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The Clean Plumbers Blog

Help, What Do I Do When the Toilet Overflows?


Nearly every homeowner will run into the problem of an overflowing toilet at some point, and for many people it triggers a moment of panic. Or much longer than a moment.

If you’re dealing with this dilemma right now, we want to help you stay calm and manage the problem, step by step. You’ve got great help nearby: we’re the emergency plumbers in Tampa who can help you out with any plumbing trouble, large or small or in-between. You can be confident when you call us that a plumber will show up as scheduled!

Now, take a deep breath and let’s take that overflowing toilet one step at a time…

First, Shut Off the Water

You want to stop more water from overflowing and creating water damage and hygienic issues. The easiest way to do this is to turn off the toilet’s supply valve. You’ll find this on the wall directly behind the toilet on the feed line. Turn it clockwise to shut off the water supply. If you have an older toilet without this valve, open up the toilet tank and rig up the chain to stop the water flow.

Second, Remove Excess Water

You want to get as much water off the floor and out of the bowl as possible. Removing water from the bowl will help prevent further spills and getting the water off the floor reduces possible damage. If you have a wet-dry vacuum, this is the time to use it! Otherwise, lay down old towels and newspapers to absorb the water around the toilet base and use a bucket to remove water from the bowl and dispose of it.

Third, Get Out the Plunger

Find your trusty toilet plunger (a good time to remind you that this is one of the most useful tools to have handy under your bathroom sink). Create a firm seal over the drain with the toilet plunger and push down hard. This may dislodge any blockage that’s created the problem in the first place. Keep using the plunger until the water drains—or until it’s clear it won’t drain.

Fourth, Look for Obstructions

If the plunger didn’t do the job, it’s time to see if you can remove any obstructions using a drain auger. This is another super-useful tool that snakes down into the drain to break apart obstructions or to pull them out. Be cautious about pushing anything further down the drain.

Fifth, Call for Professional Plumbers

If you haven’t gotten the toilet to drain again, or you’re concerned because the problem is happening too frequently, then the best step is to call our team to examine the toilet and see if we can fix the issue. Usually, we’ll have no trouble solving your problem. In some cases, such as a toilet that’s more than twenty years old, we may recommend having a new toilet installed. You can trust that we’ll always look out for what’s best for you and your home.

No matter your plumbing problems, call on The Clean Plumbers—The one with the bubbles on the trucks. 

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