Nothing inspires a feeling of dread and panic like the sight of an overflowing toilet. There are plenty of reasons why your toilet could suddenly malfunction, but, at this point, you're probably more worried about flooding your bathroom and other adjacent rooms with toilet water. The following shows you how to immediately stop an overflow in its tracks.
Drop the Lid
One of the first things you'll want to do to when dealing with an overflowing toilet is lower the lid on your toilet bowl, if your toilet has one. This won't stop the water from cascading out of the bowl, but it will prevent any solids within the bowl from escaping. As unpleasant as it sounds, this can keep an already nasty mess from getting any worse.
Go for the Water Supply Valve
Your very next step for stopping an overflow in progress involves cutting off the toilet's water supply so it won't continue to feed water to the toilet. On most toilets, you can do this by locating and shutting off the water supply valve near the base of the toilet. Simply follow the white or silver water line leading from the toilet tank until you see the valve. Once you've found it, turn it clockwise until the valve closes and the water stops flowing.
Lift the Float Ball as an Alternative
If the water valve is stuck or if it's not accessible at all, quickly remove the toilet tank lid and locate the float ball. This device cracks open the refill valve when the water inside the tank is low and closes the valve when the tank is full. All you'll need to do is lift the float ball so that the valve closes and stops the water from flowing.
The only caveat is that you'll need to keep the float ball propped up to keep the refill valve shut. There are several ways you can do this. For example, you can wrap a sturdy piece of wire or a thin rope to the float ball arm and then tie the other end tautly to the trip lever.
Don't Go For Another Flush
If the water hasn't overflowed yet, but is near the top of the toilet bowl, the last thing you'll want to do is push the flush handle again. You might think that the additional water will somehow exert enough pressure to finally send the bowl's contents along their way. Unfortunately, that extra flush could instead cause the bowl to overflow.
If you're constantly having issues with overflowing toilets in your home, talk to a plumber like ANDERSEN PLUMBING to have them checked out.