What to Do If Your Toilet is Overflowing

Whether you’re a “glass half full” or “glass half empty” type of person, we can agree that there’s nothing good about an overflowing toilet. If you find yourself in this messy situation, here are the steps to take to fix the problem and prevent extensive damage in your home.

Step 1: Act fast, but don’t panic. Any wasted time can result in more water (or worse) seeping into your floors. That being said, keeping a clear head and not getting overwhelmed is the best way to fix the issue quickly and effectively.

Step 2: Secure the toilet flapper. Take off the lid of the toilet tank and set it aside. Then reach into the tank and find the flapper, which is a rubber piece that goes over the hole that allows water to flow from the tank to the bowl. If the flapper is pointed up, push it down to the bottom of the tank to create a seal that should stop water from entering the toilet bowl.

Step 2: Lift the float. Inside the bowl, life up the float, which is a plastic ball or cylinder that moves up and down with the water level of the tank. Holding it up will prevent the tank from filling with more water. Wait for a minute or two, and watch to see if the water level in the toilet bowl starts to drop. If it does, can you let go of the float.

Step 3: Turn off the water supply valve. If the toilet is still overflowing at this point, then cut off the main water supply. Look for a valve where the water line comes from the wall or floor into the back of the toilet. Turn the valve clockwise (to the right) to shut off the water.

Step 4: Find the source of the problem. Once you stop the toilet from overflowing (or at least the water level from rising even more), it’s time to figure out why it all started in the first place. Use a plunger to resolve any blockages in the toilet drain.

Step 5: Check to see if other fixture in the bathroom and around your home are working properly. If multiple toilets, sinks, or tubs are draining slowly, that may mean you have a clog deeper into your plumbing, such as the system drain or septic field.

More often than not, an overflowing toilet is a small (yet messy) problem that can be resolved quickly and inexpensively. However, if you have trouble unclogging the toilet on your own, or you notice that other drains in your home are also backed up, that’s when bringing in a professional plumber is the smart option.

At Reichelt Plumbing Inc., we offer emergency plumbing services in the Schererville area. So instead of struggling with an overflowing or clogged toilet, give us a call and we’ll get your bathroom in proper working order as soon as possible.


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