2 Ways to Flush a Toilet Without Running Water

flushing toilet

Along with knowing how to use a plunger, knowing how to flush a toilet without running water is an essential life skill. There are various times when this skill can come in handy, like when the city shuts off water for maintenance or when your home is getting plumbing repairs.

The main two ways to flush a toilet without running water when your main water supply is shut off are:

  • The "Pour-Over" Method - This is where the weight of added water causes a flush reaction.
  • The Tank Method - This involves adding enough water to the tank to pull the lever for a flush.

Below, we’ll explain how to execute these two methods.

1. The “Pour-Over” Method

Fill up a bucket with at least one gallon of water. To “flush,” begin pouring the water into your toilet bowl. Start slowly, and then quickly empty the rest of the water into the toilet bowl. Repeat these steps as needed.

How does this work? The sudden rush of water will push whatever is in the bowl into the plumbing. You don’t need to use the toilet handle or refill the tank.

2. The Tank Method

If you’re unsure about trying your hand at the first method, this alternate method is for you. Once again, start by gathering a large bucket of water. Take the lid off your toilet tank and start filling the tank up until the water touches the overflow line. Now you’ll be able to flush your toilet the way you would normally.

While this method might seem harder to mess up than the “pour-over method,” keep in mind that filling the tank requires more water. You’ll want to plan around this accordingly.

Helpful Tips

  • If your toilet bowl is full of water, you should have enough for one last flush before resorting to either of the methods above.
  • If you know ahead of time that you’re not going to have running water, fill up your bathtubs so that you’ll have a large supply until the water gets turned back on.
  • In a pinch, you can use pool water to flush your toilet.

For reliable plumbing repairs in Houston, you can always count on Pioneer Plumbing and Septic. Schedule an appointment with us online or by calling us at (281) 815-2772.

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