An overflowing toilet may sound like something out of your nightmares. However, there's a good chance this will happen to you at some point in your life, so it's essential that you know what to do when it does occur. Read over these four simple steps and commit them to memory so that when water starts spilling over the toilet edge, you don't panic.
Step 1: Turn Off The Water
You want to make sure as little water actually ends up on the floor as possible, and the best way to do that is to turn off the toilet's water supply as soon as you suspect it might overflow. Reach for the round valve that's typically located at the base of the toilet. Turn this valve counterclockwise, which should prevent any more water from entering the toilet tank.
Step 2: Remove excess water.
Use a cup or a bowl to scoop some water out of the toilet until there are at least a few inches of empty space at the top of the bowl. This way, the toilet won't overflow further when you start plunging in the next step. Pour the water down a nearby tub or sink. It there is toilet-relate debris (toilet paper or waste) in the water you scoop out, put it in a spare bucket rather than putting it down the drain. You can also take this opportunity to dry up any water around the toilet's base.
Step 3: Plunge away.
This is not as simple as it seems; you need to plunge properly for it to be effective. Use a plunger with a flared end, and place it so that it completely covers the opening in the bottom of the toilet. Then, use big, forceful strokes to force water down the toilet. You should feel the clog suddenly loosen and the water suddenly flow down the toilet. If you plunge and plunge to no avail, it's time to call the plumber. You might be dealing with more than the ordinary blockage; a toy or wad or wet wipes may be lodged in the pipe, for example.
Step 4: Sanitize everything.
Once the water goes down, you can open the valve at the base of the toilet again. Then, prepare a solution of bleach and water. Use this to wipe down the toilet and the area around it to ensure all bacteria are killed.
For more assistance or information, contact plumbers or sewer and drain cleaning services.