Do You Know How to Stop an Overflowing Toilet?

Do You Know How to Stop an Overflowing Toilet?

Okay, whether you have just moved into your first house or apartment, or are living with a couple of roommates, one of the most helpful ‘handyman’ tricks to have in your corner is how to stop an overflowing toilet.  So, do you know how to accomplish this feat?

First of all, every toilet works the way it does because of gravity.  So, whether you move into a great big mansion or a tiny bungalow, the toilets all work by the same principle.  Here’s how:  when you flush the toilet, you open a valve through which the water in the tank is pushed. This causes the waste to be pushed out through the drain and the fresh water to fill the bowl.  As the water in the tank depletes, the float drops.  The tank refills as the float is raised back up, getting ready for the next flush.  This also closes all the valves.

You get an overflow when the water in the tank can’t leave the bowl quickly enough. In order to stop an overflow mid-action, just take off the top of the tank and pull the float up – close to the valve inside.  That should give you a moment to reach down behind the toilet and turn off the water or let the bowl drain.

When you move into a new house, or if you don’t know right now, find out where the main water and electrical shut-offs are.  The water shut-off is usually near where the water enters the house and looks like a metal wheel or flat handle.  Your main electrical switch will usually be near the main circuit breaker.

If you have a problematic toilet, it is a good idea to turn off both the water and electricity so that you don’t get a nasty shock when you attempt to fix it!

Jon Huser