Responding to an Overflowing Toilet
Oh no! There’s water bursting out of your toilet, filling the bowl, and spilling out onto your floor. This can be a nerve-wracking and frustrating experience, but it eventually happens to everyone.
Being prepared for a toilet overflow can be the difference between costly damage and a small inconvenience. Here’s what to do when your toilet overflows.
First: Shut Off the Water
There’s a water valve on the back of your toilet in case of an emergency. Turn off the water from this valve to stop the overflow. This will both mitigate damage and allow you to take stock of the situation (plus, you won’t waste water).
Then: Check for Damage
After shutting off the water, see if you can scout the cause of the overflow. This could either be a clog or mechanical issue. Then, try to clean up the water and clean the floor. Even if the bowl was empty when it overflowed, there could be germs in the water, so you should wash any floor mats and towels that were affected as well.
Also, make sure that there are no leaks from the water on the floor.
Finally: Call a Professional
An overflowing toilet could stem from a variety of issues. The most common is a clog, so when the toilet injects water into the bowl, the blockage prevents it from going anywhere other than over the sides.
It can also stem from an issue in the tank where the toilet mechanism isn’t working correctly. These issues are best addressed by a professional plumber, as they can diagnose the problem and assess which parts need to be repaired or whether the toilet needs to be replaced.