4 Things to Do When Your Toilet Is Overflowing

A frustrated woman wearing gloves is on the phone and holding a plunger while kneeling near her toilet


Oh no, the sounds of an overflowing toilet. You drop whatever you are doing, and realize that only quick thinking and actions will help you avoid a potentially costly mess, or contacting, of course, a reliable skilled plumber.

Here is a quick step-by-set guide to follow if you face this type of dilemma:


The first thing to do is to carefully remove the tank’s lid. Find a secure place for the lid but don’t waste time worrying about putting it on a towel. The amount of time you have to solve this watery situation is, at best, minimal.

If any water has spilled onto the floor, clean it up after the problem is solved to avoid additional damage. Disinfect those areas soiled by toilet water.


Reach inside the toilet tank (don’t worry – the water in the tank is sanitary) and reach for the flapper valve. The rubber flapper valve is located in the center of the tank floor. Cutting its flow will prevent additional water from racing towards the overflow.


With the flapper secured, stop the water from flowing into the tank by lifting the float that operates the valve. With the float secure, it is best to shut off the water flow with the toilet supply valve which is typically located on the wall behind the toilet or somewhere near the floor. Turn the supply valve in a clockwise direction (Remember: Righty-Tighty Lefty-Loosey). If you are unable to reach the valve at the same time you are holding the floater, let go of the float for a moment and shut off the valve as quickly as possible.


If all else fails, contact the experts at Dependable Service Plumbing for all of your routine and emergency plumbing services. Or, give Dependable Service Plumbing a call 843-627-2337 for additional information regarding your specific situation.