What to Know About Flushing a Toilet Without Running Water


There may come a time when you have to flush a toilet without running water. It’s a bit of a hassle, but here’s how it’s done.

If you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about toilets, you probably don’t realize how incredibly cool this invention actually is. For starters, it is much more sanitary and less stinky way to handle the job that used to fall to the outhouse (and, as a bonus, it is inside). It also can work even when the power is out because it doesn’t require electricity at all. It does require water, however, so if your water is temporarily shut off, your toilet won’t flush. There are some tricks you can use to get the toilet to flush, however, so read on.

Toilet Function

When you flush a toilet, the flusher handle attaches to an arm that lifts a plug in the bottom of the tank. The plug stops up a pipe that lets water run down into the bowl through gravity action and the water washes away waste. The plug settles back down and the tank fills up again, ready to be flushed.

Reserve Flush

The tank on the back of the toilet automatically fills after each flush, and the water sits there waiting to be used. This mean that there is always one last flush sitting in there, and it will be there when the water goes off. If the water won’t be off for long, you may only need that one reserve flush to get you through. Just remember that you don’t have to use it on just liquid waste – that can sit for a bit.

How To Manually Flush

Putting this all together should shine light on how you can keep your toilet working without running water: the manual flush. This comes down to filling the tank on the back of the toilet after every flush (since it won’t refill on it’s own). Keep a supply of water handy in jugs – this can be water you buy or jugs you fill elsewhere and bring in. If the water will only be out for a few hours, it may make sense to simply buy a few jugs. If it is going to be out for a few days, you could use recycled shower or dish water (also called grey water), collect rain water, or even scoop some out of your pool if you have one.  Remember that all this water is doing is carrying the waste down the drain, so it doesn’t have to be potable.

Call Mahon Plumbing Today

If you’re ready to see how an upgrade can help your home, the experts at Mahon plumbing are here to help. Mahon Plumbing has been serving the Baltimore region’s plumbing needs since 1994. We’re ready to offer quality plumbing services and gas installation for both commercial and residential uses. Our tracks and employees are ready to handle the toughest of jobs.

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This entry was posted on Friday, July 12th, 2019 at 4:07 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.