There is nothing worse than walking into your bathroom and seeing your toilet start to overflow. Dealing with an overflowing toilet isn?t just messy – it can be downright intimidating. While your first instinct might be to panic, don?t. There are plenty of ways you can solve the problem and minimize the mess.

The next time you have a clogged and overflowing bathroom toilet, just remember these important steps. Home plumbing doesn?t have to be complicated, so long as you?re prepared and are familiar with basic plumbing knowledge.



First, Address the Water

Your first instinct will be to address the water supply, which is completely correct – as the water starts to rise in the toilet bowl, you run the risk of it overflowing onto the ground. This is an even bigger problem no one wants to deal with on top of their clogged toilet.

To stop the rising water, first, you have to remove the top of your toilet?s tank. Press the flapper down securely, which is the rubbery part of your toilet, and once that?s done, lift up the float within your toilet. The float is what lets your tank fill up with water – by lifting it, you?re going to stop new water from entering the bowl. Hold it until water stops running, and your water levels should go back to normal.

If this does not work, it?s best to just turn off the water valve behind your toilet. You?ll avoid most of the mess this way.


Plunge Your Toilet

This next part is pretty straightforward – it?s time to deal with the toilet clog by plunging your toilet. The only way you run the risk of an overflowing toilet is because of a pre-existing clog. If you try to use your toilet before addressing the issue, it?s going to get backed up, and ultimately be unable to flush anything down.

With a few quick plunges, you should be able to force the blockage to pass. Flush your toilet to see if it?s running like normal to be sure. It might take a few tries to get everything to pass through, but once your pipes are clear, you should be good to go.


How to Avoid an Overflowing Toilet

Sometimes there are circumstances that just lead to blockages. If your child happens to flush something down when you?re not looking, it?s hard to avoid these problems. However, if you?d like to avoid the stress and mess of an overflowing and clogged toilet, here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Don?t flush baby wipes or sanitary napkins
    • ?Even ?flushable? wipes should not be flushed
  • If you have a well, do not flush feminine products
    • These can end up blocking your septic tank
  • Regularly flush to maintain clear pipes
  • If you have small children, place locks on the toilet or bathroom door
    • Kids do silly things when they?re young and don?t know any better. Avoid mishaps by adding safety locks?


What Happens if My Toilet still Overflows?

If you do everything you can to protect your bathroom but are constantly battling a running and overflowing toilet, there might be a few other problems contributing to the cause. It could be a blockage in your drain pipe or septic system. In this case, follow the instructions above to stop the water from running, and contact your local emergency plumber. Being able to have a second pair of eyes addressing the situation won?t just give you peace of mind – it?s going to stop those frustrating clogs from recurring, and prevent annual plumbing problems from happening in your home.


If you are experiencing recurring problems with your toilet, don?t ignore the issue. Instead, contact Freedle Plumbing for all of your emergency plumbing. We deal with overflowing toilets, drain pipes, sewer lines, and more, in homes throughout Lexington and Davidson County.