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Why Is My Toilet Overflowing?

15 July

If plumbing problems are bad, then an overflowing toilet is the worst!

We bet no one will appreciate the sight of water filled with faecal and other waste matter from the toilet bowl. Even if the water is clean, we’d rather have it inside than on the floor.

But overflowing toilets are a common plumbing issue that various things can cause. And today, we will walk you through some of them so that you can eliminate them at the earliest.

4 Common Reasons Behind An Overflowing Toilet

White Toilet Against White Tiled Wall

1. A Clogged Bowl

Just like obstructions in the drain pipe can cause a sink to overflow, clogs in the toilet bowl can cause it to flood the entire bathroom.

Such clogs are usually caused by toilet paper, sanitary pads, soap scum, or even waste accidentally logged in the bowl’s opening. When you press the flush, the force of the water released by the syphon jet pushes the waste to the trapway or the S-shaped pipe running on the side of the commode.

Since the water doesn’t get a route to escape, it starts rising in the bowl, eventually flooding and spreading on the floors. The good news is that most clogs can be broken using a plunger, so make sure you have one handy.

2. Obstructions Beyond The Trapway

Some clogs may go beyond the trapway and form a blockage in the toilet’s pipe to the sewer drain. This usually happens when small pieces of foreign materials are flushed down the toilet for prolonged periods, accumulating in the deeper section of the outlet pipe.

Aside from that, tree roots growing into the sewer lines may reach this outlet pipe and obstruct the water flow. The problem with such clogs is that you can’t clear them with a plunger, so we’d strongly recommend getting in touch with an emergency plumbing service as soon as possible.

3. An Overfilled Reservoir Tank

Too much water in the reservoir tank can also result in a flooded toilet, as it’s designed to hold only the amount of water required for the next flush.

However, if you’ve accidentally set the float in the tank too high after a flush, it will fill up the tank with more water. When you flush the toilet the next time, the excess water will fill the bowl and, in many cases, might overflow from its rims.

Open the top of the reservoir tank and check the water level inside. Most tanks have a fill line near the float for guidance, and you need to lower the float if the water is above this line.

4. Blocked Soil Stack Vent

The p-trap of your toilet is filled with water so that it can prevent the gas emitted by the waste from escaping. When you flush the toilet, the incoming water pushes out the gas to the soil stack vent, which transports waste to the sewer tank. At the same time, its top portion helps the gas escape through the roof.

But this vent can get clogged due to the accumulation of waste, which can cause the outgoing water to back up in the toilet bowl. If the clog isn’t removed immediately by professional plumbers, then it can cause the bowl to flood.

Plunbing Toilet That Will Not Flush

What Should You Do If The Toilet Starts Overflowing?

The first thing for fixing an overflowing toilet is to shut off the water supply from the tank. For this, remove the tank’s top and press down the flapper to stop any more water from going into the bowl.

As an additional step, you can stop the water supply to the tank by turning the shut-off valve (usually located at the bottom behind the toilet). However, don’t apply too much pressure, as it may damage the valve permanently.

Next, grab some towels and spread them on the floor where the water has flown out of the bowl. You may have to change them several times to collect the water.

Once the toilet stops overflowing and the towels absorb most of the water, remove them and clean the floor with a disinfectant floor cleaner. Allowing the water to sit for too long or delaying cleaning the floor can cause the leftover moisture to seep into the floor and damage it. Moreover, it can spread harmful bacteria and germs.

Remember that towels may also collect faecal matter along with water, so don’t forget to put on a pair of gloves before touching them and disposing of them properly.

Maintenance Is The Key, Get In Touch With An Expert Plumber

The best way to prevent an overflowing toilet is to nip the problem in the bud. So, spring into action with your plunger as soon as you observe any clog. Or, plunge into the toilet once or twice every few weeks as a precaution against blockages. Remember, maintenance is the key. Keep your toilet clean and plunge it now and then to lessen your chances of having blockages.

However, if you’ve noticed that the waste takes longer to flush down, even without any visible clogs, consider calling a plumber to check the drains properly. And even if you didn’t flush recently and yet your toilet is running, or it’s the opposite, and your toilet isn’t flushing at all, you can reach out to us for advice and a plumbing inspection.

Gold Coast Plumbing Company is always ready to respond to any emergency plumbing situation. From malfunctioning hot water systems to tree roots invading your pipes, leaking taps, gas fitting, and installing a backflow prevention device, get in touch with us, and we’ll be at your doorstep in no time.

On that note, we’ll conclude this article. Till next time, take care!