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How to Stop a Toilet from Overflowing

We’ve all been there. You flush the toilet expecting the bowl to empty nicely. This time, the water doesn’t go down. It rises and rises. You know what is happening, but you don’t know how to stop it. Eventually, the water flows over the top of the bowl spreading waste all over your beautiful bathroom floor.

How could you have prevented this catastrophe? No matter what caused the clogged toilet leading to the overflow, there are a number of things you can do to stop a toilet from overflowing – without getting dirty.

Toilet Shutoff Valve

The most effective way to stop a toilet from overflowing is to cut off the supply of water to the toilet. There’s a small hand-crank valve near the bottom of your toilet where the main water line leaves your toilet and heads into the wall or floor.

When you notice the water starting to rise, there’s no time to waste. Check for the valve behind your toilet near the floor. Give it a hard twist and the water should stop flowing in a few seconds.

If you don’t see the valve, fire your old plumber. The valve is probably hidden inside the wall or floor to make the bathroom look cleaner and modern. That won’t help you though. Consider a small bathroom remodel to move the valve to a more accessible location.

Sticky Valve?

Go ahead and test your toilet valve right now. Does it work? Or was it too sticky to move?

It would be no surprise if it was stuck. Toilet valves often sit open for years untouched. Over time, they become sticky and refuse to move when the time comes.

To avoid a stuck valve, give it a turn every time you clean the bathroom. If it doesn’t turn, spray it with some lubricant to work out the gunk. This will ensure your valve is ready when it’s time to shine.

Toilet Tank Flapper

If your valve is stuck shut or you can’t reach it, you have a few other options. These aren’t as foolproof as the valve, but they can work in a pinch.

First, take the lid off the tank and check to see if the flapper (the rubber disc cover the hole at the bottom of the tank) is open or closed.

If it’s open, simply hold it shut with your fingers until the water stop running. This isn’t a permanent fix. You will still need to unclog the toilet before releasing the flapper. Don’t worry. The water in the tank is clean.

Toilet Tank Float Ball

If the toilet flapper is damaged, stuck, or blocked, it’s time to move on to option 3. For this trick, you will need the float ball, which is the rubber balloon-like object in the toilet tank.

The float ball tells the toilet when to stop filling the bowl with water. The toilet fills the tank with water, then when you flush the toilet, the water empties out of the tank and into the bowl. When the tank is empty, the float ball is at the bottom of the tank, which triggers the tank to fill with water again. When the float ball reaches the top of the tank, it stops filling. If the flapper is stuck open, the water will continuously flow into the toilet.

To trick the toilet to stop trying to fill the tank, lift the float ball to the top of the tank. Don’t worry. The water in the tank is clean. This won’t stop the water that is already flowing to the toilet, but it will stop new water from entering the toilet bowl.

You will need to prop the float ball up or ask someone to hold it for you while you work on shutting the toilet valve, unclogging the toilet, or fixing the flapper.

Call a Plumber

After you have stopped the water, even temporarily, it’s time to clear the clog. A simple plunger will suffice for this part of the job. If you don’t have a plunger or can’t clear the clog yourself, it’s time to call a plumber.

Call Charles Moon Plumbing for expert plumbing assistance. Contact us online or call (302)732-3555 today to schedule an appointment. We offer emergency plumbing services.

Prepare your Plumbing for a Hurricane

There is no argument that a hurricane can cause devastating damage to your home and property. There are a number of steps you should take to protect your home before, during, and after a storm. To protect your home from additional flooding or to prevent your plumbing from being overwhelmed by the storm, consider the following steps.

Before the Storm

There are a number of things you can do to prepare your home and family for the tumultuous storm. But, did you know you should also be preparing your plumbing for large storms?

Turn off main water valve

During flooding, especially as a result of a storm surge, contaminated water can enter your plumbing system. Flood water contains traces of animal feces, chemicals, car runoff, and even sewage. This contaminated water can make you and your family sick. Don’t risk it. Shut off the main water valve before the storm hits or before you evacuate.

Make sure to stock up on bottled water and consider filling the bathtub with water before the storm hits. You can use bathtub water to flush the toilet and some light cleaning.

Clear debris around Sump Pump and drains

Sump Pumps clear water from around your home to prevent flood water from entering your home, basement, or crawl space. Ensure your sump pump is free of debris and has been recently serviced. You may even consider installing a battery backup to your pump to keep it running even during a power outage.

