Believe it or not, overflowing toilets are a common plumbing issue many households and businesses in the US experience. Even though it’s common, it can become a serious plumbing problem if not treated promptly.
This is because the water from overflowing toilets can seep into drywalls and wood cabinetry, or damage your floors, making it increasingly easy for rot, mildew, and mold to spread through the home infrastructure.
This article will walk you through the essential steps you need to know how to stop an overflowing toilet.
Why Did My Toilet Overflow?
Although there can be many reasons for an overflowing toilet, the four main ones include clogged drains, blocked plumbing vents, higher float, and septic tank backflow.
Let’s discuss each one in detail:
One of the most common reasons for toilet overflowing is clogged drains. Too much toilet paper or materials you shouldn’t put down the drain, like feminine products, can cause toilets to clog easily.
Instead of the tank, water overflows from a toilet bowl, causing a mess. To stop an overflowing toilet, you need to fix your clog. A plunger and a little elbow grease will do the trick if it’s a simple clog.
If your toilet clogs more often, chances are you have a blocked vent. Vent pipes move external air to the plumbing to replace air pumped with every flush.
When blocked, the toilet won’t be able to flush properly, causing an overflow. Typically, it requires the expertise and knowledge of seasoned plumbers.
Unlike the previous two reasons for toilet overflowing where water spills out from a bowl, higher float causes water to gush from the toilet tank.
If the float valve is too high, excessive water will enter your toilet tank, causing a leak from either side. You can effortlessly fix it by adjusting the toilet float’s height.
If you’ve got a septic tank and experience frequent toilet overflow, it may become full and require drainage.
When a septic tank reaches maximum capacity, the toilet, kitchen, or other drains won’t push waste and water into the system, causing the overflow.
Call a professional plumbing service with years of extensive experience and the necessary expertise to empty your tank system and remove clogged drains.
What To Do When Toilet Overflows?
Knowing why toilets overflow is crucial to solving the problem; however, things get worse when water pours onto the floor.
So, what to do if a toilet is overflowing?
Listed below are a few steps on how to stop an overflowing toilet. If you think the problem lies with a sewer line, septic system, or vents, call a plumbing expert to fix the problem.
Turn Off Your Water Supply
To stop toilet overflow, you must stop the water flowing into your toilet bowl. You can achieve this by removing the toilet tank’s lid and manually pressing down the flapper to prevent water from reaching inside a toilet bowl.
In addition, you can turn off water gushing into a toilet with a water shut-off (water supply) valve. However, if the toilet doesn’t have a shut-off valve but rather a broken flapper valve that fails to seal properly, you’ll have to find your home’s main water shut-off valve and disconnect it.
Remove/Reduce Excess Water
Once you stop a toilet from overflowing, clean the floor with a towel mop, ensuring the floor, walls, or any other object remains dry to prevent mildew, mold, and rot.
Grab a container and a bucket when you finish cleaning the floor. Use your small container to remove water from your toilet bowl and drop it in the bucket. It is so you don’t spill more water on the ground when you snake a drain or plunge a toilet.
Plunge A Toilet
To unclog a toilet, you’ll require a plunger. If there’s no toilet plunger in the house, head to your local hardware store to buy one.
Put the plunger over the toilet hole. Maintain the seal and start plunging up and down rapidly for 20 to 25 seconds to push water and air into the toilet drain to remove the clog.
After plunging into a toilet, turn on the water and flush. If it flushes properly without overflow, the matter is resolved.
However, if it still overflows when you flush, disconnect the water and move on to the next (and final) step.
Snake A Drain
Often, plunging a drain won’t help remove clogs, particularly when blocks are caused by items or materials you shouldn’t put in the drain. In this case, it’s best to use toilet augers.
Also known as plumbing snakes, these flexible wire coils are designed to extend into pipes and clear blockages without damaging your plumbing.
Here’s how to unclog your toilet using a snake drain:
- Place your toilet auger into the bowl and feed it (make sure you don’t scratch your toilet bowl)
- Crank out the cable clockwise and press the toilet snake until you break the clog (so it flushes easily) or snag obstruction
- If you reach the blockage, pull out your drain auger and clean it up as needed. Repeat the process multiple times to make sure the clog is removed or broken
Turn on the water and flush it to check if it works. If the toilet keeps overflowing, it’s time to contact a professional plumbing service.
Pro tip: You can also utilize a garden hose or coat hanger instead of a drain auger; however, they won’t be as useful and effective as a snake drain.
Let Superior Plumbing And Drains Take Care Of Your Toilet Overflow!
There’s a high risk that plumbing repairs may cause damage to your surroundings, as water can cause rot, mildew, and mold to spread through drywall, insulation, and wood.
It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try various DIY plumbing fixes, such as snaking a drain or plumbing a toilet. However, if you lack the experience or required knowledge on how to prevent your toilet from overflowing, choose a professional plumbing service like Superior Plumbing and Drains!
No matter how bad the clog is, our plumbing experts can help you remove it seamlessly. If you think your drain or toilet requires immediate repair, schedule an appointment right away.