You flush the toilet, but instead of watching the water swirl down the toilet, the water starts rising. This situation can turn into a big problem if you don’t react calmly and quickly. An overflowing toilet can damage your pipes and floors. Overflowing wastewater leaves behind an unhygienic mess. You can stop your toilet from overflowing by taking action. After you follow these tips, you need to call one of our professional plumbers to assess and repair your toilet.

How Your Toilet Works

When you flush your toilet, wastewater exits the bowl and enters the curved trap in the toilet base. The flapper valve raises, and water from the toilet tank refills the bowl. Some water remains in the trap to prevent sewer gases from entering your bathroom. The remaining waste and water leaves your home through the main drain where it enters the sewer.

Turn Off the Water Supply to the Toilet

When there is a clog somewhere in your pipes, wastewater can’t exit the bowl. Water and waste back up into the bowl, but fresh water also starts to refill the toilet bowl. The excess water causes the water level to rise and eventually, the toilet may overflow. You can stop the overflowing toilet by turning off the water. Located a few inches above the floor is a thin pipe that carries fresh water to your toilet. At the end of this pipe, you’ll find a water supply valve that looks like a faucet handle or a football. Often made from plastic, this shut-off valve controls the flow of water. To stop the toilet from overflowing, turn the shut-off valve clockwise. Depending on the type of shut-off valve, you either need to turn the valve until you can’t turn it anymore. If you have a different type of handle that looks like a lever, turn the handle clockwise until the handle is perpendicular to the pipe.

Check the Flapper

A clog isn’t the only possible cause of an overflowing toilet. Inside the toilet tank is a flapper and float mechanism. Depending on the age of your toilet, your toilet will have either a fill valve float or a ball float. Together, the float and flapper regulate the flow of water into your toilet. Over time, the flapper may deteriorate or warp. A faulty flapper causes the water to flow into the bowl without stopping. If your toilet is overflowing due to a misaligned flapper, push the flapper closed. This will stop water from continuing to flow into the bowl.

Call a Professional Plumber

An overflowing toilet can cause serious problems in your home. Our professional plumbers at Eck Services can diagnose and fix your overflowing toilet. Our trained plumbers can determine if clogs, broken parts, or poor water pressure are causing your overflowing toilet.

Use a Plunger to Break Up Clogs

If you have a plunger in your home, you may be able to loosen the clog. If you can see a visible clog in your toilet, you may want to try breaking up the clog with a plunger. Place the end of the plunger over the hole. Push the plunger’s handle down, and pull it up. This action creates a vacuum that can break up or dislodge the clog. If the clog is too large or too deep in the pipe, a plunger may not work. If a plunger doesn’t work, you will need to call a professional plumber to remove the clog with a drain snake or auger. Our plumbers will extend the auger deep into the toilet drain until it reaches the obstruction. Once the auger reaches the clog, we can loosen and remove the debris. If the clog is in the main sewer line, we may need to extend a video camera into the line to locate the clog. We also may use hydro-jetters or professional drain cleaners to dissolve the clog.

Don’t Make the Problem Worse: What Not to Do

When a toilet starts to overflow due to a clog, many people flush the toilet again, hoping the clog will disappear. Flushing the toilet a second time releases more water in the bowl and makes the problem worse. The clog also may become lodged further in the drain, which can damage your plumbing. When facing an overflowing toilet, some people may turn to commercial drain cleaners sold at hardware stores. These drain cleaners do more harm than good. Drain cleaners can contain substances like sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, bleach, and peroxides. Highly corrosive substances found in drain cleaners can stain the toilet’s porcelain bowl. These chemicals corrode metal parts and damage the seal in your toilet.

Other Causes of Overflowing Toilets

While a frequent cause of overflowing toilets is a clogged drain or trap, the problem also may reside deeper in your home’s plumbing system. Non-flushable items, like paper towels, tissues, wipes, or sanitary products, may pass through the toilet’s drain and the trap. However, these items can accumulate in the main line and block the flow of water. Low water pressure and corroded pipes also can lead to clogs and overflowing toilets. Your toilet requires adequate water pressure to flush waste through your home’s plumbing system. If your home has poor water pressure, waste may not move completely through the pipes and form a clog. Cracks, leaks, and other damage to your pipes can disrupt the water flow. Corrosion may lead to an accumulation of debris in your pipes, which can block the system.

An Ounce of Prevention

You can prevent or minimize the damage caused by overflowing toilets with a few simple steps. You can prevent toilet clogs by disposing of paper towels, wipes, and other non-flushable items in the trash. Clean your toilets regularly to prevent buildups that cause clogs. This thorough cleaning should include the parts inside the tank.

Your Plumbing Experts in Pratt

We opened our doors at Eck Services over 17 years ago. Since then, our business expanded to serve customers in Pratt, Wichita, and Anthony. With three locations and 75 employees, we are ready to serve our community. We do more than just repair and replace toilets. Our expert plumbers offer leak detection, backflow prevention, and sump pump repair. We can install and repair traditional and tankless water heaters. Eck Services also offers heating, cooling, and electrical services. We can install, repair, or service your HVAC system. Our electrical services include home wiring, electrical repairs, and panel upgrades. We aim to be your one-stop shop for your home or commercial property’s needs. When you schedule an appointment with Eck Services, our friendly, professional team members arrive on time. You’ll recognize us by our company uniforms and the Eck Services vans. We show up prepared with all the tools we need to complete your job on time. Contact our professional plumbers at Eck Services in Pratt to handle your clogged and overflowing toilets!