Toilet Overflow? Stay Calm!

If you have a toilet overflow and the water is continuing to flow, let's get right to work! I've been a service plumber in the Portland area for close to thirty years. I've been called in many plumbing emergencies to stop an overflowing toilet.

Stop the Water Flowing into the Toilet

There are two ways to do this.

  1. One way is to turn off the valve that is attached to the tank by the water supply tube.
  2. The other way is to reach into the tank and lift the float on the fill valve.

Very carefully remove the lid from the tank and set it out of the way.

It is too easy to drop the lid onto or into the tank when you are in a hurry. making the problem much worse and maybe cutting yourself. So don’t panic.

If you were unable to control the water at either the supply valve or the fill valve and the water is still flowing, you must turn off the water supply to the house.

If, after the toilet overflowed, it stopped by itself at the end of its fill cycle, or it stopped overflowing because you turned the water off, you should now clean up the water mess. Be careful- it's slippery!

If the water level in the bowl is dropping, the crisis is over. You can take care of the mess on the floor.

Clean up Properly

If the water in the bowl is still at the rim, dip some water out of the toilet bowl into a bucket. This will make room for you to use a toilet plunger to unclog the toilet. Dipping the water will no doubt cause some further overflow, so do it before you clean up.

After most of the water has been mopped up, wrap an old towel around the base of the toilet in case water seeped between the bowl and floor.

You're won't be able to use that toilet again until you discover what caused the toilet problem. Click here for info about fixing your clogged toilet.

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