Stopping an overflowing toilet requires quick thinking and fast action. Fortunately, if you know how to take care of it, it’s not hard to do!
The first thing to do is quickly and carefully remove the lid from the toilet tank and set it aside. Make sure you put it somewhere secure, but don’t worry about laying it on towels or anything like that – remember, you don’t have much time to lose!
Next, reach inside the toilet tank and press down on the flapper valve (don’t worry, the water in the tank is sanitary). The flapper is the rubber piece in the bottom center of the tank. Doing this will stop more water from getting into the bowl and should prevent it from overflowing over the sides.
Once you’ve got the flapper valve secured, stop the tank from filling by lifting up on the float that operates the tank fill valve. With the main water supply cut off, the water level in the bowl should start to drop slowly. If after about a minute the water level drops back to normal, you should be able to let go of the float and let the bowl refill without worrying about it overflowing. Make sure you keep an eye on it so you can stop it if the level starts to get too high.
If the water level doesn’t start to drop after about a minute, continue to hold the float while you shut off the water at the toilet supply valve, located near the floor or in the wall behind the toilet – turn it clockwise (to the right) to close it. If you can’t reach the valve while holding the float, let go of the ball and close the valve as fast as you can.
Once the Toilet Has Stopped Overflowing
- Stop using all toilets, sinks and other plumbing fixtures.
- Try to use a plunger to see if you can remove any blockages from the drain.
- Try to find the source of the problem, starting from the fixtures in the bathroom and working your way up. While checking fixtures on the upper floors, it helps to have a partner watching the lower floors – otherwise it’s hard to know whether upstairs drains are actually working or are just backing up into lower drains.
- If only one toilet is blocked, the problem is most likely just with that toilet. If multiple toilets are affected, you might have a blocked system drain or a failing septic field.
- If you can’t get the clog out on your own, call Len The Plumber! We’ll send a plumbing professional to your home to take care of the issue quickly and cleanly. Same day service, seven days a week!