Skip to Content Top

Tips for Stopping an Overflowing Toilet Before Calling a Plumber


Disaster has struck! Your toilet is overflowing, and you have a very messy situation on your hands. What do you do? Even though you might want to contact a plumber immediately to identify and fix the issue, your best bet is to perform some bathroom triage to stop your toilet from overflowing and prevent any additional water from spilling over the sides.

Turn the Water Off

Chances are that your toilet has a water supply valve located in the floor or wall near the toilet’s base. Rotate the handle clockwise until the water stops pouring into the toilet’s tank. If that does not work, remove the tank lid, and manually lift the float ball or cup to shut off the flow of water into the tank.

Let’s say that you have completed these steps, but water is still coming up out of the toilet bowl. That indicates a far more serious plumbing issue that is likely going to require a professional toilet repair service call. At that point, it is a safe bet that you need to call a plumber. As a last resort, you can shut off all water to the house at the water meter, which is typically located out by the street.

Pinpoint the Problem

Once you get the water shut off, you need to figure out if the problem is limited to one specific toilet or if it affects multiple drains. If the only drain that is not properly flowing is the one toilet, it is almost certainly just a simple clog. Your handy plunger will fix the vast majority of clogged drains. If that does not work, however, you can try a chemical drain cleaner. However, most are not safe to use in the toilet itself due to the potential for splashing.

Provided this is a one-time event and you get the toilet back in working order, you can probably call it a day. On the other hand, you might want to contact a plumber if this is the second or third time that the toilet has overflowed. It could be caused by anything from a blocked stack vent to a rough drain pipe coupling that is snagging toilet paper and other solids.

The world is a better place when toilets just work, and if you need help getting yours back in working order, call the professionals at Santhoff Plumbing. We offer both regular and emergency repairs, so no matter what time you need us day or night, we will be there to make sure your plumbing operates as it should. In addition, we offer a full range of other plumbing services such a water heater repair and installation. You can schedule a service call by contacting us at (713) 360-2185.

Share To: