What to Do When Your Toilet is Overflowing

It happens to everyone sooner or later. An overflowing toilet is one of the most common problems that can happen to a home’s plumbing. Luckily, it’s usually a fairly simple matter to fix and, if you act quickly enough, won’t do any damage to your home. If your toilet is getting blocked frequently, however, or you can’t identify a clear cause for the problem, it’s time to call in a professional plumber. At Plumbing Now in Windsor, we think every homeowner should know the basics of how to handle an overflowing toilet.


Here are the essential steps you should take when your toilet starts to overflow:


1. Don’t panic

We all know that sinking feeling when we see the toilet’s water start to rise more than it should. It’s important to act quickly and decisively and, above all, not to panic.

2. Shut off the toilet’s water supply

The first active step is to make sure that no more water will spill onto your floors. Every toilet should have a shut-off valve that cuts its water supply. Typically, they’re located near the bottom of your toilet tank. Be sure to familiarize yourself with all your home plumbing’s shut-off valves when you move in.

3. Clean up water that has spilled over

Use some spare towels or whatever method is easiest for you to remove any water that has spilled over the toilet bowl. You’ll feel better about the situation when you take care of the mess and disinfect the area. If the toilet bowl is absolutely full, you can use a bucket to remove some of the water—just pour it down your bathtub or sink drain.

4. Identify the cause of the overflow and try to fix it

The two most common causes of an overflowing toilet are a clog in the pipes and a malfunctioning tank float mechanism. First, lift the toilet’s tank’s cover and check the float mechanism. Most toilets control water flow through a rubber flap at the bottom of the tank that is attached by a chain to a float at the water’s surface. If any part of the mechanism is not functioning properly for some reason, the flap at the bottom may not close to prevent further water from filling your bowl. If everything is fine in the tank, it’s probably a clog. A plunger or toilet auger is your best bet to remove it. Get some rubber gloves and try to remove the clog.

5. Call a plumber

If you can’t identify the problem or your toilet clogs frequently, you’ll probably need some plumbing services to identify the systemic problem. A professional plumber from Plumbing Now in Windsor will be able to help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with your plumbing problems.
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