If your toilet is overflowing, don’t panic! Before you get to the clog, you should turn off the water.

The first thing to do if the toilet is overflowing is to stop the flow of water. Typically, the best way to do this is the toilet’s main shutoff valve.

You should be able to see a water line leading from your bathroom wall to the toilet, and a hand-crank valve along that line. If not, it’s possible that your toilet’s valve is hidden behind the wall. In this case, you’ll need to call a plumber before you move forward.

Closing the valve will stop the flow from filling and give you time to clear the clog.

This valve unfortunately can get sticky or rusty if it isn’t used for many years. Before you get a clog, test the valve adn see if you can move it. If not, spray it with lubricant and try again. Every time you clean your bathroom, you should close and reopen the valve to test it and make sure its ready if there’s an emergency.

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