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How to Deal With an Overflowing Toilet

toilet-with-button-flushAlthough there are more serious plumbing emergencies that can strike a house, the overflowing toilet is the one that causes the most sudden and panicked response. We don’t blame people for getting a bit freaked out when something like this happens.

We have good news, which is that it isn’t as difficult to deal with an overflowing toilet as it might seem. You may need to call for a professional plumber in Essex, VT to help with repairs, but with some quick thinking and a few steps, you can stop the immediate emergency and give yourself time to breathe. You can always trust our plumbers to be ready to help with whatever plumbing trouble you have, no matter the time of the day or night. 

Anyway, on to what you can do about that overflowing toilet.

First, turn off the valve on the feed tube

You want to stop more water from going into the toilet, and the best way to do that is to shut off the valve on the feed tube. The feed tube runs from the wall behind the toilet into the tank, and it has a simple valve on it. Twist the valve 90°.

Open the tank and secure the flapper valve

Next, take the lid off the tank. Be cautious with it, because the porcelain lid is one of the most expensive parts of a toilet to replace, so you don’t want to break it. Set it down on the floor. Now you have access to the tank. Reach down into the tank and press onto the flapper valve at the tank bottom. You want to make sure it seals so water won’t continue to flow down into the tank. 

If you don’t have a valve on the feed line…

We’re jumping back to the first step because you may have an older toilet without a valve on the feed line. If this is the case, you’re now in a place where you can stop water flow without it. Lift up on the float in the tank that registers the level of the water. When you lift it high enough, it will cut off the water flow. You may need to rig up something to keep it raised, such as a thin rod. 

Absorb as much water from the floor as you can

If you have a wet-dry vac, now is the time to use it! This is what it was built for. If you don’t, get old towels or newspapers and spread them down on the floor to absorb the water that has overflowed from the toilet. You want to absorb as much as possible to prevent the water (which may be filled with bacteria) from seeping down into the floor. Trying to mop it up rather than absorb it can often make the problem worse. 

Try to unclog the toilet

Now you can attempt to unclog the toilet using a basic plunger. If this doesn’t work, please don’t attempt to use drain cleaners, as these can harm the drainpipe. 

Call our plumbers

If the problem hasn’t been solved, now it’s time to give our experts a call!

Call Red Rock Mechanical, LLC when you have emergency plumbing troubles. We serve Northwest Vermont and Northeast New York.

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