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What to Do If Your Toilet Overflows


An overflowing toilet is one of those worst-case scenarios you hope will never happen to you. Thankfully, most clogged toilets don’t actually overflow, and you’ll be able to use the plunger in peace without contaminated water pouring everywhere. But sometimes, that water just doesn’t stop flowing.

Knowing in advance what to do in this kind of situation can keep you from panicking, and if you don’t panic, you’ll be better able to handle the problem. If your toilet overflows, follow these simple steps to prevent disaster and get your plumbing moving again.

1: Shut Off the Water

The most pressing issue is that water—and not fresh, clean water—is pouring onto your floor. Begin by twisting the water shut-off valve until the flow stops. This is located on a pipe or hose that runs from your wall to the toilet tank, usually on the left side, and has an oval handle. 

Unfortunately, the occasional toilet has no shut-off valve. Rather than shut off the main water to the whole house, try this trick: Take the top off the tank and lift the float lever. This will convince the toilet that the tank is already full, so it won’t keep trying to fill it. Now put something, ideally a short piece of wood, standing in the tank to prop up the lever. 

2: Clean Up the Water

Don’t let the water soak into your subfloor. Not only is it potentially germ-infested, any time water soaks into hard-to-reach places it provides an ideal opportunity for germ growth. Bacteria and mold would love to set up shop under your bathroom, creating bad smells and weakening the structure of your home. 

It would be ideal to clean up toilet water with paper towels so you can simply throw them (and any bacteria) away. It’s recommended to clean the area with properly-diluted bleach or another disinfectant to prevent illness.

3: Use Your Plunger

The majority of toilet clogs can be resolved without the help of a plumber if you know how to use a plunger. First, submerge the plunger head completely. Make sure it’s positioned directly over the drain hole, and hold it vertically. Trying to maintain a seal, plunge rapidly but shallowly, only lifting the handle about an inch each time. 

4: It’s Time for a Qualified Plumber

If you’re unable to clear the clog, you’re going to need a plumber in Bandera, TX. If this is your home’s only toilet, we have good news for you: we provide 24/7 emergency plumbing services and can send a highly-trained plumbing expert to you at any time. If you have another toilet and are able to wait, you can simply schedule an appointment during regular business hours. 

Now all you have to do is avoid having the problem happen again in the future. Make sure to flush only small amounts of toilet paper at a time. Never flush anything else, like dental floss, hygiene products, or wipes, even if they claim to be flushable. And keep a close eye on curious children with small toys and a fondness for flushing!

Contact D’Spain Sales & Service to talk to a member of our team.

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