Oh no, my toilet is overflowing! What should I do?

lift the toilet float ball

You flush the toilet, turn to wash your hands, and the next thing you know the water is rising inside the toilet instead of going down. What do you do?! An overflowing toilet can lead to a messy, unpleasant clean-up. So when the water starts to rise, make sure you know what to do. Below we’ve listed some steps to follow if you find yourself in this “crappy” situation (pun intended!)

The first step (to quickly take!) is to turn off the toilet’s water supply. You should be able to locate a valve near the supply line near the bottom (backside) of the toilet. Turn the valve counterclockwise to stop the flow of water to the toilet. If you can’t find this valve, go to step two.

Step two, assuming you did not locate the turn-off valve, is to remove the tank lid. Next, lift the float ball high enough to stop the water from running. If this fails to work, you’ll need to locate and shut off the main water supply to your house. The water supply valve is typically located in the basement and/or near your water heater.

NOTE: If you’ve shut off your home’s water supply and the toilet is continuing to overflow, you’re dealing with a sewage backup – a serious situation, and you need to call a plumber immediately.

Hopefully, in your case, the water has stopped and you can proceed to fix the clog. The best way to unclog your toilet is to use a plunger with a flange on the bottom that extends into the toilet’s drain hole. This creates a tight seal that should easily clear the clog. If this does not do the trick, you could also try to “snake the drain” using what’s called a toilet auger. A toilet auger is a flexible cable that can maneuver the twists and turns in the drain and helps to break up the clog. If you still have a clog or this particular toilet seems to clog frequently, your best bet is to call a plumber. A professional plumber will be able to locate what and where the problem is so that it gets fixed correctly, preventing future problems.

When all is said and done and your toilet is back to functioning properly, don’t forget to clean up your bathroom and any tools that you’ve used with bleach and hot water. 

The next time the water in your toilet starts to overflow you’ll now know what to do by following these easy steps. At Rainaldi Home Services we can help with all of your plumbing problems, especially those nasty clogs that can result in unnecessary clean-up in your home. If you live in the Orlando area, give us a call at (407) 413-9795 or go online to schedule your appointment today.

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