INAL: Apartment Law

Ok so I got a problem.

I come home on friday and go to my room. 10 minutes later my neighbors 1 floor down come up and ask me what the hell is going on. I’m like Huh? Then he tells me water is leaking from his ceiling into his bathroom. Since our floorplans are pretty much identical I march right over to my bathroom to find it flooded. Apparently the toilet overflowed(don’t worry no nasty crap, justl ooked like water to me). I didn’t use it before I left and my roomie says he didn’t use it before he left. But in anycase it overflowed. Someone came to clean our carpets and clean my neighbor’s carpets. My neighbor seems fine about it and all, but I assume theres some sort of water damage and now my apartment manager wants to see me “with concerns” which I’m betting pretty much means she wants us to pay for it.

Now since this is an apartment the toilet is their equipment. Since the toliet bowls are usually designed to hold more then a single flushs’ worth of water the only way said toliet could overflow would be if it was running. Apparantly the mechanism that stops the water flow was sticky. It stopped the water eventually after about 30 seconds to a minute or so. It had been like that since I moved in and I figured it was normal, my toliet at home does that. Now post-overflow we flushed it a few times and it always kept stopping. but I looked at the mechanism and noticed the stopper just kinda hangs there for a while before it actually falls so this musta been some sort of freak accident. The repair guy looked at it and replaced it. My question is is the damage my fault? or their faulty equipment’s fault?

The problem is that you never reported the equipment as faulty. If you had told them the toilet was having problems, and they didn’t fix it, then they would definately be liable. Since you didn’t inform them about the problem, you might end up getting stuck with some kind of damages. Check your rental agreement. You might have a duty to report any maintenance problems.

Take a five gallon bucket of water and pour it into the toilet.

My point is, you can`t get the toilet to overflow unless the drain is backed up. The five gallons of water will pass through the toilet without filling it up. The same should happen if the water valve keeps running.

Someone correct me if I`m wrong here, but the only way to get the water to overflow out of the bowl is if the drain itself is plugged.

Sounds like someone took a monster dump and the drain was temporarily blocked.

Thanks lissa

Thats odd. There was no debris to indicate anything had come from the overflow of the toliet. just water, unless of course it was plugged up way down the line.

I agree with Harmonix. Your toilet won’t overflow unless your toilet was plugged up. Someone must’ve wiped their butt with the whole roll of toilet paper or flushed a wig or baby down there. Either way, probably your fault.


When you flush a toilet, a trap opens pushing water into the bowl to flush it. When the trap closes, the tank begins to refill. It will continue to fill until the ball thing rises (on old toilets) and closes the inflow.

A toilet runs when the trap doesn’t close all the way and you have a leakage into the toilet bowl. The tank continues to try to fill, but the water continues to run out into the bowl. You cannot have a flood this way.

However, if the trap closes but the water valve does not, the TANK will overflow. This may happen more with the new-fangled toilets (without the ball thingie). A calcification can build up around the device and the rising water does not exert enough pressure to cause it to close.

I’m not sure if this is a precise explanation for what happens, but I’ve had tank overflow and by fiddling with the parts inside the tank, managed to stop the problem.

looked like it overflowed from the bowl.

Ah well, looks like it’s coming out of my deposit.

I agree with the other posters - I don’t see how the problem you described could have caused a flood. You should ask the plumber about this. I don’t think you should be held liable. Was there alot of water on your bathroom floor and was the bowl empty? Sometimes giant air bubbles come up through the plumbing system causing the water in the bowl to spurt out like a geyser.