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What to do when your toilet overflows

Thursday, February 6, 2020


Plumbing issues are a real inconvenience, to say the least. But when you’re dealing with an overflowing toilet, it can be a huge disaster! Toilets are one of the most used appliances that we have in our home. They tend to last a long time and typically don’t act up too much, so when you see yours start to malfunction, pay attention or call your professionals right away. Keep reading to learn more about what to do when your toilet overflows and some helpful tips on what not to flush to keep your pipes flowing.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR TOILET OVERFLOWS

If your toilet is overflowing, it obviously requires immediate action--even before the expert arrives. Here are some simple steps to follow:

First, find the toilet’s main shutoff valve. It is usually located at the base of the toilet.
Turn it off right away so no more water spills out.
Go ahead and clean and disinfect any spilled water from the floor.
Next, find your plunger and make sure you have a good seal around the toilet drain. Strongly plunge 5-10 times to push the clog past the trap.

If plunging won’t remove the clog, your toilet may have a blockage further down the line. It’s time to give us a call or schedule online. Our expert technicians can determine why your toilet is overflowing, so it won't happen again. We will help you troubleshoot the underlying problem, so you can solve it for good.

THREE REASONS WHY TOILETS OVERFLOW

An overflowing toilet is usually caused by one of three things: a clogged or blocked drain that doesn’t allow for a proper flush, an improperly adjusted float that allows the tank to overfill, or a blocked vent pipe that replaces the air in the pipe after each flush.

A Clogged or Blocked Drain: Spotting a blocked drain is a fairly easy task. Water will overflow from the toilet’s bowl rather than the tank, causing a huge mess. In order to stop the overflow, you must treat the clog. For simple clogs, a plunger and some elbow grease will usually do the trick.
Blocked Vent Pipe: If you notice your toilet clogging more frequently, a blocked vent pipe could be to blame. A vent pipe moves external air into the plumbing system to replace the air that is pumped with each flush. When this is blocked, your toilet won't flush properly, leading to an overflow. This usually requires the skills and expertise of an experienced plumber.
High Filler Float: The first two causes of an overflowing toilet will cause water to spill out from the bowl itself. In this case, a high filler float causes the spill to come from the tank of the toilet. If the filler float is set too high, the tank will fill with too much water, causing leakage from the sides. You can fix this by adjusting the mechanism inside of the tank to control the level of the float.
Are you having problems with your toilet? While an overflowing toilet can seem like a simple problem to fix, make sure to keep an eye on how often it’s occurring. In the event of a complicated clog or constant recurrences, call on your trusted plumbing professionals at A.B. May. Our courteous and skilled plumbers wear shoe covers and use rubber backed carpet mats to protect your property. For all of your plumbing needs, give us a call at 913-289-9317.

TO FLUSH OR NOT TO FLUSH?

It may seem obvious, but people flush a lot of things that can cause quite a mess and actually damage your plumbing system. Your toilet is designed to dispose of human waste and toilet paper. That’s it. Everything else really belongs in a trash can for disposal. Here are some common household items that have caused problems for our customers:

  • Baby Wipes
  • Flushable Wipes (surprising but true!)
  • Band-Aids
  • Paper Towels
  • Tissues
  • Napkins
  • Cat Litter
  • Gum
  • Cigarettes
  • Cosmetics
  • Cotton Balls
  • Q-Tips
  • Floss
  • Diapers
  • Feminine Products
  • Food
  • Hair
  • Medicine
  • Cooking fat