Have you ever experienced the terror that takes over your body when you see the water in a toilet bowl continue to rise? It’s bad enough if that happened in your own home, but it’s even worse when it happens at someone else’s house.
When you need to stop a toilet from overflowing, here are the steps you should take.
Secure the Flapper
The first thing you should do to stop the water from overflowing in the toilet is to remove the lid of the tank and look inside for the rubber flapper. (Before you get nervous, the water in the tank is clean, so it’s safe to touch.) Push the flapper completely down over the valve it covers to stop the flow of water into the bowl.
Pull the Float Up
Inside the tank, you should also see a floater, usually a rubber ball. To stop the water flow, pull the floater up in the tank so it blocks the valves. If the water stops flowing after a minute or two, you can let it go.
Turn Off the Water Valve
If the water continues to flow, look behind the toilet for the water valve. Turn the valve to the opposite direction to stop the flow of water and stop the toilet from overflowing.
Find a Plunger
You’re going to need a plunger to take care of this. If there isn’t one right next to the toilet, check the cabinets under the sink since that’s commonplace to keep one.
Don’t just go to town on the toilet bowl — that’ll make a huge mess. You need to plunge the right way.
Establish a Good Connection
Make sure the plunger is at an angle so the cup forms a seal against the bowl. This will create the right amount of suction.
Make the Right Motion
Use a good amount of force and push the plunger up and down — make sure not to break the seal in the meantime. Watch for movement in the bowl that signals the blockage is moving through the pipes.
Flush the Toilet
Once you’re sure the clog is gone, turn the valve back to the left, let the bowl fill with water, and flush it. Rinse the plunger off in the new water and flush the toilet again.
If All Else Fails…
If you can’t find a plunger or you can’t remove the clog, put aside your pride and let your friend know. He or she can offer you a plunger (you should do the dirty work) or call a plumber if the clog is really bad.