How to Flush the Toilet When the Water is Off

Modern indoor plumbing is a necessity for the health and sanitation of nearly every American household. And for many families, the bathroom toilet plumbing works perfectly 99 percent of the time, performing its essential function with a simple pull of the handle. However, when the water supply gets cut off, indoor plumbing doesn't do its job, creating an unpleasant problem. Read on for tips on how to flush the toilet when your water isn't working.

Toilet Troubles

A toilet that won't flush isn't as dire a plumbing emergency as a flood, but it can create an embarrassing dilemma for the person who unwittingly uses the commode without realizing that the water is turned off. Fortunately, even when there is no water running into the home, there are still ways to get rid of the toilet's contents. Whether you turned off the water because of a plumbing repair, or the municipal supply has been shut off because of a water main break or other problem, there is always a low-tech way out.

Remember, the toilet tank fills up right after a flush and remains that way until it is used again. That means it should be full in the event your water supply is cut off, so you still have one flush to burn. The wise homeowner saves that flush to use only in the event of an emergency. However, if someone accidentally uses up your final flush, all isn't lost.

How to Hack Your Bathroom Toilet Plumbing

The secret of your bathroom toilet plumbing is that it doesn't actually require pressure or even running water to function. You need access to water to fill the tank, of course, but from there the process works entirely through gravity -- when you pull the handle, the tanks empties its contents into the bowl, pushing everything inside down the drain and out of your life.

If you have no water flowing into the tank via your plumbing, you can replicate its action in a very simple way. All you have to do is manually dump a bucket of water into the bowl, and you've got your flush. One reassuring part of using the bucket method is that it doesn't matter what water you use, since it's all going down the toilet anyway. If you have no water anywhere in your house, you can fill a bucket from a nearby stream or rain barrel, or perhaps ask a neighbor to lend you a hand. That being said, it's a good idea to fill a bucket or two in advance if you anticipate having to turn the water off all day for a major plumbing repair.

Plumbing Expertise for Routine Calls or Emergencies

Plumbers are willing to take on even the dirtiest jobs to ensure that your family has functioning bathroom toilet plumbing. Whether it's for routine service calls or an emergency, don't hesitate to contact an experienced plumber for any help keeping things flowing around the home.

Keep Reading More Tips and Tricks

Time to Replace Your Toilet? You Have Some Choices to Make

August 2nd, 2018

Troubleshooting Dishwasher Leaks and Water Flow Problems

Troubleshooting Dishwasher Leaks and Water Flow Problems

May 2nd, 2018

First Steps to Recovering From Water Damage

First Steps to Recovering From Water Damage

March 28th, 2018

Find Your Local Benjamin
Franklin Plumbing® Team

  • Request an appointment
  • Get local phone numbers and company details
  • View local offers and coupons
  • View local services

Call Us for 24/7
Emergency Service

800.471.0809