It is not an uncommon plumbing problem…the toilet overflowing. When it happens, it always seems at the wrong time. Try these easy steps. First, locate your water shut off valve near the base of your toilet. Turn the valve until the water shuts off to prevent additional overflow. If your toilet does not have one, open the tank and rig the float to stay in its position and not let any more water fill the tank.

Second, if water has spilled over the bowl and onto the floor, immediately remove it. Use towels to clean up a small amount or a Shop-Vac to help with larger spills or to soak water out of carpet and other fabrics. Be sure to wash and disinfect all surfaces that were dampened by the toilet water.

Next, if you know there’s a foreign object preventing the toilet from flushing, get some rubber gloves and try to remove it. If a clog is the culprit of the overflow, grab a toilet plunger and try plunging it free. A sink plunger could work if you do not have a toilet plunger, but it likely won’t be as effective.

Lastly, if these steps do not remove the clog contact a plumber. The clog may be located farther along your pipe and a plumber will be able to diagnose and fix the problem right away