There are quite a few different kinds of plumbing emergencies that you may face as a homeowner. And, one such emergency involves an overflowing toilet, especially if you are unable to stop the water and waste materials from flowing onto your floor. If you contact an emergency plumber, then there are a few things that you should do in this scenario before the professional arrives to make sure that you keep the mess and the water damage to a minimum.

Stop Water Flow

If your water is already overflowing, then it is wise to shut off the water to keep more water from flowing over the top of the bowl. And, there are a few things that you can do to shut the water flow down. The first is to simply shut off the valve that supplies the toilet with fresh water. The valve is located along the back wall and behind the toilet. Turn this valve to the left. 

If the water valve has not been turned for some time, then it may stick. In this case, use some WD-40 and spray the nut just behind the valve handle. Use a wrench to gently loosen this nut until a few drops of water start to drip from the area. This will help to loosen any debris or corrosion that is causing the valve to stick. Try to turn the water valve to the left again and tighten the loose nut afterward. 

You also want to keep water from flowing from the toilet tank and into the bowl. So, open up the tank at the back of your toilet and locate the rubber flapper. Place a brick or another heavy object on the flapper to keep it closed.

Stop Using the Drains in Your Home

In some cases, the toilet overflowing issue may not be due to a clogged toilet, but a backed-up sewer system. In this case, the main sewer may need to be unclogged or your septic tank will need to be drained. And, if you try to use your shower, dishwasher, sinks, or another appliance or drain in the home, then the water will come back up through your pipes. Since your toilet is already overflowing, then this is likely the lowest point along the drainage system where the backup will occur. 

Make sure to inform all family members not to use your home drains until your emergency plumber informs you of the plumbing issue and how it can be fixed. Otherwise, the mess will continue, and depending on the water and waste load, a great deal of material can overflow from the toilet. 

If you need help with an overflowing toilet, reach out to a local emergency plumber.