How to Stop the Horror of a Toilet Overflow
Nothing feels scarier than flushing a toilet during a family gathering or party and watching it overflow. Here's what to do if you find yourself in this situation and when it's time to call in an expert.
Turn the Water Off
When the water keeps rising, don't panic. The first thing to do is to turn the water off. The best place to do this is the valve behind the toilet. Reach behind the toilet and turn this valve clockwise. Be careful not to overtighten or pull on the valve and break the valve. If the valve is not accessible, or the toilet is already overflowing, you can close the flapper. Remove the lid off the tank and push the flapper inside down to stop more water from entering the bowl. Use a shop-vac to remove water off the floor as soon as possible.
When to Call a Plumber
Now that the crisis is averted, consider the underlying source of the problem to prevent it from happening again. In most cases, overflows are caused by a blockage in the system. Homeowners can fix most blockages with a plunger or, in some cases, an auger.
However, if you cannot remove the clog or experience chronic overflowing, contact a plumber to examine both your toilet and external plumbing vents. In addition, bring in an expert if multiple appliances are overflowing, as this could be a sign of a major plumbing problem.