What to Do If The Toilet won’t Flush

Your toilet is used every day, so you need it to flush, time and time again without fail. Unfortunately, the toilet can clog, which always seems to happen at the most inconvenient time, and if your toilet is starting to overflow, it’s even worse.

Unfortunately, if your toilet does start to overflow, there frequently isn’t much an amateur plumber can do about it, apart from calling out 24 hour plumber at Plumbers Direct on 1300 896 508.

In the meantime –

Stop it at the source

If your toilet has started to overflow you need to stop the flow of water coming from the toilet. In most bathrooms, the best place to find this is at the toilets main shutoff valve. You can often see the water line from your toilet to the bathroom wall; there will be a handle located along the line. If you don’t see a handle, it could mean that your valve has been placed below your floor tiles or behind a wall. If this is the case when your emergency plumber arrives you may need to talk to them about rectifying this for you. Other than shutting the water to your house at the main water valve, the only way to stop the flooding is to turn off the toilets shutoff valve.

Because this valve probably hasn’t often been turned, it may have become sticky or rusted which will make it harder to turn. It’s a good idea to turn the valve every few weeks and then ensure it is accessible, should the unthinkable happen.


If this doesn’t work

If your toilet is still overflowing and you can’t get to the shutoff valve, you need to open the cistern. Remove the lid on top of the cistern and check the flapper. If the flapper is open, reach in and close it manually – this should stop the flow of water. If the flapper isn’t open, or it won’t stay closed manually, find the float ball. This is the part that floats on top of the water to stop the cistern from filling at a certain level. If you lift the float ball to the top of the tank, the water will shut off.


Fixing the clog

Now the flooding has stopped, it’s time to look at the clog. The best way to tackle this is to use a plunger. If you are unable to remove the clog utilising the plunger you need to call in an emergency plumbing and have a professional look at the issue and get it sorted for you. The blockage may be somewhere in the sewerage line and could be anything from tree root damage to just a blockage of toilet paper.


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