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Toilet Overflowing? Don’t Panic!


Emergencies don’t always bring out the best in everyone. It’s easy to be frantic when something goes suddenly wrong, and that never helps with resolving the situation. And of all the possible household emergencies, ones that involve a flood of toilet water can be particularly distressing.

If your toilet overflows, what is the most important thing to do? Stay calm! But of course that’s easier said than done. The best way to avoid panic and calmly resolve an issue with an overflowing toilet is to have a clear plan to follow. Here’s what to do.

Step 1: Stop That Water from Flowing!

Chances are, this will actually be quite easy. Almost all toilets have a shut-off valve. Look for an oval knob toward the back of the toilet base, usually to the left, on a pipe or hose that connects the toilet to the water pipes within your wall. Simply turn it to the right, clockwise, to shut off the water to the toilet itself.

Unfortunately, there are sometimes situations where this is not possible. Perhaps there is no knob, or it is corroded from years or decades of condensation and is rusted in position so you can’t turn it. You’ll need to shut off the water to your whole house. This is a good thing to know how to do anyway, in case of any other plumbing emergencies.

The main shut-off valve that stops all water from flowing into your house will be on an exterior wall, low down, generally in the basement. You’ll find it on the side of your home closest to your water source, either the street if you have municipal water or nearest your well. Again, just turn the knob clockwise.

Step 2: Cleanup

Soak up that water as quickly as you can so it won’t soak into your flooring, causing rot, instability, and a great environment for mold growth. Try to use towels you’re willing to bleach because this water is not clean. If you’ve had to shut off the water to the whole house, this is a good time to break out the hand sanitizer.

Step 3: Plunging

You might be able to unclog the toilet yourself with a plunger. Keep it vertical, and thrust straight downward, not too far, but vigorously. The idea is to push water down with enough force to get that clog moving down the drain and to the sewer line. Try this several times before you come to the conclusion that it’s not working.

Step 4: Enlist a Professional

If you can’t get the toilet unclogged, it’s time for an emergency plumber in Clifton, NJ. With training, expertise, on-the-job experience, and the best professional plumbing equipment, they will be able to resolve your problem and get your toilet functioning again. 

Now that you know exactly what steps to take, you won’t panic if you’re ever faced with an overflowing toilet!

Contact MarGo Plumbing Heating Cooling Inc. today with toilet clog concerns or any questions about your plumbing!

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