How to Fix an Overflowing Toilet

Please Note: Do not use this procedure if you are not certain that you can complete it safely, or if it does not seem accurate. Skippity Whistles provides this information as advice, and cannot accept any liability from your usage of it.

Darn, the toilet is overflowing!  It’s all stopped up! Here’s what you do.

Turn Off the Water to the Toilet

Turn off the water supply. You’ll find a little handle right behind the toilet, next to the wall.

Turn the handle to the left, counterclockwise,  to shut off the water coming into the toilet.

Give it a Moment

Let the thing rest for a couple of minutes. If the bowl is full to the brim, it should settle a little once the water’s turned off.

Plunge the Toilet Bowl

Plunge the bowl. Get one of those plungers – make sure it has a long handle. The short-handled one brings you a little too close to the action. The bell-shaped ones work fine, or you can go for a super-power one in the picture. These are less durable, but create a lot more pressure with each push because of their shape.

The toilet is most likely plugged up with something ghastly. You have to either push that ghastliness down the line or pull it back into the bowl so it can mix with water and go down like it should have done in the first place. This is gross, but here’s how you do it:

Put the rubber end of the plunger over the hole at the bottom of the bowl. Try your best to get a good seal around the hole. If the bowl is full, put the plunger in slowly.

Push straight down on the handle. Push gently at first to boosh the air out of it. It will pop back up. Push it again, and again. You’re lifting water out of the pipe below the bowl and using it to shove the, uh, blockage farther down.

IF the bowl is full, you may have to push gently to avoid sloppage.

Let it Rest

Give it time. If you cleared the blockage, the water will slurgle down quickly, and you’re done. If it doesn’t drain soon, repeat the process. Chances are good you’ve done the deed.

Turn on the Water Supply

Turn on the water. Turn that little handle behind the toilet all the way clockwise. The bowl may not fill until you flush.

Now grab a used towel, or, better, a mop, and tidy things up.

Well done!

PS: If, after having plunged it again and again, you still can’t get it to flow, you’re probably going to have to call The Man to have it professional plunged. Sorry about that!

Back to How to Flushes


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