Toilet 101: What to Do When Yours Overflow

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An overflowing toilet is something that no one wants to see – EVER! However, this is also a plumbing problem that all of us would likely deal with at some point. When water rises from the bowl, chances are that the culprit is a clogged toilet drain. Fortunately, this has an easy fix with some basic tools!



The first thing you should do is to turn off the toilet’s water supply – this can usually be found on the wall behind the toilet. If, in case, you cannot find the water supply to stop your toilet from overflowing, then take off the top of the tank and lift the float ball or cup just high enough to stop the water from running. Shut off the main water supply of your home with the valve or knob that is generally located near your water heater.


If water continues to overflow once you have turned off the main water supply, then you are now dealing with sewage backup, and it is a serious situation that requires the aid of one of the experts of Hayes Plumbing. If you are on a municipal septic system, then our plumbers will be able to diagnose whether the issue is on your property or if it is something that you need to call the city about. If you have a septic tank, then you will also need the pros of Hayes Plumbing to flush out your system.


Once the toilet has been fixed, make sure to clean the bathroom and the tools used with bleach and hot water.



The first line of defence when dealing with a clogged toilet is the standard plunger. If you do not own one yet, then make sure to invest in one that comes with a flange on the bottom that extends into the toilet’s drain hole. That flange will create a tight seal that clears clogs most efficiently. Remove a few inches of water from the toilet bowl to minimize the risk of sloshing more water onto your floor as you plunge. You may also throw a few old towels around the base of your toilet to soak up water that might come out.


The next thing you should do is to put the plunger into the toilet and insert the flange directly into the drain hole.



In the event that the plunger fails to do the trick, the next thing you can try is the toilet snake or the toilet auger – a flexible cable created to maneuver the twisty turns of the toilet drain. The cable, usually housed in a rubber hose, has a crank on one end and a coiled hook top in the other. It can snag stubborn materials that are deep within the drain.


Wear your rubber gloves and again remove any excess water from the toilet, just like you would before plunging your toilet. Place the hook end of the toilet snake into the bowl and start turning the crank clockwise until it won’t go any further – this means you have hooked the clog. You should now crank counter-clockwise to pull the clog out of the drain and back up into the bowl. Repeat the process several times to make sure that the clog is removed completely.

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