What’s worse than heading into the bathroom in the middle of the night and finding you’re standing in a puddle of toilet water? Staring hopelessly at the bubbling water flooding your bathroom, that’s what! Overflowing toilets are extremely common, and (most of the time) nothing to worry about. There are a few key reasons your toilet could back up, and they’re nearly all easy to fix by yourself without needing to involve an emergency plumber. No matter when it happens, don’t panic! Your favorite local plumber is here to share what to do when your toilet overflows.
What causes a toilet to overflow – the tank or bowl?
The answer to the question ‘what causes a toilet to overflow’ is either the tank or the bowl, rarely both. A toilet clog causes water to back up and potentially bubble over. Clogs can be in the bowl themselves, such as when your three year old decides to see what will happen if his Captain America action figure goes for a swim. Clogs can also occur in the S-shaped trap whose purpose is to keep sewer gas out of the home. For the same reasons as your toilet bowl, this can clog whenever any foreign object too large to pass comes into contact. The last main reason your toilet may overflow is caused in the tank above the bowl, where a mechanical failure can lead to the toilet failing to cease the flushing action. While this one’s a little more complicated to fix, take comfort in the knowledge most of the overflowing water is clean.
Fixing an overflowing toilet is something you can do at home
The good news is: most overflowing toilets are relatively easy to fix. Except for certain tank malfunctions and the dreaded megaclog which a plunger can’t undo, a few careful steps can undo any damage before it gets out of hand. The first thing to do is to turn off the water. Most modern toilets have a shutoff valve attached, near the base of the toilet. Once the water stops flowing, you can assess the cause (bowl, trap, or tank). Bowl clogs are the easiest to see and require a plunger to manually break up the clog. Once everything is in smaller pieces, you’re safe to turn the water back on and flush as normal. If this fails to work, you may need to try a toilet auger, a special device intended to fit into the nooks and crannies of your toilet trap. Overflowing toilets are what the auger is made for, but they can be intimidating tools so don’t be afraid to call in an expert to handle its use. For tank issues, check the float (usually a ball or lever attached to a chain). If it’s not creating a proper seal, lift it a bit and allow it to reseal itself. If this doesn’t fix the problem, it’s time to get an expert opinion. Don’t turn the water back on until all problems have been resolved!
Aftercare is important when dealing with an overflowing toilet
Anything involving the toilet is gross (who can blame those who choose to let a trusted, professional plumber handle it?), and overflowing water is no exception. It can be contaminated with waste matter which didn’t make it past the clog. This makes aftercare exceptionally important, especially in areas prone to water damage. Take the time to allow everything touched by the water to completely dry, and sanitize everything in the room, not just what was touched by the water. Most water coming out of the tank is clean water, but there’s no such thing as too safe. Contact Sin City Plumbing for all your emergency plumbing needs https://sincityplumbing.com/contact-las-vegas-plumber-vegas-plumbing/