Trying to figure out overflow issue

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Amaria2016, May 6, 2016.

  1. Amaria2016

    Amaria2016 New Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2016
    Location:
    California
    Hi. I have a home that I rent out and that just had a serious overflow. My sister flushed the toilet and left the room, not knowing that the toilet overflowed and continued to do so for 20 minutes before she noticed. She told me that she and her husband had tried to replace the flapper but were not able to connect it properly. My question is this: if a blockage did occur, and the flapper wasn't working correctly, could this cause the flood? I had a plumber visit. install the flapper properly and inspect the toilet which he said was in good working order. He also snaked and found nothing. He said there could have been a slight blockage that passed. I am going to file an insurance claim but I would like to be better educated before doing so. Thank you for any info.
     
  2. standardairconditioner

    standardairconditioner HVAC'ker

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2015
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    This is a typical symptom of too much toilet paper getting stuck in the toilet's trap.

    By the time the plumber came, the tp was all gone or soft enough to dislodge.

    Any household with kids will have encountered this mishap, who have fun flushing down tp, tissue, soap bars, sponges, toys.

    Many number of reasons can cause a toilet to runaway, it was just a rare and lucky situtation that mechanical failure happened the same time the toilet got temporarily stuck.

    You may want to consider water-detector alarms, they are inexpensive and found in all big box stores.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2016
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  4. Amaria2016

    Amaria2016 New Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2016
    Location:
    California
    Oh that looks HORRIBLE. Yes, I have two small nieces. I'm afraid we are going to have to eat the damage as the flapper was improperly installed. I do agree, rare but I don't think lucky :( Thanks for the answer. Much appreciated.
     
  5. Smooky

    Smooky In the Trades

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Location:
    North Carolina
    If the flush lever is pushed down easily, held for a second and then released easily, there is usually no problem. Some folks push it real hard and let it go quickly. This can cause the little chain to get tangled up and cause the toilet flapper to stay open. If the bowl gets stopped up (Such as happens with a Kohler) and you just walk away, it will fill up and run over. If the chain tangles on a Toto it will clear the bowl but the water will continue to run until you untangle the chain.
     
  6. Amaria2016

    Amaria2016 New Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2016
    Location:
    California
    Thanks. Its a Toto.
     
  7. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Wow. Between the two of them they couldn't install a flapper? A shame that they didn't keep trying, because it's really not hard.

    Here's a video from Korky (the manufacturer of most Toto flappers) on how to do it:



    It's pretty foolproof if you use that Universal Toto flapper, but it's equivalently-easy with one of Korky's other flappers for Toto, like this one that fits many Totos:

    http://www.korky.com/flappers/fits-toto-g-max-3-flapper

    In any event, this is why many landlords tell (or require) the tenant (even if it's your sister) not to mess with stuff like plumbing and electricity, and instead to let them handle it. You are always going to do a more-careful job than a tenant of fixing something that you yourself own. If you get a professional to do it, it costs more initially, but you have someone with insurance on the hook if they screw it up (which a good, licensed plumber is not likely to do anyway).

    More to the point, here's Clint:

     
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    A toilet with a bad flapper, (or even no flapper at all, for that matter), CANNOT overflow unless the drain is also clogged.
     
  9. Amaria2016

    Amaria2016 New Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2016
    Location:
    California

    I hear you!! They keep doing these little things here and there without asking and have been repeatedly asked to stop. I always tell them I am willing to get a professional but they say they are trying to save us money. Its tricky, an ocean lies between us and I can't just pop over and get something done. Family.........
     
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