Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

Is Your Toilet Overflowing? Here’s What to Do!


The overflowing toilet is one of the big nuisances a household can run into. And sometimes it can feel like a real panic-inducing emergency. The toilet is about as crucial as plumbing fixtures get in a home, and the idea of one overflowing and causing flooding in the bathroom isn’t pleasant, so it’s understandable that people might suddenly feel at a loss about what to do when it happens.

No problem: we’re here to help! An overflowing toilet is a good reason to call our plumbers, and we’ll drive out as fast as we can to have the problem corrected. We can’t teleport, of course, but we can provide you advice on what to do before we arrive to help alleviate the issue and hold back that anxiety attack.

Step 1: Shut off the water flow

The first thing to do is to stop the water from flooding out of the toilet. This helps to avoid water damage that seeps into the floor, bacterial contamination, and a long clean-up process afterward. For most toilets, stopping the water flow is simple: turn the valve on the feed tube that runs from the tank of the toilet to the wall. If you have an older toilet that doesn’t have a valve, open up the top of the tank and rig the chain so it cuts off the flow of water into the tank.

Step 2: Absorb the water around the toilet base

Don’t delay this part: allowing water to seep into the building material around the toilet base can create long-term troubles such as mold growth, wood root, and general weakening of the floor. It can also create hygienic problems from contaminated water. Use towels and newspapers to absorb the water. If you have a wet-dry vac, this is when you get to put it to use. Get the area as dry as possible. 

Step 3: Use a plunger to clear out any clog

You may not know what caused the toilet to overflow at this point, but if you believe it’s an obstruction of some kind in the toilet drain, get the toilet plunger and try to remove it. (A toilet plunger is different from a sink plunger; it has flanges on the end to create a better seal in the shape of the toilet drain.) Use strong, slow pushes on the plunger to see if it removes the obstruction.

Step 4: Call us

Now is when you can call our plumbers for help with toilet plumbing in Frederick, MD if the plunger didn’t solve the problem. Even if it did, you may want our help to see if drain cleaning will keep the overflowing problem from coming back. The clog may only be a symptom of a bigger issue with the toilet plumbing or drainpipes.

Step 5: Disinfect

We’re sure that 2020 has taught you all about the importance of using disinfectant around the house. Using clean cloths, extensively spray down the area around the toilet and fully scrub it with the most powerful disinfectant you have to eliminate bacteria and microbes.

Above all, keep calm and use the downstairs bathroom until a professional arrives.

At Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing, we pledge to exceed expectations at every turn. Call us for service in Washington D.C., Montgomery, and Frederick Counties.