Your toilet is used daily. There is just no way around it unless you decided to go on vacation. You need your toilet to flush properly and without fail. Unfortunately, clogs happen, usually at the most inconvenient times, and worse of all when the toilet starts overflowing all over the place.
Once your toilet does start overflowing there isn’t much you can do in the way of preventing it, you just got to go with the flow. (Get it? Flow… ). Be sure you are prepared for the worst by following these emergency plumbing tips.
Stop it at the source
If your toilet starts overflowing, the immediate action that must be taken is to stop the flow of water coming from the toilet. In most bathrooms the best place to find this is the toilet’s main shutoff valve. You can most likely see the water line from your toilet to the bathroom wall, along with a handle somewhere along the line. If you don’t see it, it could be that your valve is behind a wall or below the floor tiles. If that’s the case you’ll want to talk to a plumber about modifications to gain access. Other than shutting the main water valve to your house off, the toilet valve is the only way to fully stop the flooding.
Because your valve most likely isn’t turned very often, it may be very sticky or rusted making it harder to turn. It’s a good idea to turn the valve every few weeks to ensure its easily accessible when the unthinkable does happen.
… And if that doesn’t work
If your toilet is overflowing and you can’t get the shutoff valve to turn, the next stop should be the inside of the toilet tank. Go ahead and remove the lid on top of the toilet, then check the flapper. If the flapper is open, reach in and close it manually. This should stop the flow of water.
If the flapper is not open, or if it won’t stay closed manually, find the float ball. This is the component that floats on the surface of the water and stops the tank from filling at a certain level. If you lift the float ball to the top of the tank, the water will shut off.