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This Is What to Do If Your Toilet Keeps Overflowing
Does your toilet keep overflowing and you don’t know what to do?
Our toilets are a huge part of our daily routine that we take for granted. It’s only when they break that realize how important they are. When they overflow, this can be a high-panic situation, and you might not know what to do next.
Don’t worry! Read on for our guide to what you should do if your toilet keeps overflowing.
What to do Straight Away
As soon as it happens, these are the things you need to do to stabilize the situation.
Turn the Water Off
If your toilet is overflowing and isn’t showing signs of stopping, you need to turn your water off. This should be the first thing you do, even if the overflow isn’t caused by the main water line.
Most toilet water supply lines will have a shutoff valve. You should find it beneath the toilet tank near to the floor.
Clean up Waste & Standing Water
If possible, use a wet-dry vacuum to clean up the waste and standing water. If you don’t have one, you can rent them from most home equipment rental stores.
Or you can use towels and blankets to absorb the water. If you want to use them again after, you need to give them a thorough wash. But in cases with a lot of waste, you’ll likely need to throw them out.
Disinfect & Clean the Area
Once the waste and standing water are gone, clean the bathroom or area top to bottom with soap and warm water. Then, disinfect the space by wiping everything with a bleach mix. A ratio of a cup of bleach to a gallon of water is best. It’ll kill mold and bacteria as well as take away any bad smells.
When you’ve dealt with the immediate situation, you need to work out what the cause is. There are a few reasons it could happen, so look into these fixes below:
Give it a Plunge
You might have a clog if it isn’t a water mains issue. The first thing you need to do is get your plunger. Use one with a flange on the bottom. This will extend into the drain hole and make a tighter seal and make for a more efficient plunge.
When it comes to plunging, it isn’t the size of the plunger that matters but how you use it. Keep the handle straight and push the plunger up and down for between 15-20 seconds. You want to put some effort into this part as it requires a lot of vigor for the best results.
This “plunging” action forces air and water into the drain. It then breaks up and encourages the clog to clear away. Afterward, flush your toilet to make sure you’ve cleared the pipes.
You can get a plunger from any home improvement or hardware store. But here are some ways to unclog a toilet without a plunger if you’re caught in a sticky situation without one.
Use a Snake
If the plunger doesn’t get things moving, the next step is to use a toilet snake. This is a flexible cable that will navigate the twists and turns in the toilet drain.
Before use, whip out those trusty rubber gloves again and once more, take out excess water from the bowl. Place the hooked end into the bowl and turn the crank to extend the line further in. Stop cranking when it won’t go any further as you’ll have reached the clog.
Be gentle, this is going to take delicate handling. Pull back on the snake and if you get resistance, you’ve hooked your clog. You can then start to pull it back through the drain and out through the bowl.
Place any clogged material in a bucket and keep repeating this action until you’ve removed it all. Give the toilet a quick flush for safe measure. You can then put the clogged material back into the toilet in small amounts, flushing each time. This makes sure it’s disposed of and not going to cause the toilet to overflow again.
A broken tank float or a sticky handle can keep water running when it shouldn’t and lead to an overflow. If your overflow was clean water not waste, look in your tank for the issue.
For this step, you need to turn the water back on. Take off the tank cover and lift up the float cup/ball. Lift it high enough until you get the water to stop. If it still continues to run, turn the water back off again.
Reset your float mechanism so that it will sit lower inside the tank. This will stop your tank from overflowing. Check the chain has no kinks or tangles in it and is still attached to the float. Also, make sure the float isn’t catching on any other parts or bits of debris.
Reduce the Chance of Clogging in the Future
Try not to use as much toilet paper. If you do need to, then flush between putting it in the bowl. Make sure you’re not flushing feminine products, baby wipes, or other items down the toilet. This goes for cat litter too, even the flushable kind.
Keep the area around your toilet and tank clear so nothing can fall in. You might not notice smaller objects falling in but they can give you trouble down the line by creating a clog.
Don’t flush anything greasy, fatty, or oily down the toilet. This will build up a fat layer inside your pipes over time. The pipe canals will decrease in size, and you’ll be more prone to blockages. They might seem easy to flush when hot. But once they cool, they solidify and can block the pipework.
Call a Plumber
If you have tried the above and nothing is working it’s time to admit defeat and call in the professionals. You’ll need to get a plumber in to fix the situation and stop it from repeating itself. They will have specialized tools to look into the issue further, like drain and sewer cameras.
If Your Toilet Keeps Overflowing Don’t Let it Flush Out Your Day
So there you have it! If your toilet keeps overflowing you now know what to do right away.
First, turn off the water and clean up the immediate mess. Then you can start to look into what has caused the issue. Get stuck in and remove any and all blockages you find. If the problem still isn’t fixed, then it’s time to get in the experts.
If you’re in need of a plumber, then contact us today. At Eco 1 plumbing we value our long-term client relationships, so we operate with integrity and honesty, and you are assured excellent workmanship.
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