Witnessing water from your toilet slowly rising to the brim may have caused you to become anxious, however, knowing how to take care of the issue can help you relax a bit so you don’t have more issues to overcome. The main reason your toilet may be overflowing is due to a blockage or even an error in the tank float mechanism which regulates the supply of water. Here are some simple steps to help you repair the issue without the help of a plumber.
1. First thing you want to do is locate the water supply valve which is typically located behind the toilet. However, if you are unable to locate the water supply valve, take the top off the tank, lift the float ball or cup high enough to stop the running water.
2. Using the main valve of the house or knob situated by the water heater, cut off the water supply to the building. If there is still an overflow once the main water supply is off, then you are dealing with sewage backup which requires an immediate call to your local plumber. If you are associated with a septic tank, the plumber can flush out the system, however, if you are on a municipal septic system, the plumber can diagnose if you need to contact the city to have the issue fixed.
3. On the other hand, if the water has stopped rising, you may want to try using a standard plunger. The best plunger is one with a flange on the bottom which will extend into the toilet’s drain hole, so it can create a tight seal and can clear the clog more proficiently. Put on a pair of rubber gloves, remove a couple of inches of water from the toilet bowl, and put a couple of towels around the toilet in order for any accidental spills while plunging it can be soaked up.
4. Insert the flange from the plunger directly into the drain hole, keep the handle upright, energetically push the plunger up and down for about 20 seconds and then remove the plunger out the toilet. By doing so, this action forces air and water into the drain to clear the clog. In order to ensure the problem is fixed, flush the toilet to make sure the water navigates itself down the drain and not back out.
If the plunger fails to do the job, your next option is to snake the toilet. You may need to head to Home Depot or your local store that carries plumbing, and purchase a toilet auger (toilet snake) which may cost anywhere from $10 to $50. This tool is a flexible cable that is specifically designated to maneuver all the twisty turns of the toilet drain.
1. Put on a pair of rubber gloves, remove water from the toilet into a bucket.
2. Then, place the hook end of the auger into the bowl, begin turning the crank clockwise, this way the cable is extending into the drain. Keep cranking the auger until you are no longer able to do so, and once you have reached that point, you have located the location of the clog.
3. Very gently pull back on the snake, if you feel any type of resistance this indicates that you have hooked the clog. Now start cranking the auger counter-clockwise in order to pull the clog out of the drain back up into the toilet bowl. You may want to do this process several times in order to ensure you have successfully removed all debris. All of the debris should be removed from the toilet and thrown away in the trash or placed in a bucket to be thrown out.
4. Slowly pour the water from the bucket back into the toilet and flush.
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