Our everyday modern life is stressful as it is, and there is absolutely no reason why a malfunctioning toilet should add to the pile of worries and concerns that keep you awake at night. Your toilet is the one part of your house you want to always be at its best and ready to serve.
However, problems happen, and if you suddenly notice that your toilet water rises too high when flushed, it is wise to react fast. Here is an overview of the most common problems that cause your toilet to flush improperly and ways to fix them.
Before You Start Repairing the Toilet
Toilet bowl fills too high when flushed? Take the steps below to fix the problem:
- Turn off the water supply and prepare the necessary tools.
- Identify the problem: blocked air vent, clogged drain, or faulty components.
- Use a toilet plunger/toilet snake to remove the clog/check the roof vent for debris/make sure all the cistern parts are functional.
Factors that can make the water level go up
Is your toilet not completing flush? Too much water in the bowl that goes down too slowly? The most crucial thing is determining what forces water to climb so high when flushed.
The three main factors causing the problem are a toilet clogged, a defective flapper, or a cluttered air vent. Each situation necessitates a different solution, so continue reading to learn how to keep your WC from overflowing.
1. Clog in the toilet trap or pipes
It is the most frequent cause of the problem. The good news is that if the water still flushes slowly, you are likely dealing with a toilet that is only partially clogged. That means unclogging the blockage will be a simpler task, which you can probably tackle on your own. Still, hesitating to do so promptly will result in greater obstruction and even an overflow.
A partial clog in your toilet drain can occur because someone tried to flush down something that does not belong in that place, like cotton tips, hygiene items, latex products, hair, and baby wipes. Building up slowly, this sort of waste makes it difficult for water to flow freely down the drains. If the water level rises quickly upon flushing and gradually decreases, that is how you know it is a clog.
2. Faulty flapper
A toilet flapper is a rubber thing that covers the flush valve. Its job is to open and close the drain, controlling the amount of water pouring out of the tank. After years of exploitation, however, the little device sometimes becomes loose, or the rubber becomes damaged because of the chemical products you use to clean the tank.
In this case, the tank outlet does not close tightly, and additional water flows into the bowl during each flush. Finally, one more reason why there is more water in the toilet bowl than there should be is that the chain connecting the flush handle and the flapper are too short, which prevents the rubber piece from fully closing the outlet.
3. Cluttered air vent
Many homeowners are unaware of the roof’s little plumbing air vent. This vent stack helps regulate air pressure by allowing air to enter the plumbing system within your home. That air is vital for pushing water around the pipes and removing any gasses and odors left behind by the waste.
The drains in your toilet will no longer cope with flushing water quickly if the plumbing air vent is clogged. That is one sure way to cause water to go up flushing the toilet. Since the vent opening is on the roof and exposed to the elements, it gets clogged with various stuff, such as fallen leaves and debris.
What to do if water rises too high when flushed
Now that you know why the water in your toilet behaves strangely, it is time to act. Depending on the source of the problem, you will need a different strategy to fix it. Here is a solution for each of the three above scenarios.
1. Clog in the drain
Solution: To unclog the drain, you will need specialized tools that should make the task more manageable. Luckily, most of us have these tools at home: they are a plunger and a plumber’s snake (auger). Here is more about how to put both to good use:
- A toilet plunger is often capable of tackling the job alone. Insert the tool inside your toilet bowl and put the plunger’s cup over the drain hole. Make sure the rubber opening creates an airtight seal around the hole. Keep the plunger straight up and start pumping it, moving the handle forcefully up and down for about 30 seconds. If the clog lingers, repeat the procedure using hot water and some dish soap. A gurgling sound from the pipes should indicate your mission is a success;
- A toilet auger is a more solid instrument. This sharp, flexible metal wire penetrates the plumbing system, pushing out any clog too big for a plunger to handle. Connected to a long handle, the toilet auger can be twisted and pushed to reach the blockage. Once it happens, give the toilet snake a little extra push to get it over the hump.
2. Faulty flapper
Solution: if the problem is mechanical (a broken flapper or a flapper chain that is too short), the right way to go about it is to replace the malfunctioning part. Here is how to do it:
- Remove the lid on your toilet tank.
- Inspect the flapper and the chain visually and try flushing the toilet to see how the flapper acts and if it seals the outlet as it should.
- Replace a broken flapper with a new one, or add a few extra links to the flapper chain that is too short.
3. Clog in the plumbing air vent
Solution: a cluttered plumbing air vent can be cleaned using a garden hose. Climb up the roof and push the hose down the vent. If the water from the hose cannot remove the debris in the vent pipe, try a toilet auger first and then wash the broken waste down with water.
How to stop toilet water from rising too high
This part is about prevention. Preventing clogs does not take much time or effort but can save you a lot of stress and discomfort in the future. Below are a few tips to follow to make sure that your toilet will not start acting up at the worst possible moment:
- Avoid flushing down anything except toilet paper. This goes even for products that are advertised as ‘flushable.’
- Make it a good rule to clean your sink and shower drains once a week to remove any waste accumulated there, such as hair, soap, and shampoo residues.
- Use boiling water on your drains every fortnight to flush out the pipes and remove unpleasant odors.
- Install mesh drain screens on your shower, sink, and kitchen drains. They are highly effective at catching food, hair, and other debris.
FAQ About Toilet Water Rising High When Flushed
Notice water rising in the toilet after flushing? It can be nothing or something. Read the following Q&A section to make sure you recognize the problem when you see one and know how to deal with it.
Why does toilet water rise before going down when flushed?
It is okay if it happens on the initial flush and the water climbs just a little before spinning down fast. The construction of the P-trap makes it restricts water flow temporarily. As the water level rises, air pressure helps the water surpass the restriction.
How does a toilet work?
When you flush the toilet, water from the tank fills the bowl up to a specific height. Since the atmospheric pressure in the bowl is higher than in the fluid, the ‘siphon effect’ is created that pushes the water downhill through the toilet drain.
How to fix an overflowing toilet?
Do not flush again. Prevent more water from flowing into the bowl by shutting the flapper at the bottom of the toilet tank. Alternatively, turn off the water shut-off valve, which, if available, will be placed outside the tank. Finally, find the toilet’s float and ensure it stays in place. Now that you have the water under control, deal with the clog that most likely caused the overflow.
Find High Water Source Before It’s Too Late
If you have a high water toilet level problem, your priority should be finding what causes it. A clog in the toilet, a faulty flapper, or even a plumbing vent clog are all likely culprits. When you know what is behind the mess, you will be able to find the best possible solution. Use the above tips to resolve your WC complication yourself, or turn to professionals for help.
What do you do when faced with the problem of a clogged/overflowing toilet? Share your DIY ideas in the comments below, and do not hesitate to ask questions if there are any.