You’ve just completed your business and flushed the toilet. To your dismay, you realize that water is rising closer and closer to the toilet’s rim. You have an overflowing toilet. You know you need to act fast, but what do you do?
Here’s how you can handle this plumbing emergency before calling an experienced plumbing service provider:
1. Turn off the water immediately
Your first reaction should be turning off the toilet’s water. Reach for the valve behind the toilet’s base and shut down the water. You may find the valve a bit stiff, though, since it’s rarely used.
2. Prevent more water going into the bowl
Remove the tank’s lid and check the rubber flapper at the bottom center of the tank. If the flapper has not fallen back into place, i.e. it’s still open, reach inside the tank and press down on it to stop the water flow. Pushing the flapper back in place should stop more water getting into the toilet’s bowl and prevent the bowl from overflowing over the sides.
3. Shut off the refill valve
If water is still flowing from the toilet’s tank to the bowl, lift up the float ball up until the refill valve completely shuts off. If the overflowing toilet doesn’t have a float ball, look for some moving parts. Lift up any freely-moving component and wait for the water intake valve to shut off. Hold the piece with one hand as you close the shutoff valve.
Once your toilet has stopped overflowing, clean up the mess. Check other toilets , sinks and plumbing fixtures in the home to see if they are also affected. If many bathrooms are affected, the system drain may be blocked or you may be dealing with a failing septic field. If only one toilet is clogged, use a plunger and try to unclog it. If you can’t remove the blockage on your own, call a plumbing expert to find the source of the problem.