Help! The Toilet is Overflowing!

overflowing toilet

The water begins rising as a look of horror spreads across your face.  It edges closer to the top, along with toilet paper and things nobody wants to talk about.  An overflowing toilet in your own bathroom is upsetting enough, but when you are at someone else’s house, it can be absolutely horrifying.  You stand there, trying to reason with the toilet.  “Please don’t do this.  I promise not to use so much toilet paper next time.  Can’t we come to an agreement?”  But, the toilet isn’t being reasonable and isn’t willing to compromise.  It’s like a stubborn toddler determined to fulfill its task.  Sometimes overflowing toilets are a self-imposed disaster; at other times, there is simply a plumbing problem unrelated to anything you did.  If you have been in a battle with your toilet every time you use your bathroom, then this article is for you.  What is causing the overflow?  What can you do about it?  Keep reading to find out!

Overflowing toilets can happen to anyone, whether the toilet is brand new or 40 years old.  While some toilet issues are obvious, such as using too much toilet paper or a child flushing a toy down the toilet, sometimes there is a hidden plumbing issue that you can’t see.  Minor issues can be fixed with a good plunger.  Other issues need a good plumber!

Trying to reason with the toilet, begging it, or screaming, “No, please God, no!” repeatedly may seem like the right thing to do in the moment.  When your good sense takes over again, you will realize you have to take action.  Can the issue be easily remedied with a plunger, or do you need to call the professionals at Sun Plumbing?  This article will look at some causes of overflowing toilets, as well as some fixes.

plumbing overflowing toilet

Why Is My Toilet Overflowing?

Too Much Toilet Paper – Toilet bowls and the pipes connected to them can only handle so much toilet paper at once.  Think about trying to shove a hand towel through the hole of a donut.  Some things just don’t work.  It’s okay to flush the toilet more than once during a bathroom session.  It’s commendable that you don’t want to waste water, but don’t think of it that way.  Think of it as protecting your plumbing.  You’re also saving yourself a lot of time and energy from a messy cleanup.  Children are pros at using too much toilet paper.  Teach them to flush repeatedly as opposed to trying to flush half a roll of T.P. down the toilet all at once!
Flushing Foreign Objects – We will give you the benefit of the doubt on this one, and assume a child is responsible.  However, adults do, upon occasion, accidentally drop items in the toilet.  If this occurs mid-flush, then you may be the culprit!  If it is a small object, it may pass through the plumbing pipes without issue.  However, larger or oddly shaped objects may get stuck.  As more toilet paper is flushed from subsequent toilet users, the toilet paper begins to build up due to the blockage of the foreign object.  Eventually, it has nowhere to go but back up into the toilet bowl and onto your bathroom floor.
Full Septic Tank – If your home’s sewer system uses a septic tank, it must be routinely emptied by a professional.  If it has been too long since it was last emptied, this could be the cause of your overflowing toilets.  Your flushes have nowhere to go!

How Do I Fix My Overflowing Toilet?

If the overflow is caused by too much toilet paper, then it can likely be fixed with a good plunger.  You should always have a plunger on hand for a quick, easy plumbing fix, such as this.  We recommend a quality plunger to get the job done properly and as quickly as possible.  (hint:  the wooden handle with the red rubber half-sphere on it isn’t the highest-quality plunger)
If the clog is deeper in the pipes or caused by a foreign object, you should give us a call at Sun Plumbing.  It may require tools you don’t have, such as an auger.  Hopefully, it is that simple.  If not, you will be glad you called us since we haven’t been beaten by a toilet issue yet!
If the issue is a full septic tank, then you need to call a licensed septic tank service to properly drain your septic tank and legally dispose of the contents. Once emptied, your toilets should easily flush once again.  If not, then you may have a backup in the pipes that can be fixed by one of our professional plumbers.


Overflowing toilets are one of life’s inevitable events that nobody wants to discuss.  With the upcoming holidays, this is an especially timely discussion.  More people using the toilet means a greater likelihood of an overflow.  You can help prevent overflows by repeated flushing when necessary instead of trying to flush a large amount of toilet paper.  To keep children from flushing foreign objects, we recommend a child lock designed for toilets.  Sometimes the overflows can’t be helped, such as when a full septic tank occurs or when an object does make its way down the toilet.  

If you have an overflowing toilet that just won’t cooperate with your pleadings, then give us a call at Sun Plumbing.  Our professional plumbers will have your toilet back in working order in a timely manner.  Their professionalism and knowledge will reassure you that Sun Plumbing is the best plumbing company in Brevard County!  So, for any of your plumbing needs, don’t wait another day!  Call Sun Plumbing now!

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