Do you have a toilet that is overflowing? You may have experienced the same problem and aren’t sure how to fix. You’re in a difficult situation but we can help you. It is crucial to understand your plumbing system in order to fix any issue. This includes a toilet backing up, or overflowing.

What’s the deal with a backup toilet?

It is annoying to see your toilet back up. Although it happens to everyone, a backed-up bathroom is not a good sign. How did you get there? What happened to your porcelain throne when things got so bad?

There are many reasons why your toilet may be back up. Here are some of the reasons your toilet could be backed up:

  • Paper Products
    • A backup toilet can be caused by people throwing out unnecessary paper products. This includes paper towels, toilet paper, and sanitary products.
  • Low-flushing toilet
    • Backups can be affected depending on the type of toilet. Low-flushing toilets might not have enough water pressure for the waste and toilet papers to pass through the pipes. You can fix this by reducing the amount you use of toilet paper. Or, you may have to flush your toilet twice.
  • Objects
    • You should do a head count on your children’s toys if you have a backup toilet. Some children love to flush toys down the toilet because they are so fast. Common items that are accidentally flushed down toilets include keys, clothing, flowers, and phones.
  • Food
    • Tossing food in the bathroom is a bad idea. Similar to throwing food in the toilet, food can also be clogged your toilet pipes.

If the toilet is blocked, you can use a plunger to clear it. But if it’s not, your plumber will be able to assist with clearing the obstruction.

Oh No! Overflow!

Our Glendale, CA plumbers understand what you are thinking. “Isn’t a backup the exact same thing as an overflow?”

A backup refers to a blockage within a toilet. However, an overflow occurs when the main of your plumbing system is blocked. If the toilet flushes overflowing, it is likely that there is a blockage within your plumbing system. This leaves water with no place to go.

The following are some causes of an overflowing bathroom:

  • Roots
  • Paper Products
  • Objects
  • Food
  • Animals
  • Collapsed pipe
  • Broken pipe
  • Old/corroded pipes

Cast iron pipes, along with their metal type, and natural factors like water and roots will corrode. Roots can also cause pipes to shift out of their place and could lead to them collapsing. Learn more about how roots affect your plumbing system. What can you do to tell if your toilet overflows?

What is better, Overflow or Backing Up? Here are some things you should know

They may seem similar, but a backed-up toilet can be very different from an overflowing.

Plunge Away

Your toilet could have a simple blockage due to excess toilet paper. You can solve these problems with a plunger that can be purchased at any grocery or home improvement store.

Main Line Questions

While an overflowing bathroom can be fixed with a few simple steps, it could also indicate that there is something wrong with your pipes. You could have pipes that are corroded, damaged or collapsed due to roots or blockages. You can check this article to see if you have a main line obstruction.


Fixing a backed-up toilet may be cheaper than buying one, but fixing an overflowing toilet could be costly. Normal toilet backups can run anywhere from $125-$195. The cost of fixing a normal toilet backup depends on several factors.

  • The severity of the problem within your main line
  • The exact location of the affected pipes
  • Labor
  • Materials such as pipes and new plumbing systems

There are many differences between a backed-up and overflowing toilet, but they share some commonalities. They are both caused by the same thing.

As our Glendale, CA Plumbers mentioned, both an overflowing toilet and a backed up one can be caused by items like toys, paper, and food.

Here are some ways to flush a blocked toilet or an overflowing one.

  • Clean outs
  • Hydro-Jetting
  • Descale

Learn more about how hydro-jetting can affect your pipes and what a clean-out looks like. You must be asking yourself, “Is there any way to prevent this?”

Tips to Avoid Back-ups and Overflowing Toilets

Although there is no maintenance involved, we suggest that you have your pipes inspected with a camera at the least once a calendar year. Do not try to pose with this camera. This is a camera designed for searching for obstructions in your plumbing system.

We recommend that you hire a local Glendale, CA Plumber to fix the camera. This will prevent any damage to your pipes. Simply put, take care to your pipes and your plumbing will take care.