Other drains, including street sewers, can become clogged over time with grass clippings and other natural debris. Clear as much as you can away to keep the drain working. A sewer backup can cause unnecessary damage during a storm and result in costly repairs.

If you have time, check your home’s gutters too. Fasten them securely to your home then clear leaves and other debris. Point the gutters away from your home with extensions to help prevent roof leaks and flooding as well.

During the Storm

If you haven’t evacuated, check on your home’s plumbing during the storm. There may not be much you can do if flood waters rise, but you can prevent some damage.

Water Use

Be frugal with your water use. Keep the main water valve off, so you’ll need to use bottled water or other water you have prepared for cooking and cleaning. In an emergency, you can use the water from the water heater as well. Make sure to turn the gas and power off first.

Check Drains

Check on your sump pump periodically during the storm. As long as you have power, it should be working, but clogged drains can prevent it from pumping well. Clear debris from around drains inside your home. Never go outside during the storm. Downed power lines can be life threatening. Your life is more important than flood damage.

After the Storm

Wait for the storm to pass completely before you venture outside. If there are downed power lines or heavy winds, do not go outside.

Clear Debris from Sewer Drains

If it looks clear, begin clearing debris away from sewer drains. This will help the flood waters to recede faster. Be sure to check around your gutters and other drains near your home.

Turn the water main on

If there is no significant flooding, it may be safe to turn the water main back on. Don’t be too hasty though. There may be flooding other places in town. Check with the local utility department or wait for the go ahead from city officials.

When you can turn the water main back on, check all the faucets and toilets for leaks. If you see any problems, such as discolored water or leaks, switch the water main off again and call a plumber.

Call a Plumber

To have your home’s plumbing inspected before or after a storm, call Charles Moon Plumbing. We offer a variety of plumbing services to ensure your home is safe and your plumbing is intact. Call 302-732-3555 to schedule your inspection or appointment today. We offer free water tests too. Get your water tested for contaminants before and after a large storm. 

Reduce Moisture in Your Basement

Reduce Moisture

The first step to making your basement livable is to reduce the moisture. Moisture can make your basement air feel heavy and damp, or your items could feel damp after a few days down there. This might become a problem down the road when items start to develop mold and mildew. Crawl spaces can trap moisture as well, causing dangerous mold to grow on the floor joists of your home. 

If you think you have a moisture problem downstairs, but you aren’t sure where the moisture is coming from, tape a one-inch piece of foil to the wall or concrete floor. Make sure all of the edges are sealed with tape. Leave the foil there for 24 hours-48 hours. After your set time is up, remove the foil and look for condensation.

  • If there is condensation on the side facing the wall, moisture could be seeping in from outside. To avoid that, follow our instructions for reducing moisture from outside.
  • If there is condensation on the side facing the basement, your basement could be trapping humidity. Follow our instructions for dehumidifying your basement.

Both of these options can be dangerous for your home. Take the necessary actions to help reduce the moisture in your home, or call a professional for help right away. 

Reduce Moisture from Outside

The first step to reducing moisture from seeping in from outside is to add gutter extensions to your downspouts. Gutter extensions allow downspouts to drain farther away from your home and reduce rainwater build up against your foundation.

If that doesn’t fix your moisture problem, try looking for and filling cracks in your basement walls with caulk. You can also consider painting your walls with a water sealing paint to reduce leaks. Ask at the hardware store for more help picking out the right product for your project. 

Dehumidify your Basement

Probably the easiest task so far is dehumidifying your basement. A simple dehumidifier can do the trick in most spaces. The downside is that these units can be pricey. Be sure you’re getting one big enough for your space. You can purchase these at the hardware store too, so just be sure to ask for help when picking one out. If you aren’t sure what is right for your home, call a professional for advice. 

Consider a Sump Pump

If the moisture in your basement or crawl space seems to pop up right after or during big storms, your home could need a sump pump. In flood zones or areas that see a lot of heavy rain fall, your home could be vulnerable to moisture accumulating around your home. No matter how much you try, that moisture may still find its way inside. A simple sump pump could be the solution. Consult a professional to determine if a sump pump is right for your home.

