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It’s easy to take for granted that our toilet will flush properly when we need it to. Unfortunately, toilets can clog and overflow, causing problems when we need them the least. To prevent disgusting toilet water from reaching your bathroom floor, you need to have the correct tools at hand and know what you need to do in the event of a clogged toilet.

Stop Overflowing at the Source

Regardless of the reason for the clogged toilet, the first thing you need to do is stop water flowing into your toilet. In most bathrooms, the easiest way to stop the flow of water is by shutting off the toilet’s main valve, located right next to the toilet. If the valve is rusted or stuck in place, use a lubricant to help it turn freely. This will stop the water from going into the toilet and will keep more water from overflowing.

Shut off toilet valve to prevent overflowingHave a Backup Plan Ready

If you cannot shut off the water valve, you can also check the flapper (the rubber disc at the bottom of the tank which covers the hole). Simply lift the lid and set it aside. If the hole is open, then simply put the flapper back in place to stop the flow of water. If the flapper won’t stay closed, check the float ball. Manually lifting this ball will prevent the water from flowing. If the water continues to flow into the bowl once you lower the float ball, then get something to hold or prop the ball in place while you try to close the shut-off valve with your other hand.

Once You Have Stopped The Overflowing

Once you have stopped the water from overflowing, you need to remove the clog that caused the overflow in the first place. You will need a toilet plunger. We recommend a plunger with a toilet flange. This device should be something that you always need to have handy.

If the plunder does not fix the problem, you may need to rent a snake. A toilet snake is a long wire coil with a corkscrew-like tip that you feed into your pipes until it encounters the clog. Learning how to snake a toilet begins by turning the snake clockwise, so that the tip screws into or through the clog and breaks it up. If you cannot clear the clog on your own, or for any plumbing emergency that you cannot fix by yourself, contact a professional plumber. They will be able to take care of the issue cleanly and quickly.


If you need help servicing your septic system, don’t wait to take action. Call us at (951) 780-5922 right away. We have professionals ready to answer your questions and get your system working properly again.