Your toilet does not require any electricity to operate. It can run even if the power is off. With that in mind, a toilet does require water to function properly – which could leave you in a bind if your water is temporarily turned off. In this guide, we will explain how to flush a toilet with no running water so you can get through a temporary issue with your water supply.
How Toilets Work
The information below is all based on the basic functions of a toilet. The tank in the back fills up and stays put thanks to a stopper at the bottom of the tank. This stopper is connected to the handle and lifts up when you flush. The water then drains down through a pipe and pushes the water through your toilet bowl with gravity. Under normal circumstances, the stopper would plug up the back again and water would fill up for the next flush. If you have no running water though, that part of the process cannot happen.
One Flush in Reserve
Toilet tanks fill up as soon as they flush. This water is used during the next flush, and the cycle continues from there. If your water gets turned off, you still have one flush left to use. You can save this flush for an “emergency,” especially if you are only going to be without water for a few hours. This theory applies to every toilet in your house, so if you have three toilets, you have three total flushes before you need to use alternative methods.
Flushing a Toilet Manually
If you do not have running water, you can still keep your toilet functioning by filling up the tank manually. You will need to either buy jugs of water to use for this or get some from elsewhere. If you take a bath or wash dishes in the sink, you can use the leftover water from these actions to fill up your toilet tank. You could also use rain water if it happens to rain outside. Just put a few five gallon buckets out to catch the water, and you will be all set. Or, if you have a swimming pool you can borrow water from there.
You will need to fill the back of the tank for every flush. Be careful not to fill it too far so the tank does not overflow. Try to look in the back before you use your last flush to get an idea of how far you should fill up the toilet. The rod that holds the balloon in place should be almost level.
Call a Plumber If You Need Toilet Repairs
In some cases, a toilet will not fill up properly even though there is running water coming to the home. You can use the method above as a temporary solution to that problem, but ultimately you will need to contact a plumber to get the matter solved. The team here at Abbott’s Plumbing would be more than happy to assist you with your toilet repairs so you can get back to using your facilities.