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This Is What to Do When Your Toilet Is Overflowing
Did you know what there were more than 417,000 plumbers in the United States during 2020 alone? If you ever have plumbing issues, you’ll never have any trouble finding a plumber, but what if you don’t want to call a plumber right away?
More likely than not, you clicked on this article because your toilet is overflowing, and you don’t know what to do. That’s good because, in this article, you’ll learn everything you can do to help fix your toilet. You’ll also learn when calling a plumber to take a professional look at it is the better choice.
Even if you don’t know anything about plumbing or about how toilets work, we’ll walk you through the process step by step. Let’s get right into it.
Your Toilet Is Overflowing for a Reason
Toilets don’t overflow for no reason, and most likely, you’re aware of the cause. Toilets can become clogged and start to overflow for a variety of reasons. These reasons usually include too much toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, and even children’s toys flushed down the drain and getting lodged.
A less common cause is that your septic tank could be full, and nothing else can be flushed down the toilet, causing the overflow. As long as you locate the source of the problem, you can start fixing it. It’s also important to work fast because if the overflowing water starts to spread throughout your bathroom, your bathroom could be ruined.
Stop The Water Flow
If you don’t want to have, your bathroom destroyed by your overflowing toilet, immediately turn off the water supply to the toilet. This can be done by stopping the water shutoff valve, which is found around the toilet’s base. All you need to do is twist the valve a few times until the flow of water stops.
You may be asking, “What if my toilet doesn’t have a water shutoff valve?” or “My water shutoff valve is stuck! What do I do?” This can be the case for some toilets, and for this situation, you’ll have to open the toilet’s water tank and look for something called a flapper.
The flapper is a rubber cap that usually covers a hole found at the bottom of the water tank. The way a toilet works is that when the flapper is open and not covering the hole, the tank water can flow into the toilet bowl and wash any contents down the drain. When the flapper covers the hole again, the water flow stops.
If your toilet is overflowing, the flapper is most likely not covering the hole. You’ll have to fix this manually by pressing the flapper back into the hole. This will stop the overflow pretty fast, but don’t get too excited yet because the primary problem is still not fixed.
It’s important to not only focus on the remaining toilet problems, but also on what damage the overflow has caused already. Leaving dirty toilet water sitting around your home without cleaning it up fast can be a health hazard.
Clean Up the Mess
Hopefully, you managed to stop the overflow problem fast, and any spilled water should be surrounding the toilet. It’s important to clean this water up because it can seep into your floors and cause damage, not to mention mold growth and rot.
When cleaning up this dirty toilet water, don’t use your nice towels because the towels you use will most likely need to be thrown out. Instead, use some old rags. If you insist on keeping the material you clean up with, make sure to clean them thoroughly with bleach afterward which will kill most harmful bacteria.
Instead of a rag, you may also use certain vacuum cleaners to suck up the excess water, but a rag can dry the floors more directly, depending on the amount of water. Once the water is cleaned up, don’t forget to disinfect the entire area with bleach or another cleaner.
This step is especially important if you have pets or young children. Contact with this kind of bacteria could make your pets or children seriously ill.
Face the Clog in Your Toilet
After stopping the initial toilet overflow and cleaning up, it’s time to face the root of the problem: the clogged toilet. If the clog is something like a child’s toy or another object, you may be able to simply slip on a pair of rubber gloves, grab the object, and remove it. However, if the clog is not because of an object, a little more effort may be needed.
If you have a toilet plunger at home, go get it, and if you don’t, then go buy one. Use the plunger a few times on the clog, and this should dislodge it, allowing the toilet to be flushed freely again without any risk of overflowing. At this point, clean and disinfect your toilet before using it, and you shouldn’t have anything else to worry about.
However, you may find that the plunger isn’t doing the job. At this point, it’s best to call your local plumber as you may be dealing with an issue more serious than a clog. A plumber will be able to check if your septic tank is full or if there are other problems your toilet has.
The cost of hiring a plumber per hour can vary depending on where you live, but the cost is worth it to have your plumbing problems professionally dealt with.
What to Do About Your Overflowing Toilet
Now, if you find that your toilet is overflowing, you know how to find the cause, stop the overflow, remove the clog, and when to call a home plumber.
If you have an overflowing toilet on your hands, don’t waste any more time and get to work! To learn more about plumbing and plumbing services, check out our page here.
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