My Holiday Guests Are Gone, Now My Toilet Is Overflowing

December 04, 2018

Common Causes of an Overflowing Toilet

Clogged Toilet Bowl:

Most toilet overflows are caused by a clog in the toilet bowl.

*Using too much toilet paper.

*Putting flushable wipes, diapers, sanitary products, Q-tips down the toilet.

*Toys or other items may clog your toilet bowl.

*Never use your toilet as a trash can for your kitty litter or your doggy mess.

Any of these can be a major contributor to toilet overflows.

In most cases, a plunger will solve the problem. If it does not, the issue may be further down the line, you may need to call Show Plumbing 281-860-2000 for assistance.

Clogged Toilet Trap or Drain Pipe:

A clog in the trap or drain pipe can also cause a toilet backup. A plunger can sometimes resolve a clogged trap or drain pipe, but it may be necessary to use a drain snake or auger to clear the blockage. If auguring isn’t your thing, give Show Plumbing a call.

Clogged Sanitary Sewer Line:

The sanitary sewer line is the main line that connects your house to the municipal sewer system. Improper use of any or all your drain pipes may cause a blockage to your sewer line. If this is the issue, you will typically have other drainage issues, such as a gurgling drain or backed up sink.

Improperly Working Septic System:

If you have a septic system, an overflowing toilet may be a sign of a full tank or another issue. Have your septic system inspected by a professional to ensure it is in proper working order.

Low Flow Toilets:

Many newer homes have low flow toilets designed to conserve water. While they do save on water usage, some low flow toilets are unable to effectively flush everything down the drain. Low flow toilet models produced before 1997 are especially prone to issues.

Broken or Malfunctioning Plumbing:

Some toilet overflows are caused by malfunctioning tank float mechanism or a stuck handle. Inspect the inner workings of your toilet and replace broken parts as necessary. Contact Show Plumbing 281-860-2000, if you are unsure what needs to be fixed.

What to do if Your Toilet Overflows

First shut off the water coming into the toilet. The shutoff valve is usually behind the toilet, close to the bottom of the tank.

Remove the toilet tank lid and hold down the flapper to stop the flow of water. If this stops the overflowing, allow the toilet bowl to drain completely then release the flapper. Shut off the supply line to stop the flow of water if the toilet starts overflowing again, even with the water off, the problem is likely a backup from either a drain pipe or the main sewer line.

The best time to use your plunger is before a toilet overflow occurs. Wait until the toilet overflow stops to try plunging. If it continues to overflow, a plunger will likely only make a bigger mess. While a plunger may clear a clogged toilet bowl or drain pipe, it cannot fix other causes of an overflowing toilet.

Preventing Future Toilet Overflows

The best way to prevent a toilet overflow is to only use it as intended. You should only flush toilet paper and human waste down the drain. Keep a trash can in the bathroom for all other items, including baby wipes, soaps, facial tissue, dental floss, paper towel, Q-tips, so-called flushable wipes and feminine hygiene products.

Need Help with an Overflowing Toilet? Show Plumbing is here to help.

Some overflowing toilets require professional help. Give us a call 281-860-2000