How to Clean the Sewer Line Through the Toilet

If you are accessing the sewer line through a toilet with a rooting machine, you probably know how much effort and time goes into removing and replacing the toilet pan. You find yourself struggling in a confined space, and there is always the risk of getting a leaky connection when you are done. Fortunately, there is a more efficient and convenient solution that eliminates the need for toilet removal. With a flexible shaft and the right tools, you can clean the sewer line effectively without the hassle of disassembling the toilet. So, without further ado, let’s get into a quick step-by-step guide on how to clean the sewer line without removing the toilet.

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Tools

Before you begin, gather the following tools: a flexible shaft with a protective sleeve, a pipe grabber (our Captain Hook), a smart cutter (one of our smaller sewer cleaning chains), a pair of gloves, and a flashlight. These tools will ensure a smooth and successful cleaning process.

Step 2: Inspect the Toilet’s Trap

First, visually inspect the toilet’s trap using a flashlight to identify any visible blockages. Sometimes, objects or debris may get lodged in the trap, causing the sewer line to clog. If you can easily reach and remove the obstruction manually, do so carefully using gloves. However, if the blockage is deeper within the sewer line, proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Prepare the Flexible Shaft

Attach the pipe grabber (our Captain Hook) to the end of the flexible shaft. The pipe grabber is a handy tool that helps you maneuver the shaft inside the sewer line and grab items that got stuck in the pipeline, for example plastic and wet wipes. It securely holds onto the pipe, allowing you to navigate through the twists and turns with ease.

Step 4: Insert the Flexible Shaft

With the protective sleeve covering the flexible shaft, carefully insert it into the toilet’s drain opening. Gently push the shaft into the sewer line until you encounter resistance. This resistance usually indicates the location of the clog.

Step 5: Using the Pipe Grabber or using one of our chains

Once you have reached the clog, either grab the blockage (if it is wet wipes, plastic bags etc) with your pipe grabber and pull it out. If it is something else that is clogging the line, then detach the pipe grabber from the flexible shaft and attach one of our chains in its place. Most toilet lines are made of PVC, meaning that our plain drain chains will be sufficient, but if you happen to have a cast iron pipe you can use the chains with hard metal bits. Toy ducks are some of the items that can get stuck in the toilet line and our mini chain with hard metal bits will grind them up finely and restore the flow.

Step 6: Remove the Flexible Shaft and test the sewer line

Once you are confident that the blockage has been cleared (personally, I like to push the shaft back and forth a bit more just to make sure that the blockage is removed entirely), turn your drill off, retrieve the flexible shaft and de-attach the drain cleaning chain. Then carefully wind up your shaft for storage inside your flexible shaft carrier.

To verify the success of your cleaning efforts, flush the toilet and observe the flow of water. If the water drains smoothly and without any backup, congratulations! You have effectively cleaned the sewer line without removing the toilet.


Cleaning a sewer line can be a challenging task, especially when access is limited through a toilet. However, with the right tools and technique, you can successfully clean the sewer line without the need to remove the toilet. By utilizing a flexible shaft, pipe grabber, and one of our drain cleaning chains, you can navigate through the sewer line, remove blockages, and restore proper flow. This method not only saves time and effort but also eliminates the risk of leaky connections associated with toilet removal.