Do’s and Don’ts of Dealing with an Overflowing Toilet

The main reasons why toilets overflow are due to a block in the drain, a blocked vent pipe or issues with the float inside the toilet tank. Regardless of the reason, an overflowing toilet can lead to a huge mess. The good news is you can minimize damage by knowing what to do. In this post, we’ll cover what and what not to do when you encounter an overflowing toilet.

What to Do

1. Stop Water from Entering the Bowl

After putting on rubber gloves and waterproof boots, the first thing you’ll want to do is stop any more water from entering the toilet bowl. Do this by removing the lid on the toilet tank and closing the flapper valve. This is the rubber stopper that seals off water flowing into the tank and thereby the bowl.

2. Turn Off the Water

Now that you’ve stopped water from entering the toilet bowl, you’ll want to take your efforts a step further and shut off water to the toilet. The valve is usually found somewhere near the base of the toilet. Doing so will prevent any water from entering the toilet, thereby preventing more of a mess.

3. Contact Your Plumber

It’s never a good idea to troubleshoot a toilet issue that caused it to overflow. That’s where you should contact a plumber, who can correctly diagnose the issue and fix it so that it does not happen again. Depending on the severity of the overflow, you may also need to contact a restoration firm and/or your insurance agent to file a claim.

What Not to Do

1. Don’t Flush it

Don’t ever attempt to fix an overflowing toilet by flushing it or putting chemicals down it. Doing so is only likely to make the problem worse.

2. Don’t Attempt Cleanup

While it can be tempting to clean up any damage yourself, it’s not advised. This is because the toilet water may be contaminated with sewage and other pathogens that may cause illness. That’s why you should also be wearing protective gloves and boots when you turn off the water to the toilet in the steps we mentioned above. Furthermore, if you don’t properly dry the areas of overflow, it could lead to subsequent mold growth in your property. Also, it can make it difficult for professionals to find the source of the leak, and recreating may be difficult. So seeing the issue could be helpful.

3. Don’t Ventilate

If you’re venting into a shared common area the smell of a toilet overflow isn’t always pleasant so you should refrain from opening windows or doors to other rooms. That’s because the odors could spread beyond just the bathroom and could make residents in these other areas sick. If it’s a single-family dwelling, venting shouldn’t be an issue.

Contact us Today

For more information on what and what not to do when you encounter an overflowing toilet, contact JW Freeman today.

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