Get Help from Charles Moon

For help with dehumidifying your basement or crawl space, call Charles Moon. We can provide a professional inspection to assess the moisture problem in your home and recommend the best solutions for your home and your budget.

Get your Milton Plumbing Upgraded

Charles Moon Plumbing technicianAre you looking to upgrade the plumbing in your old Milton home? Maybe it’s time for a remodel while you’re at it.

Replace Old Plumbing in Milton

Milton, DE is full of old homes. These old homes are beautiful with crown molding, original hardwood floors, and other antique elements that some people would pay big bucks for. There’s just one thing though…

Your old plumbing leaks.

Don’t suffer through it! Replacing your plumbing is the best option to keep your home free of mold and water damage.

New plumbing can save you from future damage, but it can also help save money on your water bills, make your home feel brand new, and increase the value of your home.

Switch to Rinnai Tankless Water Heater

rinnai tankless water heatersTankless water heaters are incredible. They provide nearly endless hot water no matter how many appliances or faucets you run at the same time. They are eco-friendly and take up less space. Consider making the switch today. Keep reading to find out why we think a tankless water heater is right for your home.

Endless Hot Water with Tankless Water Heaters

Rinnai has designed their tankless water heaters so they heat less water at a time. Traditional water heaters have one long coil inside that fills with water and heats. Then when you run the shower, you use the water in the coil, then it refills and starts over forcing you to wait for it to heat up before you can use hot water again.

With two coils inside the tankless unit, the unit heats both coils then uses one and refills the other, heats it while it uses the other before switching again. Like boiling a small pot of water versus boiling a large pot, by heating less water a time, the unit can heat more water faster

Learn more about Rinnai water recirculation technology to get hot water fast and keep your water hot longer.  

Don’t Search “Plumber Near Me”

When you need a plumber, what is the first thing you do? The same thing we all do. We search “plumber near me” or “plumber in my area” on our phones or computer. You don’t know what you are going to find. It’s a gamble, and a lot like playing roulette, you don’t know if that gamble will be worth it until it’s too late. 

Qualities of a Good Plumber

There are a lot of plumbers in the world. What makes one plumber any better than another is based on very few things, but very important qualifications nonetheless. Those things are:

  1. Training
  2. Experience
  3. Customer Service
  4. Reliability

Maintaining your Ocean View Sump Pump

A sump pump prevents water from building up in your basement or crawl space by pumping excess water out and away from your home. This can save your home from damaging flooding in your home during heavy rain or floods.

Who needs a Sump Pump?

A variety of conditions can require your home to rely on a sump pump to prevent your basement or crawl space from flooding. Those conditions include:

  • High water tables
  • Poorly draining soil
  • Poor foundational drain
  • Heavy rain area
  • Flood zones

Ocean View, Delaware is a prime candidate for sump pumps due to the frequency of hurricanes and heavy rains in the area, loose sandy soil, and proximity to the ocean and other bodies of water.

How to Plan for a Bathroom Remodeling Project

Bathroom in the middle of a remodelPlanning for a bathroom remodeling is a major event in one’s life. It involves making changes to a part of your home and requires a specific budget. If you do not plan ahead of time, you might end up with disastrous results such as an unfinished bathroom due to budget shortage, hiring the wrong contractors for the job or not getting the outcome that you are looking for.

There are steps necessary to ensure that your bathroom remodeling project is a success. The best way to start is to get a pen and paper and start writing down your ideas and every concerns that come to mind involving the remodeling. From there, you can start researching and organizing the information you have obtained. If you still do not have any idea where to start, here are basic steps you can take.

Trenchless Pipe Repair

Pipe and sewer repairs used to be a daunting task because there are many things that need to be done in order to start the repair. Floors need to be broken and dugged. Walls need to be tore down as well. Driveways and streets need to be excavated as well. The amount of work to be done indeed costs a lot!

Trenchless pipe repair eliminates all these additional charges by using a technology known as cured in place pipe (CIPP) technology. CIPP is a good option to rehabilitate damaged pipelines caused by corrosion and rust. CIPP involves creating a pipe within the old pipe using special epoxy resins. The ability to do such a thing makes it ideal when it comes to pipe repair.

Repairing pipes with excavation can cost you between 20 and 50 thousand dollars. It ca even cost more depending on how deep the excavation would be plus the safety tools that would be required to use during the job.

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