Watching the water level in your toilet rise rapidly and overtake the sides of the tank is like watching a real-life horror movie for homeowners in Nanaimo, BC. Toilet overflows happen quickly and often come out of the blue, leaving you very little time to react. At Twin Peaks Plumbing, Heating & Gas, we’ve handled countless toilet overflows throughout our time in business. Here’s what our plumbers recommend doing when your toilet tank overflows.
Why Is My Toilet Overflowing?
Before we get into what to do when a toilet is overflowing, let’s first figure out why toilets overflow in the first place. In most cases, overflowing toilets are caused by clogged pipes or drains. If anything that’s not meant to be flushed goes down the toilet, it can result in a clog. Even a large amount of toilet paper can jam up the pipes. In other cases, a malfunctioning toilet may be to blame. For example, a poorly adjusted float will allow the tank to fill with water until it overflows. Regardless of what’s causing your toilet to overflow, there are a few steps you can take to limit the mess until a plumber can take a look at it.
1. Remove the Lid
Step one is to carefully remove the lid from the toilet tank. Gently set the lid down on a bath mat or towel. Remember that the lid can be heavy and a bit awkward to maneuver.
2. Depress the Flapper Valve
Once the lid is set aside, reach into the tank and depress the flapper valve. The valve looks like a small rubber flap secured to the bottom of the tank by a chain. Pressing down on the valve will prevent additional water from flowing into the tank. Don’t worry about getting dirty – the water in the tank is clean!
3. Raise the Float
This next part involves using two hands. While one hand holds down the flapper valve, your free hand will raise the float. The float is pretty easy to identify as it looks like a black rubber ball. By raising up the float, you’re preventing the tank from filling back up. After about a minute, the water level in the tank should be back to normal. At this point, you can usually let go of the float and allow the bowl to refill. However, we recommend keeping an eye on it just in case the water level decides to surge again.
4. Shut Off Water
If the water level doesn’t drop off after performing steps one through three, keep holding the float while you shut off the toilet’s water supply. On the floor behind the toilet is a silver valve that you’ll need to turn clockwise. Once the valve is in position, water won’t be able to flow into the tank anymore.
5. Call a Plumber
Once you’ve gotten your overflowing toilet under control, it’s time to figure out what caused it in the first place. A licensed plumber will assess the situation and determine if the cause was a clog, damaged components, or something else. A plumber will also be able to provide an effective solution to the situation and restore your toilet’s performance.
What Not to Do With an Overflowing Toilet
There are a few things you should never do to fix an overflowing toilet. This is a delicate situation, and attempting the wrong solution can actually make the problem much worse.
- Don’t flush the toilet
- Don’t put chemicals in the toilet
- Don’t remove components from the tank
- Don’t remove any pipes or plumbing
By skipping these ill-advised steps, you can save yourself from the headache of having a major flooding issue on your hands. Instead, allow a licensed plumber to handle the situation.
Need Professional Toilet Service?
An overflowing toilet is one of a homeowner’s worst nightmares. Not only does it render a vital piece of your plumbing useless, but it can also damage your bathroom. Fortunately, the team at Twin Peaks Plumbing, Heating & Gas is standing by and ready to help you fix your toilet. With 24/7 emergency service available, we’ll be there when you need us most. Our plumbers are skilled, licensed, and equipped to handle a wide variety of plumbing issues. From toilet repair to drain cleaning and leak detection, you can trust us to restore comfort and peace of mind to your home plumbing system.
Next time you have an overflowing toilet on your hands, call Twin Peaks Plumbing, Heating & Gas to schedule an appointment with a top-notch plumber in Nanaimo.