toilet

How to Keep a Toilet from Overflowing

Few things incite sudden panic as much as a clogged toilet. You try to flush, perhaps one too many times, and the water begins to rise. Soon, you’re scrambling for dry land, dreading the mess you'll have to mop up when you dare return.

Maybe you're here because you're frantically searching for how to fix a clogged toilet, or perhaps you want to know how to prevent one in the future. Either way, here's how to make sure that it doesn't happen again.

Shut Off the Water Supply

A running stream of water is only going to worsen the problem. Find your water supply, which is usually near your water heater, and shut it off using the knob or valve. Some bathrooms have a valve on the wall, which makes it easy to cut off the water supply to your toilet without having to affect the rest of the home.

If you're dealing with a clog, then eliminating the water supply will help prevent build-up and stop the running water from overflowing. For a bigger problem, like a sewer blockage, you'll need a professional to use a snake and remove it.

Remove Excess Water

Put on a pair of heavy-duty, disposable rubber gloves and use a bucket or cup to remove any water that has accumulated in the bowl. Dispose of any dirty water into a bucket, or pour it down the sink if it's clean. Once you've removed most of the water, it's time to address the actual blockage.

Start Plunging

Once you've removed most of the water from the toilet bowl, bust out your handy-dandy plunger. Align the cup with the central hole and press down slowly. Ideally, you’ll want to apply just enough pressure to create a firm seal (but don’t make it too tight). Then, plunge in quick thrusts for 20-second intervals.

After one or two thrusts, the clog should be cleared. If not, then you may need to get a toilet auger or an at-home toilet snake to go further into the pipe. Do not attempt to clear any clogs with a coat hanger or other foreign object.

For clogs that don't let up with the good old heave-ho, a professional plumber with the right tools and skills should take over. If you run into any problems with your home’s plumbing, heating or cooling, and prefer to forgo the DIY route, our technicians are here to help! Visit our website to learn more about the services that we offer here at Pipe Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, Inc. or call (865) 518-7008 to speak with a representative directly.