By Laura, Guest Blogger

I’d say that toilets are on my top five list of best inventions of all time. The basic design hasn’t changed much over the years – they pretty much nailed it right out of the gate. But what do you do when your toilet starts to overflow? Was your answer “panic and run away?” Or perhaps “grab the bath towels and stuff them into the toilet?” Well stop, commiserate and listen: there’s a calmer, more sensible solution!

The trick is knowing how the toilet works – the inner mechanics. If the water from the tank can’t leave the bowl fast enough (perhaps due to some sort of “clog”), then the refill will spill over. Ish! To stop the refill action, take off the top of the tank, grab the float, and pull it up to close the valve. That should give you time to reach down and shut off the water, or at least wait for some of the water in the bowl to drain so that the flushing cycle can finish. Then you can plunger it, snake it, call the plumber, call your Dad, etc.

Overflowing a toilet is not a victimless crime. I was recently at a department store when nature called. I was minding my own business in my stall, when I noticed that water was streaming in from the stall next to me. Apparently, a woman had overflowed her toilet and just decided to leave. I, unfortunately, had not realized the situation in enough time to prevent my pant cuffs from soaking up some of the (hopefully) water. So, I had to walk through the store that way. It was supremely disgusting. If this happens in the future – please follow the advice above and stop the water. Or at least shout out a warning. No one is going to judge you for overflowing a toilet. It happens to the best of us. Until next time!