the kit for the cable, you can also purchase a set of nozzles that will make the cleaning process easier and more productive

An important point! If the first and last layers of the core are wound in the right direction along the axis, then this indicates that the cable is designed for right-hand rotation. In this direction, the tool has 2 layers of wires more than to the left. And if you rotate the cable to the left side, then it will simply break off.

If the opportunity allows, you can purchase an electric cable.

Combined Power Tool
Modifications with a combined electric drive, referred to as "turntables", have a number of auxiliary functions that greatly facilitate the task

Turntables are able to quickly and effectively eliminate simple blockages at short and medium distances of sewer lines.

Cable Application Guide

Cleaning from clogging of water and sewer pipes with a cable includes a number of basic steps.

Details ways toilet cleansing cable described in an article that we recommend reading. Proven practice methods will help to quickly fix the problem.

Step 1. Preparatory work

Cleansing manipulations are best done already when the first signs of obstruction of communications are detected. Do not wait until a small blockage condenses and turns into an impenetrable cork.

A good example of a clogged system
The main signs indicating that a blockage has formed are water slowly draining into the drain hole, as well as the appearance of an unpleasant odor from the pipe

Having determined the type of blockage formed and the location of its location, prepare a tool with the appropriate nozzles to fix the problem.

The first stage involves the preparation of the cable for operation. For this, the tool is inspected for integrity and performance. On the cable itself, it is necessary to check the strength and reliability of the fixing of the handle.

Before starting work, the floor must be covered with a film. Further manipulations are recommended with protective gloves.

Step # 2. Clean up clogging areas

To qualitatively clean the sewer, it is necessary to open free access to the socket of the outlet pipe. To do this, the first step is to remove the siphon. It has the shape of a curved pipe and is mounted on the drain hole.

Insertion of a tool into a pipe
The place of attachment of the siphon before running into the cavity of the pipe tip of the steel tool is washed from dirt residues with jets of hot water

The sequence of actions when working with the tool:

  1. Holding the rotary handle in the palm of your hand and fixing the main part of the cable in a folded position in the form of a ring, the working end of the tool is introduced into the hole in the pipe.
  2. Performing a crank translational-rotational movement, push the device into the depths of the pipe and overcome difficult sections. The cable itself needs to be deployed only to the length required to clean the clog.
  3. Having reached the place of blockage, the rotational movements of the handle increase the force and increase the speed of advancement, trying to destroy the seal.

There are two ways to eliminate a mud plug: pushing it forward, having previously put on a punch of a suitable size, or removing it with a hook-hook. When making translational movements, you should not press the tool with force. This can damage the equipment and ruin the inside of the smooth plastic pipe.

Work with tool
Performing translational-rotational movements, you will facilitate the unhindered overcoming by the flexible rod of the bends and elbows present in the sewer system

With the direction of the cable and giving it torque, rotational movements must be performed only in the direction of clockwise movement. If you turn the handle of the tool in the opposite direction, you can provoke the blooming of the flexible core.

In the process of passing obstacles, it is periodically necessary to pull the cable to the surface and clean from the remnants of adhering dirt. It is better to do the work together, sharing the responsibilities of rotation and pushing, alternating with cleaning the nozzle of the tool.

Step # 3.System Health Check

Noticing that the accumulated liquid begins to leave, empty the tank or open the tap with hot water. First, water is best served with a low pressure. If everything goes smoothly, you can gradually increase the flow strength.

Formation of a funnel when draining
If during the test runoff the formation of an improvised funnel is observed in the drain, this indicates that the problem is completely eliminated

There are situations that during rotation the cable gets stuck in the pipe. In this case, the easiest way to solve the problem is by turning the tool left or right and while slightly pressing it.

General rules for the care of the device

A cable, like any other plumbing fixture, needs proper care. After each use, the tool must be washed under pressure of water or in a filled container with the addition of a soap solution.

To prevent rust between the wire layers, the spring part of the tool must be regularly treated with machine oil.

In the future, if it is necessary to shorten the cable, the cut-off site will need to be annealed 10-12 cm beforehand.

Tool Handling
Ease of rotation of the handle is provided by the operation of special bushings; the task of the zealous owner is to remember to periodically lubricate them with used engine oil

The oil-treated cable is wiped dry with a piece of cotton cloth and rolled up into a bay. In this position, it occupies a minimum of space, so it will not be difficult to place it in the corner under the bathroom or in the cabinet among the tools. With proper care, such equipment can properly serve the owner for more than two decades.

All versions of the tools used in cleaning the toilet, given here. It is possible that they will help if there is no cable at your disposal, and you need to urgently eliminate the congestion.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Overview of advanced types of plumbing cables:

And finally, advice from the master. When cleaning, to soften the blockage and facilitate the advancement of the tool, if possible, pour in portions of hot water. Otherwise, the sewerage cleaning procedure with a cable should not cause any special difficulties.

Please write comments in the block form below. Tell us about how to clean your own toilet bowl with a cable, ask questions, share useful information on the topic. Perhaps you have in your arsenal an original way of punching a jam, not considered in the article.

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Visitors Comments
  1. Jeanne S.

    I have a son, a schoolboy, and friends come to visit him. Out of harm, one boy threw a cabbage stalk into our toilet. At first I did not know what happened, why the blockage in the toilet. Then they told me. As the plunger did not try, nothing came of it. Changing the toilet is expensive! It's good that I found this site and looked at your tips. I bought a cable and cleaned it myself. Thanks a lot!

  2. With the help of a cable, pipes, a toilet, and everything else are well cleaned. The main thing is that this is done very simply, there are no tricks here. I have the simplest rope type cable. The only thing that is a little uncomfortable is the length. But if you clean not one, but with an assistant, then everything is done easily and simply.Moreover, the assistant can be a wife or a child, there is no need to make big physical efforts, just the assistant twists the cable, and you push the cable into the pipe to the place of clogging. You can do all of this alone, but it’s more difficult.

  3. Svetlana

    My husband always cleans the sewer with a cable. And he always succeeds. No need to call plumbers, and even pay them for it. The main thing is to prevent complete clogging when it will be very difficult to do anything. As soon as they find that there is the slightest blockage, you need to immediately clean the toilet. You also need to pour a lot of water, preferably hot, so that debris and dirt pass faster.