How to Deal with an Overflowing Toilet
If you’ve been there, you know that the sound of an overflowing toilet strikes panic into the heart of any homeowner. A clogged toilet drain is a frustrating fix, but you can always call plumbers in Waxahachie TX to solve the problem quickly. Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating always has a team of qualified experts ready to help. Give us a call at (469) 518-2809 to schedule emergency plumbing service. An overflowing toilet can turn into a big problem, fast. In this post, our plumbing experts share steps to take when you find your commode gushing water into your home.
Steps to Fix an Overflowing ToiletYour first instinct when you encounter an overflowing toilet is to grab every towel in your home and get rid of the water. Although clean up is an important step, there are other things you should also think about when you come across this problem. If the task seems too daunting, you can always call a professional plumber for plumbing repair. Take a look at six steps for handling a clogged, overflowing toilet:
1. Turn off the Water SupplyWhen a toilet overflows, the first thing you’ll need to do is turn off the water supply. Locate the water supply valve—usually on the wall behind the toilet—to turn the water off. If the valve won’t budge, you might need to use a wrench. If you can’t find the water supply valve and you need to stop the water fast, remove the top of your toilet tank and lift the float ball or cup until water stops flowing. Next, turn off the water supply to your house using the main water valve. This is usually a valve or knob located near your water heater. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the locations of main water valves and major power sources when you’re not in crisis-mode. That way, when disaster strikes, you can spring into action. If overflow continues, you’re likely dealing with a sewage backup. This is a serious issue and warrants an immediate call to plumbers in Waxahachie TX. A professional plumber can diagnose the issue and determine if the problem lies on your property or with the city. Homeowners dealing with a septic tank backup will need the help of a qualified plumber to flush the system.
2. Unclog the ToiletWhen water gushes from a toilet bowl, the most likely culprit is a clog. Minor clogs can be an easy fix with the right tools. A standard plunger—preferably with a flanged bottom that extends into the toilet drain hole—is your first line of defense. Don some rubber gloves, transfer a few inches of water from the toilet to a bowl or bucket and lay a few towels down around its base. To ensure a tight seal, you can coat the rim of the flange on your plunger with petroleum jelly. Next, hold the handle upright and plunge like you mean it for about 20 seconds. Hopefully, this action will force air and water into the drain and clear the clog. If it seems to work, flush to ensure proper drainage. If this does not work, you can try baking soda and vinegar. Pour one third of a cup of baking soda into the toilet, followed by one third of a cup of vinegar. Wait five minutes and then follow with hot but not boiling water. If this method doesn’t work after a few tries then you will need to contact a plumber for drain and sewer service.
3. Snake a Clogged DrainIf you’ve plunged and flushed without any luck, it’s time to snake the drain. A toilet snake—or auger—is a long, flexible cable with a coiled hook tip for breaking up clogs. The cable is usually housed in a rubber hose, and a crank allows you to extend or retract its length. Toilet snakes are fairly inexpensive and can be rented from home improvement stores. Similar to the steps for plunging a clogged drain, put on some rubber gloves, remove a few inches of water from the bowl and lay down towels to soak up any spillage. Next, place the hook of the drain snake into the drain hole and turn the crank clockwise. When the snake won’t go any further and you feel resistance, you’ve likely found the clog. Crank the snake counterclockwise to retract it. Hopefully, you’ll pull the clog out with it. Clog materials can be dumped into a bucket. Repeat the process to ensure you’ve busted that clog all the way.
4. Professional Clogged Drain RepairIf neither a plunger nor a drain snake does the trick, it’s time to call in professional help. A qualified plumber will remove your toilet to gain better access to the drain. Professional plumbers will have access to an industrial drain snake that can reach the main sewage line to clear out a deep clog. Professionals also have the equipment to complete a camera pipe inspection. This allows them to find exactly where the clog is before they start to take things apart and cause a mess.
Keep Clogs at BayWhile clogged drains can’t always be avoided, you can take important steps to help prevent them. Avoid flushing the following items:
- Paper towels.
- Dental floss.
- Baby wipes.
- Q-tips, pads and other cotton products.
- Cat litter.
- Any type of food or gum.
- Cooking grease.
- Cigarette butts.