Quick — turn off the water supply near the base of the toilet, then remove the tank lid and pull up on the float. Phew!
Alright, hopefully you can relax a bit now that the imminent threat of flooding has passed. If your toilet is overflowing, or you’d just like to be prepared, we’ve got the complete guide to managing your situation in this blog post. If you’d rather not venture into the porcelain unknown, the team at Contreras Plumbing in Modesto is ready to assist! Hire a local plumber for your residential or commercial plumbing needs to get the best service, value, and experience available!
How To Stop An Overflowing Toilet
Step 1: Turn Off The Toilet Water Supply
Keep more water from flowing through your toilet by turning off the water supply, located behind your toilet. It may connect to the wall or the floor. If it’s difficult to turn, grab a jar grip for extra leverage.
Step 2: Pull Up The Float
Open the toilet tank lid and gently set it aside. Pull up on the float (a ball at the end of a rod, or a cup connected to a base) to stop the flow of water. If the toilet bowl is not draining, you may need to rig the float to stay in place to prevent more water from running in.
Emergency Tip: If Steps 1-2 prove to be unsuccessful, turn off your home’s main water line and call a plumber. In The Foothills or Central Valley, contact Contreras Plumbing.
Step 3: Quick Clean Up
If any water has escaped from the toilet, whether clean or otherwise, clean it up quickly to limit the risk of contamination and water damage. If needed, wear disposable gloves and use a plastic bag to remove waste from the area. Absorb overflow with old towels or blankets.
Contaminated Or Excessive Overflow
If the toilet overflow was minor, you may be able to clean and sanitize the area yourself. However, if waste or sewage backup is involved, you will most likely need professional restoration services to ensure bacteria and other pathogens do not remain in your home. Water can quickly be absorbed into surfaces such as flooring, cabinetry, and walls, meaning the moisture you wipe up may not be all that is present.
Step 4: Use A Plunger
If the situation allows, use a plunger to attempt to bring up the clog, break it up, or send it through. While not the only cause, clogs are a common cause of overflowing toilets.
Are You Using The Correct Plunger?
Before you start plunging, check the plunger beside your toilet. Is it a simple cup shape without an additional protruding section? If so, you’re looking at a sink and shower plunger, not a toilet plunger — surprise! Ever felt like that thing never worked? Now you know why.
Use a bell plunger anytime you need to unclog a toilet. This plunger has an extra cup-like section that allows a seal to form in the bowl. Now, follow these steps for a successful plunge:
- Insert the plunger into the toilet and tilt it to allow water to flow into the cup.
- Align the plunger and, with short up and down motions, plunge until a seal forms
- Begin plunging — be careful not to lift too much to avoid breaking the seal
- A sucking sound indicates the clog has been pushed through
Step 5: Call A Plumber
Now that you have a clogged toilet instead of an overflowing one, it’s time to call a plumber. If initial attempts at dislodging the clog failed, don’t turn your bathroom into a science experiment — avoid dumping chemical drain openers or DIY mixes of household cleaning substances into your toilet. Instead, hire a local plumber to service the clogged toilet with the right tools and the experience to use them.
Bonus: Preventing Clogs In The First Place
While a clogged toilet may not always be preventable on your end, you can take steps to reduce the likelihood of a clog (and overflow) occurring:
- Avoid flushing any products other than toilet paper (no tampons, pads, or tissues)
- Teach children not to flush items down the toilet
- Keep grease, oils (facial, cooking, or otherwise), and other substances out of the toilet
- Use the least amount of toilet paper necessary
- Keep small items off the toilet tank — they may fall into the bowl unnoticed
- Clear slow drains ASAP — call a plumber or plunge the toilet yourself
Call Contreras Plumbing In Modesto For Service In The Foothills And Central Valley
For overflowing or clogged toilets, you can trust the quality services from Contreras Plumbing! With over 40 years of combined experience and an A+ rating with the BBB, we are Modesto’s clear choice when it comes to plumbing services. Let our family-owned business help you keep sinks, toilets, drains, showers, and more flowing cleanly and smoothly. Contact us today to hire a local plumber!