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Overflowing Toilet Do’s And Don’ts

overflowing toilet
Reading Time: 3 minutes

What to Do When Your Toilet is Overflowing

  • Step 1

    Remove the lid from the toilet tank, reach inside the tank and lift up the bottom of the fill valve or float to stop the water from refilling. Rig the float to stay up to prevent it from refilling the toilet. You can also pull out the refill tube from the overflow valve to stop the water from refilling the tank. Proceed to step 2 (even if you cannot complete step one).

  • Step 2

    Turn off the water supply near the toilet. There is usually a pipe near the base of the toilet with a valve on it. Turn that valve to stop the water supply coming to your toilet’s water tank. If you cannot find this valve, or if you are struggling to turn it off, then proceed to step 3.

  • Step 3

    Turn off your home’s main water supply. This should be the final step. However, if your toilet is still overflowing after step 3, then you may have a serious sewerage issue. If this happens, call Art Plumbing AC & Electric for an emergency drain clearing service.

If you have successfully managed to stop your toilet from overflowing, take a mop and clean up the excess water in your bathroom. Make sure everything is clean and dry, and do not use or flush the toilet until it has been serviced. We recommend that you schedule a service to have your toilet unclogged by one of our licensed plumbers.

What You SHOULD NOT DO with an Overflowing Toilet

  1. Do not flush the toilet.
  2. Do not put any chemicals or objects into the toilet – leave it to our plumbers to take care of it for you. Our plumbers are highly experienced and will know exactly what to do in this situation. If you are inexperienced, do not try to unclog the toilet on your own or by using foreign objects, as you might only cause further damage.
  3. Do not try remove and inspect any pipes that are connected to the toilet, as you may cause more flooding problems by opening the wrong pipe! Make sure that you stick to steps 1-3 only.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should NOT Be Flushed Down the Toilet

  • Do not flush any chemicals that are radioactive or corrosive, as they will damage the toilet and the piping which may cause leakage in the future.
  • Do not flush any garbage waste or chunks of solid or bulky material (wood, metal, glass, paper, straw, plastics). They will inevitably clog the toilet.
  • Do not flush anything fatty, oily, or greasy, as these will build up a fatty layer in the pipes over time, causing the pipe canals to decrease in size, making them prone to being blocked. These substances appear to be flushed easily when heated, as they can melt into a liquid form, but once they are cool, they may solidify into chunks that can block the pipes.
  • Do not flush any sanitary towels, tampons, disposable diapers, or napkins into the toilet. Contrary to popular belief, these products were never meant to be flushed into a toilet, as they can cause a blockage. They should be disposed into a bin that should be placed inside the bathroom for this purpose.

What You Should Flush Down the Toilet

The only things that you should ever flush down the toilet (when the toilet is working) would be urine, feces and toilet paper, nothing more!

What is a Float?

There are usually two types of floats that your toilet should have; either the ball float or the cup float. The float determines how much water should enter the tank. When you flush the toilet, the water in the tank will drain into the toilet bowl, causing the float to lower itself as the water goes down. This opens the filling valve to allow water to enter the toilet’s tank.

Why is the Toilet Overflowing?

The most common cause for an overflowing toilet is drain and pipe clogging. This is caused by flushing anything that is not meant to go down the toilet. A toilet can even be blocked if too much toilet paper has been flushed down the toilet, especially if the toilet has a septic tank.

Another cause may be from a malfunctioning toilet. For example, if the float has malfunctioned, it may cause the water to keep refilling the tank to the point of overflow.

If you are still struggling to follow the 3 steps, call Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric as soon as possible for an emergency service! We cover Broward County, Palm Beach County & Miami-Dade County areas.


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