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What to Do When Your Toilet Floods

There's nothing more frustrating (or seriously gross) than when your toilet overflows. Keep your cool and follow these simple steps to stop the problem and fix what's causing your commode to flood. Be prepared for this potential disaster by stashing rubber gloves in a bathroom cabinet, along with an old towel, and tucking a plunger behind the toilet or in a bathroom closet. You'll be happy you took the time have things stashed when this bothersome complication occurs.

Read on for the helpful directions:

  1. The minute you see water seeping over the top of the toilet, locate the water turn-off valve behind the tank and turn it to off by twisting to the right.
  2. Along with turning off the water, open the tank of the toilet and adjust the float so additional water isn't added to the bowl. Do this by adjusting the chain, or simply remove water from the tank.
  3. Grab that old towel and use it to take care of the water that has overflowed. Placing additional towels or newspapers around the bowl keeps the area from flooding.
  4. Now it's time to figure out what the problem is. Most commodes overflow due to blockage from too much toilet paper or a foreign object finding its way into the bowl. Reach for your plunger, insert it into the toilet, and press down firmly but slowly, making sure to cover the hole completely. Plunge until the blockage is removed and the water drains from the toilet.
  5. Still blocked? Pour one box of baking soda into the bowl followed with two cups of vinegar. Let the mixture sit overnight, and then follow with a bucket of warm water. The baking soda and vinegar work together to break down the clog, hopefully fixing the problem. If the water in the toilet bowl hasn't drained, then reach for the plunger and give it another try until things flow smoothly.
  6. If things are still stuck, then head to your local home goods store for a toilet auger. While there, take the time to chat with an associate for input.
  7. To use the auger, pull the handle completely up and insert the auger into the toilet bowl. Hold it in place with one hand while slowly cranking with the other until it won't crank anymore. After removing the auger, the commode should drain freely.
  8. Once the blockage has been removed, turn the water back on by turning the valve to the left, and try flushing the toilet. Your commode should be working smoothly.
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