Toilet Overflowing? Here’s What to Do

  • Toilet Overflowing? Here’s What to Do

    clogged toiletIt’s your worst nightmare realized—you head into the bathroom in someone else’s home because, well, nature calls, only to find upon flushing that you’ve got a dire situation on your hands. Water continues to rush into the toilet tank, and you feel powerless against the rising tide. What then? How do you take control of the situation and avoid what would be a humiliating mess? Here is a brief guide on what you should do when the toilet overflows.

    Turn off the water supply using the shutoff valve.

    Here’s some good news: you can cut off the toilet’s water supply before things get out of hand. Simply locate the water shutoff valve near the base of the toilet and turn the valve counterclockwise until the water shuts off.

    If there is no valve, lift the float in the tank.

    On the rare occasion that there is no shutoff valve, open the toilet tank and lift the float up until the water stops. Rig it to stay high up in order to prevent additional water from flowing into the tank.

    Remove excess water from the bowl.

    If your toilet bowl is just about filled to the brim, now it’s time to remove the excess water from the bowl using a cup or smaller bowl. If the water is clean, you may pour it down the sink drain; otherwise, pour it into a large bucket so that you can flush it down the toilet later.

    Grab a toilet plunger.

    Now it’s time to dislodge the clog that caused the overflow in the first place. Grab a toilet plunger and place the rubber cup completely over the drain. Start by slowly applying downward pressure and pulling back upward, and then gradually increase in speed and intensity. (Don’t be surprised if you need a little elbow grease!) The rubber cup should remain flush over the center of the toilet drain as you do this. Plunge until you have dislodged the clog in the toilet drain.

    Use an auger if necessary.

    Unfortunately, some clogs cannot be remedied using a plunger. That’s where an auger comes in. If necessary, fish an auger down the toilet drain and apply gentle pressure while turning the auger to dislodge the clog. Then pull the auger out of the drain to remove the clog completely.

    When in doubt, call in a professional.

    Of course, it’s best to call a professional if you’re feeling ill equipped to resolve the problem. If you’re in the Salt Lake area and in need of an experienced plumber, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

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