Why is My Toilet Overflowing? What Do I Do?
If you’ve lost count of how many times you’ve grabbed the toilet plunger or “snake” you’re probably asking yourself “Why does my toilet keep overflowing?”
We understand how frustrating it is when a toilet isn’t flushing properly, so we’ve put together some troubleshooting tips and solutions that may resolve this issue.
Why Your Toilet Clogs and Overflows
To find a solution for a toilet that overflows often, we need to find out why it’s happening. Below are common issues that cause a toilet to not drain properly.
- Older toilet - An old house is likely to have old toilets. In the 1990s, first-generation toilets were designed to be “low flow.” These toilets are notorious for not flushing well, and newer designs are more reliable.
- “Flushable” products - Because we flush toilet paper, we assume that other soft materials like wipes, dental floss, feminine hygiene products, and even paper towels go down the same way. Some toilet and plumbing scenarios cannot cope with anything but a moderate amount of toilet paper. Even if a wipe is packaged as “flushable” it still may not be compatible with some toilets.
- Malfunctioning fill valve – The toilet needs enough water force for it to flush properly. The fill valve controls the amount of water in the toilet tank so it has enough for the toilet to function well. Without this balance, clogging occurs.
- A pipe is blocked - If there are no apparent problems with the toilet itself, there could be a blockage in the pipe that prevents the toilet from draining.
- Sewer line problems - Are your neighbors having issues too? There may be a problem with the sewer line.
- Damage to the Plumbing vent – The plumbing vent maintains the pressure needed for normal movement through the pipes. When this component isn’t working correctly, this could affect the toilet’s ability to flush.
Solutions for a Toilet that Overflows
Once you’ve determined the reason the toilet is getting backed up, you can work on a solution. Here are some fixes for common problems.
- Upgrade the toilet - If you happen to have one of those old-school “low flow” toilets from the 1990s, it’s time for an upgrade. Ask your local home improvement store staff which one they recommend for your setup.
- Only flush toilet paper - Limit what you flush down the toilet to just a moderate amount of toilet paper. If you are on a septic system, use products that are labeled as “septic safe.” Remind people in the household to not flush only toilet paper down, even if the package says a product is “flushable.”
- Check the fill valve - Is the tank refilling properly when the toilet is flushed? With the tank lid removed, flush the toilet and look for anything unusual when the tank refills. You may need to replace the fill valve or another component. Don’t attempt to flush the toilet again if it’s currently overflowing.
- Call a professional - Sometimes the reason for a toilet overflow is beyond your understanding or control and you’ll need the help of a professional. A reputable professional plumber or sewer line service can resolve the matter.
Contact SERVPRO of Richardson for Bathroom Water Damage
If you find that several instances of an overflowing toilet have caused water damage in your bathroom, we’re here to help. Unaddressed water damage leads to warped flooring, damaged baseboards, and mold growth. Contact us 24/7 at (972) 690-1414 for an estimate!