What to Do When Your Toilet is Overflowing

on Tuesday, 26 September 2017. Posted in First Class HVAC Blog

What to Do When Your Toilet is Overflowing

We’ve all been there. For whatever reason, you flush the toilet and the water doesn’t go down. Instead, the water rises and rises. You cross your fingers, but the water spills over the top and all over your floor.

What do you do? No matter what caused the overflow, there’s a handful of things you can in the moment to stop the water from rising – without getting dirty.

Toilet Shutoff Valve

The best way to stop an overflowing toilet is to cut off the supply of water to the toilet. If there’s no water coming in, then there’s no water to come out.

The shutoff valve for your toilet is usually a small hand-crank valve near the bottom of your toilet. It is usually behind the toilet near the wall. Check for the water line leaving your toilet and heading towards the wall or floor.

If you don’t see the valve, it’s possible it is hidden for aesthetic purposes. While that may look better, it isn’t the most useful in moments like this.

Sticky Valve?

So, your toilet is overflowing. You remember this article and try to close the valve. Only to find, the valve is stuck open.

Since these valves often sit open for years untouched, it may become sticky and refuse to close when the time comes. To avoid this, spray it with some lubricant once a month and turn it a few times to ensure it works.

Toilet Tank Flapper

If your valve is stuck shut or you can’t reach it, don’t lose hope. You have other options for getting the water to stop rising.

First, take the lid off the tank. Check to see if the flapper (the rubber disc covering the hole at the bottom of the tank) is open or closed. If it is open, try holding it shut until the water stops. Don’t worry. The water in the tank is clean.

Toilet Tank Float Ball

If there is something blocking the flapper, or if it won’t stay closed, your next option is the float ball. This rubber balloon-like object tells the toilet when to stop filling the bowl with water.

The toilet fills the tank with water, then when you flush the toilet, the water empties out of the tank and into the bowl. When the tank is empty, the float ball is at the bottom of the tank, which triggers the tank to begin filling with water again. If the flapper is stuck open, the water will continue to empty into the toilet.

To trick the toilet to stop filling the tank, lift the float ball to the top of the tank. This won’t stop the water from overflowing, but it will stop new water from entering the toilet, which will stop the overflowing shortly. Prop the ball up or ask someone to help you, and work on shutting the toilet shutoff valve or unclogging the toilet.

Call a Plumber

 After you have stopped the water, even temporarily, it’s time to clear the clog. A simple plunger will suffice for this part of the job. If you don’t have a plunger or can’t clear the clog yourself, it’s time to call a plumber.

Call First Class HVAC for expert plumbing assistance. Contact us online or call (302)934-8900 today to schedule an appointment. We offer emergency plumbing services.

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