Your toilet does not require any electricity to operate. It can run even if the power is off. Keeping that in mind, a toilet requires water to function properly–which could leave you in a tricky situation if your water is temporarily turned off. In this guide with the help from Five Star Plumbing, the #1 plumbers in Harford County, 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 gathered here 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 don’t have any running water though, this is the part of the process that cannot happen.

    One Flush in Reverse

      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 rains 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 as well. 

        Keep in mind 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.

        Need Help From An Experienced Plumber? 

        Five Star Plumbing Services is locally owned and operated, being in business since 1991. Our core values include responsiveness, honesty, and integrity. Our technician will provide you with a flat rate fee up front so you know exactly what to expect. No hidden fees. We service residents in both Harford County and Baltimore County.