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4 Possible Causes of an Overflowing Toilet

Overflowing Toilet

An overflowing toilet is a common problem. But preventing it or having it repaired by a professional is easy when you know the cause. Clogged pipes, blocked vents, sewage issues or a full septic tank can lead to an overflow. Most plumbing systems rely on gravity. When water can’t escape from your Montgomery, Alabama, home because of a clog, you’re bound to experience an overflowing toilet. Watch for these potential causes of an overflowing toilet to prevent water damage or biological growth in your home:

Clogged Pipes

A clog in your toilet or the nearby pipes will stop water from draining when you flush it. The most common cause of these clogs is using too much toilet paper. Some older low-flow toilets clog easily, and you may need to flush more than once.

Even with conventional fixtures, you should always have a plunger ready to fix clogs. If you can’t remove the clog on your own, contact a professional to remove the blockage with a drain snake. Clogs that take a long time to drain are often difficult for homeowners to fix without help.

Shut off your water supply to keep the problem from getting worse, and quickly remove any water as quickly. Otherwise, it could soak into your flooring or drywall and cause extensive damage. After you dry everything, disinfect all the surfaces that the water touched. Since it came from your toilet, it could contain sewage and harmful bacteria. If you notice bad smells or dirty water, leave your home and have it cleaned by an expert to prevent dangerous illnesses. If you have trouble removing unpleasant scents, get your HVAC system checked by a professional as well.

Blocked Vents

A plumbing vent is a vertical pipe that connects to all your plumbing fixtures. It lets air into your pipes to replace the air that goes down the drain every time you flush your toilet. It usually has an outlet on a roof.

If it clogs with debris like leaves or pine needles, it’ll stop draining or drain slowly. You might also notice bubbling sounds or bad smells after you flush the toilet, even when it doesn’t overflow. It can even create suction that might damage your pipes.

You should contact a professional to clean out your vents. Removing debris safely can be challenging, and you’ll need specialized equipment.

Sewage Issues

The pipes that run from your home to the main sewer line can become blocked by roots from the trees in your yard. If people flush objects like wet wipes or paper towels down the toilet, they can form a clog over time. Unfortunately, even cleaning products advertised as flushable don’t break down as quickly as toilet paper. A clogged sewer line can cause a flooded basement or an overflowing toilet.

If the sewage isn’t able to drain, it’ll work its way back up your line. It’ll enter your home at its lowest point, usually a basement toilet. If you’ve shut off your home’s water and your toilet is still overflowing, there could be a clog in a nearby city sewer line. Contact your local sewer department and ask them to check for problems.

A Full Septic Tank

If you have a septic tank instead of a municipal sewer system, you could have a similar issue. Septic tanks store waste and release excess water into the soil around them, also called the drain field. If your septic tank is full, or if water can’t escape for another reason, your toilets will overflow. You should schedule regular maintenance for your septic system and the rest of your plumbing. That way, you can have your tank emptied or make other repairs if needed.

Air Conditioning by Luquire has more than 35 years of plumbing, heating and cooling experience. We never charge overtime, and you can enjoy a one-year guarantee on all repairs. Call us anytime at 334-230-5870 to prevent an overflowing toilet or other plumbing problems from ruining your day.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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