Allergies and AC filters

How To Fix A Toilet Overflow That's Not Caused By A Clog

Toilet overflows tend to happen when a clog in the pipe keeps the emptying water from leaving before the replacement water arrives. This creates as much as double the amount of water that's supposed to be in the bowl and can cause the water to spill over onto the floor. But sometimes overflows happen after all the old water has drained and the new water simply comes in too high.

Luckily, this is a relatively easy fix. Always consult your owner's manual before you begin as different models can vary slightly. And you should always leave overflows with unknown causes in the hands of a qualified plumber. 

Step 1: Locate the Flow Rate Adjustment and Water Level Adjustment

Remove the tank lid for your toilet and set it safely off to the side. You will want to find the flow rate adjustment. The easiest way to do this, if you're not familiar with all of the parts in the tank, is to find a part that looks like a plastic balloon. That's called the float.

Trace the float up its arm and until you reach the end piece that's flat and has a hole in it that could fit a screwdriver. That's the flow rate adjustment and to its immediate left is the water level adjustment.

Step 2: Adjust the Water Level

Place a screwdriver into the water level hole and turn it clockwise a few times. Flush the toilet and see how much the toilet bowl fills. If it's still too high, you can adjust the water level down even further. Stop adjusting once the toilet bowl seems to be refilling to an adequate level.

If the water level itself is fine but the new water seems to be rushing in before the old water has a chance to fully leave, and you've ruled out a clog, then you might need to adjust the flow rate.

Step 3: Adjust the Flow Rate

Place a screwdriver into the flow rate adjustment slot. Turn the screw clockwise a few times. Flush the toilet and see if the old water has a chance to fully leave before the new water comes rushing in. Keep adjusting until the water changes place at the appropriate time.

Toilets are more complicated than they can seem. If your bowl still has issues with overflowing, there's a chance there is a small clog or that something inside the toilet mechanisms is broken. It's best to call in a plumber, such as A Absolute Plumbing & Heating, for help at this point if you have no plumbing experience.