Family Magazine

Steps To Prevent Your Toilet From Overflowing

By Peppertan


If there is one thing we should all be able to rely on, it is that the toilet is going to flush when we need it to. But, toilets do clog and, even worse, they do overflow. Preventing raw sewage from spilling over to the bathroom floor is a must, but only if you know what to do and have the right tools.

Whether your toilet tends to clog often or you just want to be prepared, below are the steps you can take to carry out an emergency protocol.

  1. Stop the Overflow at Its Source

No matter what’s caused your toilet to overflow, the most important thing is to stop the flow of water into the toilet bowl. The best place to do this is usually the main shutoff valve

Chances are, you will see a water line that leads from the bathroom wall to the toilet and hand-crank valve. If you don’t see it, it may be hidden in under floor tiles or behind walls, in which case you will need help from commercial plumbing companies in Brisbane or in your local area to help you with access. Essentially, the toilet valve is the only way you can fully stop the flow of water.

Closing off this valve when you foresee an overflow happening will help stop the bowl from filling and potentially give you time to clear a clog. However, turning this valve can be a bit of a challenge as it tends to stay open, sometimes for years, so it can get sticky and rusty. Try to remember to give the valve a couple of turns every now and then, or spray it with lubricant to keep it loose.

  1. Create a Backup Plan

If the toilet is already actively overflowing and you are battling to shutoff that valve, your next step should be the inside of your toilet tank.

Carefully remove the lid of the tank and put it to one side. Next, check the flapper, which is a hinged rubber disc that covers the hole at the bottom of your tank. If that flapper is open, close it yourself to stop the flow of water. If the flapper is closed, or you cannot close it manually, locate the float ball. This is the ball that floats on the surface of the water and it works to stop the tank filling once it reaches a certain level. Manually lift that ball to the top of your tank to shut off the water.

  1. Get Things Flowing Again

Once you have stopped or prevented the toilet overflowing, you will need to clear the clog. If you have a plunger handy, ideally one that has a toilet flange, grab that. If not, go and get one – a clogged toilet is really a case of “when” as opposed to “if.

As for those stubborn clogs that just don’t want to budge, call a professional plumber to help you out.

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