What to Do When Your Toilet Is Over Flowing?
The toilet is the most important fixture in your bathroom. If something goes wrong, and it overflows, you will have a big mess very quickly. What should you do when your toilet backs up?
Turn Off the Water
A clogged toilet will overflow the bowl, sending water and waste to the floor and surrounding area. The first and most important step you must take is shutting off the water supply. This is done by turning the valve located on the wall at the base of the toilet. If the toilet does not have a shut-off valve, take the lid off the tank and adjust the float to a position where it will not allow the tank to fill up any further.
Clean Up the Floor
Toilet water is often contaminated by urine, feces or other materials and must be cleaned up immediately. In most cases, you can use rags and paper towels, but if there is a great deal of water, a shop vacuum may be required. After removing as much excess water as possible, thoroughly disinfect all the surfaces that were affected by it. Not doing so could lead to health issues due to bacteria.
Remove the Clog
The most common cause of overflow is excess toilet paper. You can put on rubber gloves and remove the paper mass manually or use a toilet plunger. Plunging may require several tries to move everything through. If a toilet plunger is not available, a sink plunger may use instead, but it probably will not work as well. Other types of clogs that are out of reach may require you to use a snake to open the pipe. If you are unable to resolve the problem, you will need to contact a plumber.
Call a Professional
A clogged toilet is an incredible inconvenience, and you may have to call in a professional to take care of it. While most overflowing toilet incidents are not serious, there are times when it could indicate a larger issue in the plumbing system. An expert plumber will quickly assess and resolve the situation before it causes problems elsewhere, which could be very costly to repair.
Replace the Toilet
Even after an overflow issue is solved, it is possible you may want to replace your toilet in order to prevent future problems. Low-flow and dual-flush toilets are designed to save water while a pressure-assist toilet will help to move waste along when the pipe carry is not optimal. If your toilet is very old or there are water-pressure problems in your home, a new toilet is a worthy investment.
When you find yourself with an overflowing toilet, stay calm and follow the steps above. If you are unable to fix the issue, call a plumber for an inspection and a resolution plan.