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How to Turn Off Water to Toilet

If you are trying to turn off the water supplying your toilet, something is probably very wrong. The first thing you need to do is turn off the toilet’s water supply near your toilet. If for some reason, the water continues to run, try turning off the water at the main water supply valve/main shutoff valve by turning the valve clockwise. This should stop any running water into your house as well as the fix the overflowing toilet, albeit temporarily. Now flush the toilet to drain all of the remaining water out of the tank and clear the water pipe.

What to do when the toilet bowl is overflowing

Your toilet could be overflowing for a multitude of reasons. To fix your overflowing toilet, try the following:

  1. Turn off the water/shutoff valve
  2. Grab a plunger and plunge systematically with constant pressure
  3. Use a snake tool to feed into the toilet drain and free blockage

If your toilet continues to give you problems, schedule a toilet consultation with a professional plumber.

Which way do you turn a toilet shutoff valve?

To turn a toilet shutoff valve, you need to twist it clockwise. Do not use any tools or anything that could damage the valve or its seals before calling a plumber. Remember, you will need to turn the water back on at some point, so if the shut off valve is overtightened, you could have a difficult time turning the valve back on and/or risk damaging the valve to the point of needing a repair/replacement. When you are done fixing the problem, turn the same toilet valve counterclockwise to resume the flow of water to the toilet.

How do you turn off water to a toilet without a valve?

If there is no shut-off valve near your toilet, you can use the water shut-off valve for your property. This will turn off the main line of water to your home. If neither of these options are available, simply locate the water meter on the street and turn it to stop incoming flow of water. In rare cases, you may need to access your crawl space to locate this football shaped valve. Consider calling a professional plumber to locate and turn off the water for you. If you rent an apartment or a house, ask your landlord first.

Turning off the main water supply

If you need to turn off your primary shut off valve/main water supply because of a broken pipe or leak, you may want to call a plumber. This is not something that most people can do on their own and it may require shutting down your entire system and a special tool depending on how bad the break is. Your main valve will be in one of the three following locations:

  1. Inside your house utility room
  2. Outside your home near a outdoor faucet
  3. Buried in the yard under a cover in a ground box

Your knob will either be a ball valve, which is a lever-style handle or gate valve, which will look like a round spigot. To turn the water supply off and relieve water pressure, twist your valve a couple times clockwise until you cannot turn it any longer. If you have a ball valve, twist the lever clockwise until it reaches a 90 degree angle.

Propping up the float lever in the toilet tank

What happens when the float lever in a toilet tank is propped up? When you prop open your toilet’s water level control, it won’t shut off the supply of water. This will allow more and more water to continuously flow into your tank until either you or someone else notices that something isn’t right and turns the valve back on. If this happens, the tank will then begin to refill with water. This can be used as a manual way to flush a toilet, however it’s not advised as it can be dangerous. The most dangerous scenario is when there are young children or pets in your home who will not be able to turn off the valve on their own if they try. They could drown as a result, or if their face is so close to the water when your toilet overflows, they could drown in the water if they inhale it. What should you do? If there is nothing wrong with your water valve and you still notice that your toilet continues to fill after flushing, turn off the main water supply before calling a plumber who can help you.

What to do if water overflowed onto the bathroom floor

If you notice water on your bathroom floor, turn off the main water supply of your home before anything else. If the water overflowed from the clean water tank, and if it’s just a minor leak that barely trickled out, then you can wait to shut off your water until after you get another towel and clean up the mess. If the water overflowed from the toilet bowl which is clogged, you have a much bigger mess to clean up. Make sure to turn off the water going to the toilet, unclog with a plunger, clean up the mess, then turn back on the water.

When to call a professional plumber

If you notice a strong smell of sewer gas coming from your toilet, there is definitely a problem and it needs to be fixed right away. You can try to use the plunger or another technique for unclogging your toilet, but if it doesn’t work after several tries then you will need to call a pro to fix it. If you are unsuccessful in clearing the blockage, it is still a good idea to call a plumber at this point. Any time something stops up your toilet or if there are other serious issues that need addressed, it is usually best to call a professional so they can give you their expert opinion on what can be done.

What should I do if my toilet keeps running?

If your toilet is constantly running, be sure to check the tank at first. If you have a leaky valve or float, it can waste hundreds of gallons of water per day, which will cost you money and could possibly damage your home’s foundation over time. To prevent costly repairs, contact a professional plumber as soon as possible.

Mike Grijalva

Mike Grijalva

Owner & Lead Plumber

I’ve been a journeyman plumber for over 15 years and opened my own plumbing company in 2011. I’m highly qualified and offer the best prices in the Sacramento area. I’ve done plumbing in every aspect possible, inlcluding new construction, service and repair, commercial, sprinkler service, and custom homes. I take great pride in my work.  You can feel comfortable trusting someone highly skilled with integrity for all your plumbing needs.

CSLB License #963048

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