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Overflowing Toilet? Here Are the Steps to Take


It’s easy to panic when something sudden and distressing happens—say, for example, the waste and water in your toilet doesn’t flush down but instead starts rising up. But if you panic, it’s all too easy to spend critical moments rushing around accomplishing nothing while the problem gets worse. What’s the best antidote to panic? Knowledge and understanding.

If you’ve already got a plan in place, you’ll be able to execute that plan even when circumstances are extreme. In order to make that plan, you need some information. Here’s what you need to know in order to deal with an overflowing toilet quickly and calmly and keep the disaster as contained as possible.

Step 1: Shut the Water Off

When water is gushing from somewhere, the key piece of information you must know is how to locate the shut-off valve. Almost all toilets have one, usually on a pipe or hose to the rear of the toilet, and often on the left side. It has an oval knob which you should simply turn clockwise until it won’t go any farther.

Chances are, you’ve stopped the water from flowing. But if the water doesn’t stop when you turn this knob, or if you can’t locate the toilet’s shut-off valve at all, you can shut off the water to the whole house. The main water shut-off valve is almost always on an interior wall closest to the water source—the street if you have municipal water, or in the direction of your well. Turn this to shut off the water.

Step 2: Soak the Water Up

Your bathroom floor and subfloor won’t appreciate having so much water on it. And you definitely don’t want to weaken the structure that holds up something heavy like a toilet. So you need to soak that water up before it soaks in. Use whatever you can, but large bath towels you’re willing to wash in bleach would be ideal.

Step 3: Attempt to Plunge the Toilet

Plunging a toilet is a fairly simple skill, but it’s also easy to do it wrong and not manage to achieve what you’re trying to accomplish. The plunger should be held vertically. Keep in mind that you’re trying to push water down, not pull it up. Make sure the cup of the plunger creates a good seal. And you don’t have to thrust far. Just be firm and steady.

Step 4: Get Professional Plumbing Help

If you haven’t solved your problem by now, you need a plumber in Green Valley, AZ. They can address the root of the issue and get your toilet flowing properly again, whether the source of the clog was in the toilet itself or deeper within the drain or sewer pipes. But if it’s an evening or weekend, do you need an emergency plumber, or can you wait until regular business hours?

Consider your overflowing toilet an emergency if you can’t get the water to stop flowing, if you had to shut off all the water to the home to stop the toilet from overflowing, or if it’s the only toilet in your home. 

Now that you have all the information you need, you won’t need to panic if your toilet overflows!

Contact Picture Rocks Cooling, Heating & Plumbing today to schedule an appointment with our professionals.

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