Your Toilet Is Overflowing, Now What?
One of the most common calls plumbers get is toilet repairs. Toilets are highly used in any house and there are plenty of things that can go wrong over the years. You may take your toilet for granted…until something goes wrong. But just because you don’t notice your toilet doesn’t mean the worst can’t happen when you least expect it. At times, toilets overflow! It’s probably the last plumbing problem you want to have. But if it happens to you, follow these steps.
Step 1: Stop The Source
When your toilet is overflowing, you’re already having a plumbing emergency. No preventative measures can stop it now. The first thing you need to do is stop the flow of water into the bowl. In most bathrooms, you can shut off the main valve to the toilet to stop the overflowing process from getting worse. You may have seen a water valve that leads from the bathroom wall to the toilet. There’s also a hand crank valve along the line that you can shut off. Closing the valve will stop the overflow and give you some time to figure the rest of the problem out.
Step 2: No Valve Shutoff
If you can’t get to the shutoff valve, or if you simply can’t get it to turn, you can remove the toilet tank lid and check the flapper. If the flapper is open, close it manually and that should stop the flow of water. IF the flapper is not open or you can’t get it to close, find the float ball and lift it to the top of the tank to shut the water off. You may have to prop the ball up or hold it in place while you wait for a plumber to come help you.
Step 3: Prevent Clogs
The best thing to do in order to avoid the situation from occurring again once you get things shut off is to prevent clogs. You will want to ensure that only the proper materials are getting flushed, such as toilet paper. You can’t flush things like paper towels, facial tissues, or wipes, even if it seems as if you should be able to. Preventing clogs is the best way to keep an overflow from happening again.
Step 4: Call A Plumber
If your clog isn’t simple to fix, you will want to call a plumber to help you before you do anything else. Once you get the water shut off, you have bought yourself time, but you have not ultimately fix the issue. While your plumber is there, they may be able to tell you what caused the overflow so you can prevent it from happening in the future. You may have to have a family meeting about what can and can’t be flushed, for example. No house wants to have an overflowing toilet more than once! Or even once, for that matter!