Your toilet can surprise you in many ways, but the worst thing is seeing the water level going up after flushing. If you notice that toilet water rises too high when flushed, you should react quickly to avoid overflowing.
The most important task is to identify the cause that makes the water level rise so much. It can be a partial clog in your toilet, a malfunctioning flapper, or debris in the air vent.
Each problem demands a different approach, so keep reading to see how to prevent the toilet water from overflowing.
3 Factors That Can Make the Water Level Go Up
The main thing for you now is to conclude what caused the water level to go up in the first place. Three factors can lead to it, so let’s see how to recognize each one.
A Partial Clog in the Toilet
A partial clog in your toilet trap or pipes is the most common source of the problem. The good thing is that you’re not dealing with a totally clogged toilet — you can tell because it can still flush without overflowing.
But the danger still lurks, and you need to unclog the toilet to prevent further obstructions. Partial clogs occur when you flush items that don’t belong in the toilet bowl. These include Q tips, hygiene products, baby wipes, toys, hair, etc.
Waste accumulates in the long run, preventing water from flowing down the drains quickly and effortlessly. When you flush a partially clogged toilet, the water level rises and then slowly drains.
Malfunctioning Toilet Flapper
A toilet flapper is a rubber piece that sits on top of the outlet hole in your toilet tank. Its purpose is to open and close the flush drain — that way, the flapper controls the amount of water flowing out of the tank.
However, this little device tends to lose its grip on the outlet rim after many years of normal functioning. Another problem may be the product you’re using to clean the toilet tank — most of them eat up rubber, damaging the flapper in the process.
If the flapper is old or worn-out, the tank outlet stays open and lets additional gallons of water flow to the toilet bowl.
One more thing will make the flapper go wild — it’s a chain connecting the flapper to the flush handle. If the chain is too short, it will constantly keep the rubber piece up and unable to close the outlet.
The Air Vent Is Clogged
Most homeowners don’t know about the small air vent on the roof. It’s a ventilation tube that helps the system restore atmospheric pressure after flushing, which is vital for your toilet.
If the air vent is clogged, the drains will lose their flushing potential and make the water go up in the toilet bowl. What can block the air vent? It’s on the roof, where it picks up falling leaves and other debris. It piles up over time and clogs the vent.
What to Do if Water Rises Too High When Flushed?
Now you understand the secret behind the rising water level in the toilet bowl, but it’s more important to solve the problem. Here’s a solution for each of the three causes.
Solution 1: Unclog Your Toilet
The first tip is to use a special tool and unclog the toilet. Don’t wait for the toilet to unclog itself — the obstacle is too hard for it to digest clog alone. Fortunately, there are a few tools you can utilize to break down the clogs.
Pump It With a Toilet Plunger
It’s time to pull out your toilet plunger from under the sink — or wherever you’ve been keeping it. Place the plunger’s cup over the drain hole, making sure that the tool seals the porcelain very tightly.
After that, start pumping up and down by pressing and pulling the plunger with your hands. Remember to wear rubber gloves as they will prevent hurting your hands while plunging. The plunger forms a vacuum seal that pressures the clog to go out.
Keep pushing until you dislodge whatever is causing the toilet clog. When the clog dissolves, you will hear gurgling sounds coming from the pipes. It’s a sign that you can remove the plunger and let the water flow out of the bowl.
Break the Clog With a Toilet Auger
If the plunger is not delivering the expected results, you can use a stronger tool. A toilet auger is a sharp metal wire that goes deep down the plumbing system. Its spiral line connects to a long handle so that you can control and push the auger.
Take the toilet snake and twist the metal spiral line in a counterclockwise direction. Hold the handle firmly and keep rotating it to reach the blockade. When the drill’s corkscrew touches the clog, it will stop for a moment.
That means you should give it the extra push to break the obstacle. The best thing about augers is that they pick a lot of waste on their way out, so the pipes get cleaner after unclogging.
If necessary, you can repeat the whole process to make sure that the drains are clog-free. However, be careful when drilling because the auger is sharp — it may scratch the drain, make cracks, or even drill a hole through plastic pipes.
Solution 2: Change the Flapper or Extend the Chain
We move on to the second problem, and that’s the toilet flapper. There are two possible solutions, but the primary step in each case is to remove the toilet tank lid. Take the tank top with your hands and pull it up firmly.
If it doesn’t move, use a flathead screwdriver and insert it in the thin crack between the tank and its cover. Push the lid up, and it should detach instantly. After that, do one of the following:
Replace the Old Flapper
Almost all toilet flappers are round pieces of rubber or plastic, so you can quickly identify damages and imperfections. Besides that, you can flush the toilet to see if the flapper falls on time to seal the outlet. If not, the flapper is broken.
All it takes is to remove it from the tank and install a new flapper. That will reduce the water level in the tank, but remember to test it by flushing the toilet a few more times.
Set the New Flapper Chain
You will rarely find a short flapper chain in the tank, but let’s not take any chances here. The chain pulls up the flapper when you press the flush handle, but shorter chains keep the flapper too high.
In other words, the flapper won’t seal properly, and the water will spill out through the outlet. But the solution is simple — extend the chain by attaching a few links to it, or purchase a new chain.
Solution 3: Clean the Air Vent
The third problem is a clog in the air vent, so prepare for some roof climbing. Do it very carefully because you’ll be working on a dangerous height — secure yourself with enough ropes and a standing platform.
This task requires an assistant because you’ll use a garden hose. When you get to the roof, grab the hose and push it through the vent opening. The water should clean the vent pipe, but it may also backflow due to debris.
If this happens, you can use a toilet auger to drill through the vent pipe and break down hard waste. After that, turn on the garden hose again to clean the vent with no obstructions.
This time it won’t flow back through the vent opening because there is no clog in there. When you do it, return to the bathroom and flush the toilet a few times — you probably won’t see toilet water rise after flushing anymore.
The Bottom Line
If you’re dealing with a high water level in the toilet, you should first find the cause of the problem. It may be one of these things — a clog in your toiler, a broken flapper, or a clog in the air vent.
When you identify the problem, you can solve it using the steps we described above. However, it comes down to unclogging the toilet or replacing the old flapper in the tank.
It’s a fairly simple DIY project, so it won’t be a challenge for a homeowner like you!
Why does my toilet water go up after flushing?
Toilet water can go up after flushing for several reasons. The first reason is a partial clog in the toilet trap or bathroom pipes. The second problem may be a broken flapper in the toilet tank. Thirdly, it may be a clogged air vent.
How do you fix a high water level in the toilet bowl?
You can use a plunger or toilet auger to decompose clogs in the pipes. Another solution is to replace the flapper or install a longer flapper chain. Finally, you might need to climb the roof and clean the air vent.