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Running water is something we take for granted until the water stops. Whether you are in the city or country your water can stop running for a variety of reasons, renovations, water main break, municipal supply repairs, or even power outage (if you are on a well system). Here is how to flush a toilet without running water.

How to flush the toilet when the water is off

Good news! When the water shuts down you will have one flush as the tank refills itself after every flush from your water supply. But if someone has already used that flush you will need a gallon of water to flush your toilet. Here are two ways you can flush a toilet without running water.

Method one: Manually fill the toilet tank

Manually fill the toilet tank

This way replicates the normal way you would use a toilet.

First, remove the tank lid and pour a bucket of water into the toilet tank to the fill line. There is no need to go past that as the excess water will do down the overflow tube and will be wasted. Depending on your toilet this could be a gallon or more.

It’s a good idea to always have a bucket of potable water around for these types of scenarios. You can also use water from a pool or hot tub if you have it available. Another good place for water is a rain barrel.

Next, once the water is in the tank you can flush your toilet normally by pushing down the handle. This will empty the contents of the tank into the toilet bowl and flush the toilet without running water.

Once the water is turned back on the tank will refill itself.

Related: Toilet Tank Not Filling Up? Here’s how to fix it!

 

Method 2 Fill the bowl with water

Fill the bowl with water

The other way to flush a toilet when the water is shut off is to pour the water directly into the tank. This way can use less water than the previous one. 

Start by pouring water (a gallon is what you will need) slowly into the toilet bowl of the toilet. As you do this then pour the rest of it in faster. This will create pressure to flush the toilet so that it is not necessary for you to use the handle.

 

How to be ready for when the water stops running

Your household water can be cut off for a few reasons some can be planned like a plumbing repair, others can be sudden. Even a temporarily shut down water system can be a challenge. We recommend that you take the time to prepare yourself.

It’s a good idea for emergencies to have a few gallons of water in a bucket for times like this. A prolonged water outage can be a real pain so be decerning when you are flushing your toilet without water.

If you know you will be experiencing water shut down (like repairing a plumbing issue) then you can prepare by filling a bathtub with water for when the plumbing repairs begin. Once the water is restored you can pull the plug and begin pouring water down the drain and go back to flushing the bathroom toilet like a normal person.

If you are having water issues in your house it’s a good idea to contact an experienced plumber and have them check to make sure. Use the link below to find a plumber to help you out.

 

Need more help with your toilet repairs? Check these out