How to Stop a Toilet From Overflowing

How to stop a toilet from overflowing is an important skill that every homeowner, renter, landlord, and everyone else should know!

No need to call in the Pros and pay a ton of money when you can fix an overflowing toilet yourself.

Read below on our tried and true methods for stopping a toilet from overflowing FAST!

how to stop a toilet from overflowing
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How to Stop a Toilet From Overflowing

If you’ve got a sh*tty mess on your hands or maybe the kids flushed some toys down the ol’ poop shoot the last thing you need is an overflowing toilet.  

It’s never predictable and always happens at the WORST time!  How to fix your toilet overflowing needs to be done FAST to keep nasty toilet water from flooding your bathroom and maybe even your home.

Before grabbing your toilet auger, you will need to stop the flow of water.  Read on for our tips to save your bathroom!

Make sure whatever you do, don’t flush the toilet!  The toilet bowl could overflow and all of that toilet water will end up on your bathroom floor.  Gross.

How to Stop a Toilet From Overflowing : Simple Steps

Stop an Overflowing Toilet FAST

#1. Turn off the water valve behind the toilet

#2. Make sure the flapper in the tank is CLOSED

#3. Lift up the Float Arm inside the tank

#4. Unclog Toilet with a toilet auger or a plunger

Since you’re probably in a pinch, let’s get right to the nitty gritty about how you fix a toilet that is overflowing.

The first step is to turn OFF the water supply to the toilet.  Behind or maybe beside the toilet, there is a tap/valve with a line from the wall directly to your toilet tank.  That tap turns the water on and off which fills your toilet tank.  Bend down, reach over, and shut the water off.  This will keep anymore water from going into your toilet tank.  If for some reason the water tap is stuck, move quickly onto step 2.

Our second step is to remove the top off of your toilet tank, be careful, it’s heavier than you think. Don’t drop it, place it gently on the floor.  Then, look into your tank and look for the black or beige rubber flapper that is on the very bottom of your toilet tank.  It will be covering the hole in the bottom of your tank.  Push the flapper down until the hole is covered and water stops flowing into your bowl.  If it’s messed up or won’t go down for some reason, move onto step 3.  If your flapper is bent out of shape, cracked, or old, you may need to replace it.

In step three, you will have to grab the float that is sticking out into the middle of the bowl.  It’s basically a big black rubber ball attached to a metal or plastic arm. Sometimes it’s just a metal rod with a hook and chain through it, that goes down to the flapper. It rises as the water fills your toilet tank.  Once the float reaches the top of the tank, water stops flowing into your toilet bowl.  Pull that float up.   What that does is tell your toilet that the bowl is full of water and it will stop draining the water from the tank into the bowl.  

Since no more water can get into the bowl, your overflow in the bowl should stop right away.  Secure the float so that it doesn’t move using a hanger, some wire, or some duct tape, even the kids can help by holding it up for you so you can fix the toilet.

Next you WILL have to figure out what is clogging up your toilet and remove that clog, or else your toilet will just keep overflowing anytime someone uses it.

Fixing Your Toilet

How do you fix a toilet that keeps overflowing?  Why does your toilet keep overflowing?  SIMPLE: you have a clog.  Somewhere in your toilet line, there is something stuck, or the pipes have gathered a ton of gunk.  Either way, a toilet auger is the tool you need to fix your toilet that keeps overflowing.  

A toilet auger is also the best way to prevent future overflows.  Our favorite toilet augers are tested and reviewed by us in this post HERE.  There’s one for every budget.  Save yourself cash on hiring Pros, especially since your toilet always clogs on the weekend, holidays, or in the middle of the night!


How to stop a toilet from overflowing isn’t hard, but requires some quick thinking on your part.  Now that you have our handy tips, you are sure to be able to deal with your next toilet emergency smoothly.