It can be quite frightening to realize the toilet you just tried to flush is quickly coming back towards you. If you are at someone else’s home, it can create sheer panic! With every second, the water level is rising towards the toilet bowl rim. What do you do next? Here are some tips to prepare you for the best immediate action:
- Turn Off the Water
- Most standard toilets have a shut-off handle or valve at the base of the feed line before it goes into the wall or floor. If your toilet is an older model, you may need to remove the lid off the back of the tank and manually lift up the float ball. This will temporarily stop the flow of water and prevent a flooded room. You may want to then have someone go and turn off the home’s main water source until you get the problem resolved.
- Grab the Plunger
- Once you’ve stopped the water flow, you can think clearly and take appropriate action. Most toilets overflow due to a simple clog. However, if you find yourself in this situation repeatedly with the same toilet, you may have a more complicated plumbing issue that needs to be investigated by a professional.
- When using a plunger, try to gradually build the pressure with gentle, quick movements instead of forcefully pushing down on your plunger at the beginning. This increases your chances of dislodging the clog.
- Don’t Pour Chemicals
- If a plunger is not resolving your stopped up toilet, don’t attempt to pour chemical cleaners down your drain. Not only are chemical drain cleaners ineffective for clogged toilets, they can also cause additional harm.
- Consider a Professional
- If your toilet bowl still has high water after you’ve diligently tried the plunger, go ahead and call a professional. There are numerous issues that could be obstructing your toilet drain. At Metro Septic and Plumbing, we use high tech camera technology to investigate plumbing problems and resolve them in the most non-invasive way possible.
While it is a great idea to be prepared for an overflow emergency, it is important that you understand how to prevent the occurrence in the first place. Toilets are designed to discard water, human waste and toilet paper. If you are flushing additional items down your toilet, you may find yourself in trouble. Avoid baby wipes, cigarettes, feminine products and paper towels when it comes to your toilet. If you have a septic system, be sure to use a “septic safe” toilet paper brand to protect your system.