From the odour to the flooding, finding yourself with an overflowing toilet is a very stressful experience to be in. However, it's important that you don't panic when it happens. As awful as it is, an overflowing toilet is something almost everyone will have to deal with at some point, but you'll be able to remedy it quickly with these four steps.
1. Turn off the water, fast
If you are the victim of a toilet overflow, the first thing to do is to turn off the toilet's water supply. You'll want to do this as soon as you even suspect that your toilet bowl has started overflowing, as stopping the flow in its tracks will result in far less cleanup when you do get to the root of the problem. Look behind your toilet or underneath your sink for the water shut-off valve; the knob will often be shaped like a pointed oval or rugby ball. Simply turn the valve firmly to cut off your toilet's water supply. If it's too stiff, grab pliers or a wrench to get it moving.
2. It's time to use your plunger
Unsurprisingly, a handy bathroom plunger is one of the best ways to tackle an overflowing toilet. As long as the blockage isn't too deep, a plunger will help to dislodge whatever is causing the toilet to overflow and should clear out a lot of the excess water from your toilet bowl. Bear in mind that plunging can cause more spills, but as long as you've shut off the water supply, you shouldn't cause a flood. If you're able to dislodge the blockage, try turning your water supply back on and flushing the toilet. If your toilet flushes as normal, you're good to go. If it begins overflowing again, shut off the water supply again and head to step three.
3. Deal with the spilled water on the floor
The water that spills out from your toilet could cause damage to your floors, and it likely won't smell too great either. As such, you'll want to clear the water as soon as possible. Old towels, a mop and bucket, or even a wet-dry vacuum cleaner are all possible solutions to the problem.
4. Call a professional
If you couldn't clear the blockage with a plunger, it's time to call in a professional. A plumber will be able to use a snake to remove whatever is causing the clog from the pipe and stop the overflow. If there's a deeper problem, they can also inspect your pipes to clear up the issue. When looking for the right service, remember to search for emergency plumbers. These plumbers will be able to head out to you as soon as possible, no matter what time of day it is.