Toilet repair for the homeowner
Many people are understandably reluctant to touch the water in a toilet. With a few precautions, however, contact with unsanitary water can be avoided. Water from the toilet bowl cannot back up into the tank; water in the tank is just as clean as water from a faucet. If you clean the bowl and flush several times, even the water in the bowl will be clean.
When a toilet is clogged, sewage may back up and flow onto the floor. Wear heavy-duty rubber gloves when cleaning. You may need to insert a plunger into sewage to clear a clog. After doing so clean the plunger thoroughly - inside and out- - with hot water and detergent.
If water starts welling up when you flush the toilet rather than swirling down into the bowl, you may be able to keep water from spilling onto the floor if you act quickly. Remove the tank lid, reach into the tank (remember, this water is clean), and push down on the flapper or stopper until it settles on the flush valve seat. Water will stop flowing. Take steps to clear the clog before flushing the toilet again.