When you press down on the handle of your toilet, you expect the water to quickly start to drain out of the bowl. And, most of the time, that’s exactly what happens. Unfortunately, toilets can run into issues, and you might find yourself staring down at a toilet overflowing in your bathroom. So, what do you do?
This article offers the right answers to this frustrating – and potentially messy – problem. While you can often handle an overflowing toilet on a DIY basis, don’t hesitate to reach out to Walker Air • Plumbing • Electric if you need help with this or any other plumbing issue. We will be happy to serve you with your plumbing needs!
Take Immediate Action if Your Toilet is Overflowing
There is one thing that you do not want to happen in this situation – for toilet overflowing to occur, and wind up all over the floor of the bathroom. That’s the outcome we are trying to avoid, so your actions right after you notice the toilet is starting to back up are critical. Keep these points in mind for a proper response –
- Stop flushing. It’s tempting to keep jiggling the handle of the toilet, hoping that more flushing action will open up the clog. That’s unlikely to happen, however, and you will be making the problem worse by continuing to add water to the bowl. So, if you notice that the water is rising instead of falling when you flush, stop doing that and take other actions, instead.
- Turn off the water supply. You should see a valve on the water supply line that comes out of the wall and serves your toilet. Turn that valve so it is closed, and no more water can be delivered to the tank. This step will be easy to reverse once the clog is solved and you are ready to use the toilet again.
- Reduce the volume of water. If the level of water in the bowl is near the top, you don’t want to start plunging now – that will make a mess once the water starts to slosh around. So, the first step is to find an old bucket or cup that you don’t mind using in the toilet and remove some of the water in the bowl. Just a few scoops should be enough to take the water level down to a point where you can safely move on to the next step.
Resolve the Clog
At this point, with no more water coming into the bowl and the existing water at a reasonable level, it’s time to find a plunger and get to work. In addition to a plunger, you’ll also want to find some rubber gloves to keep your hands clean during the task.
To plunge properly, the goal is to make a seal with the rubber head of the plunger down at the bottom of the toilet bowl. Once you’ve made a seal, move the plunger up and down aggressively a few times to hopefully break up the clog. With any luck, the blockage will be cleared shortly, and the water will drain away.
Get Back Up and Running
Once the toilet drains and the clog is gone, you can work on getting your bathroom cleaned up and ready to use again. First, take some time to thoroughly clean and disinfect any surfaces that came into contact with toilet water. For instance, if some water did sneak over the edge of the bowl and down onto the floor, use paper towels to clean it up and then a cleaning product with disinfectant to kill any bacteria.
If you did turn off the water supply to the toilet, remember to open that valve back up so the water can flow again. Also, wash off your plunger and put it away, and clean off your rubber gloves (or throw them away if they were the disposable variety). Test the toilet by flushing it a couple of times to make sure the water drains away as quickly as it should, and no remnants of the clog remain. If everything seems to be working properly, you are all set and the bathroom should be ready for continued use.
We hope the ideas listed above will allow you to solve your overflowing toilet problem right away. If not, there may be a bigger problem at play, and the professional team at Walker Air • Plumbing • Electric will be happy to get to the bottom of it. Give us a call at your convenience to get started with our plumbing services!