Dealing with a Clogged Toilet
Having a toilet overflow in your home creates a quick feeling of desperation. The mess spreads fast throughout the bathroom and beyond, and many homeowners don’t know what to do in order to get the water to stop. Being prepared and knowledgeable in the event of a toilet overflowing will help you to do the right things and stop the flood from spreading. If you are staring at an overflowing toilet, the first thing you need to do is call an emergency plumber. Regardless of what the cause of the overflow is, you will need the plumber’s services to repair the issue. With the plumber on the way, you can go about taking steps to improve the situation.
With your call placed, you need to make sure to get the water shut off to the toilet. To do this, you most likely will not need to cut the water supply to the entire house. If you look on the wall behind the toilet, there should be a small valve that you can turn in order to stop the flow of water. Rotate the handle and watch the flow of the water. If the water stops rising and at least holds steady – it likely will not recede at this point – then you have stopped the water supply successfully. If, for some reason, this does not stop the water, you will need to find the main water supply for the house and shut it off. It helps to do some research before any water issues arise in your home to know where the water shut off valves are located. That way, you can act fast when there is an overflow and minimize the spread of the water.
Getting the water to stop flowing should always be your top priority when you have an overflowing toilet. When that is done, you can turn your attention cleaning up whatever mess has been made so far. Grab as many towels and buckets as you have available and start to soak up the water around the toilet. If you have a mop in the house, that can also be a useful tool in this case. Don’t worry about the water that is still in the toilet bowl, as the emergency plumber will address that issue when he arrives. Your mission is simply to get the water dried up from places that it should not be.
Pay careful attention to areas around baseboards and under cabinets in the bathroom. Places where water could possibly seep through and cause damage need to be dried up first. If you have a tile or vinyl floor in your bathroom, the water will not work through to the sub-floor below. Make sure the areas at the base of walls and under cabinets are dried first, then address the standing water on the rest of the floor.
While you likely have a million things you would rather do than deal with a clogged toilet, sometimes you don’t have a choice. By knowing in advance how to shut off the water, as well as what areas to dry first, you can make the best of a bad situation. When the emergency plumber arrives on the scene, having the area as dried as possible will allow him to get to work on fixing the problem straight away. Once the issue has been addressed by a professional, you can rest easy that you will not have to face an overflowing toilet again any time soon.