How to Shut Off Your Toilet’s Water Supply

Discovering the toilet overflowing in your bathroom is enough to make anyone panic. You need to act fast to prevent widespread property damage, so let’s get right to it—here’s how to shut off your toilet’s water supply.

Stop Flushing!

When your toilet clogs, you might think repeated flushing will encourage the problem to resolve itself. However, introducing more water only makes things worse. You should also steer clear of chemical drain openers. These are not intended for use in toilets and could damage your plumbing.

Prop Up the Float Lever or Ball

Force the overflowing toilet to stop filling by propping up the float lever. To do this, first remove the toilet tank lid. Inside, you’ll find a float valve near the water’s surface. When you flush, this valve descends, opening the fill valve to let water into the tank. As water fills, the float valve ascends and eventually blocks the fill valve, halting the flow of water.

Prevent the tank from refilling by slipping a piece of wood under the float valve to keep it elevated. If you have an old-school float ball and rod, simply lift up on the ball to stop the water flow. Propping up the float lever or ball is a temporary fix for an overflowing toilet until you can find a more permanent solution.

Turn the Shut-Off Valve Behind the Toilet

Most toilets have a shut-off valve on the wall or floor behind the fixture. Cutting the water supply to your toilet is as simple as turning this valve clockwise until it tightens. If the valve won’t turn due to rust, a lubricant spray may prove useful. However, be careful not to force the valve, as overexertion could break it and lead to a flooding disaster.

Turn the Main Shut-Off Valve

Some older toilets don’t have a dedicated shut-off valve. If you don’t see one behind the toilet, turning off the main water supply to your house is a viable alternative. First, locate your water meter, usually situated near the street or on the side or back of your house. The main shut-off valve should be nearby. It could also be on the other side of the wall inside your home. A round gate valve requires multiple clockwise turns to shut it off, while a lever-like ball valve only needs a quarter-turn to position it perpendicular to the pipe.

Unclogging Your Overflowing Toilet

With the water flow under control, you’re free to attempt unclogging your toilet. Choose a flange plunger for this task, applying firm pressure with each plunge. You know the clog is gone when the water level drops. Restore the water flow and flush the toilet to test your work. If the clog is too stubborn to resolve yourself, call a plumber for help.

Schedule Toilet Repair in the San Jose Area

Mike Counsil Plumbing is a family-owned company providing exceptional plumbing services to customers in San Jose, Mountain View, and the surrounding South Bay area. Our highly skilled plumbers are adept at fixing overflowing toilets quickly and cost-effectively. Contact us at 408-916-1226 today to request help with an overflowing toilet or other plumbing emergencies.

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