How to flush a toilet without water

how to flush a toilet without water

If you face a situation in which running water is unavailable, you must know how to flush the toilet without water. You don’t have to be a professional plumber to do that. As long as there is water available, you are good to go.

Some of the easy ways to manually flush a toilet are discussed below

Pour Water Into Toilet Tank

Things needed

  • Cup
  • Paper towel
  • Water

Although it is a simple task yet you have to make sure that you do if very carefully and vigilantly.

The first step will be the removal of the tank cover or lid. The lids are usually heavy so pick them up carefully and then place them on the floor.

Fill the cup with water. You can take water from any closest source like a swimming pool or lake or stream or a bucket. Ask someone to get water for you.

While filling the tank with water, sometimes the liquid gets spilled on the toilet seat. Dry it with paper towels. Never leave a wet washroom. Make sure you wipe everything as it leaves a very disgusting impression of you on the next user.

Close the lid and press the handle now. The toilet flush is working now. TAAA DAAAAAA!!

Wasn’t that easy? Try to refill the tank for the other person. Keep in mind that different flushes have different water capacities like if you are dealing with an American standard toilet, then you would need approximately 1.5 to 2 gallons of water that would make your 5.7-7 liters.

Pour A Water Bucket Directly Into Bowl

Things needed

  • Plastic bucket
  • Paper towels
  • Water

Again, this is a simple task. Train your kids as well that if they face such a situation, what steps they must take.

Now it isn’t necessary that only adults are supposed to know the hacks. Tell your kids about this method as well.

All you have to do is to get a bucket of water for a full flush force. If a bucket is not available then get it from your neighbor.

If there is a near water source then fill your bucket with water. Make sure that you have a bucket of capacity 1 gallons. You can purchase gallons of water from a store as well. There are different size gallons available.

Pour the bucket of water into the toilet bowl. Make sure you pour all the water at once. This is because the waste is pushed to the trapway of the toilet with pressure otherwise the waste will be back.

Don’t forget to use paper towels after the pouring of water in case of any splash.

After finishing of the first physical flushing of your toilet, you can pour another gallon of water if you are not satisfied with the first.

How to flush without water when the handle doesn’t work?

Water isn’t always the issue that a person faces when the flush is not working. Sometimes there is a technical problem too like something is wrong in the plumbing or an issue arises in the tank.

toilet is not flushing

So you must know how to deal with such situations as well.

If you realize that the problem is in the handle or the flush button is stuck then until a plumber comes and fix it, you can flush the toilet in a different way

We will tell you how it is done.

  • First of all, open the tank lid or cover and place it in a safe area so that it is not damaged.
  • Look for the chain lifter that connects the toilet flapper with the handle or push button
  • Lift up the chain which will elevate the flapper off the valve and as a result the water would enter from the tank to the bowl and the flushing would continue.
  • Put the toilet tank lid back on it.

How would you flush a toilet without a tank?

You might have seen toilets without tanks. Have you ever wondered how they work?

Well, the tankless toilets are placed in restaurants or offices. They do not have a water storage part rather they run on electricity and use the water directly from water lines.

With the help of electric power they draw water with a great force and high pressure as their pump is very small.

flush toilet with bucket

Now if you face trouble in flushing such toilets, simply pour a bucket of water directly into the bowl.

Make sure you pour the water all at once to initiate the siphoning action to flush out the waste into the trapway. Also, remember to face away from the toilet while doing this action to prevent any splashing of waste on your face.

General reasons for running out of water

Now you know how to deal with a situation where you have no water in the toilet bowl but you still have to flush.

But it is also very crucial that you must know the reasons behind this problem so one can make sure they don’t happen more often.

  • Broken lift chain

If you open a toilet tank, you will see that there is a rubber flapper that is connected to a lift chain. With the help of this lift chain, the flapper gets lifted after every flush and the toilet tank gets filled with water.

toilet is not flushing

If this lift chain breaks, then the flapper isn’t able to elevate and hence the tank is left empty or the toilet fills slowly after flushing

In such cases, visit a nearby store and purchase the particular piece and replace it with the broken one.

  • Damaged overflow tube

Sometimes there is a small crack or hole in the overflow tube which causes trouble in filling up the tank.

toilet not filling with water after flush

If you see such a case, replace it with a new tube. But do not perform this task yourself if you are not aware of how to do it.

Call for a plumber or take help from someone who knows how to fix the new tube.

  • Broken Flapper

A flapper is a very important part of the toilet which allows the water to flow from the tank into the toilet bowl. After each flush, it tightly closes the gateway so that the water is filled up in the tank for the next flush.

water running in toilet bowl

Sometimes due to prolonged use, the flapper loosens its grip and water doesn’t fill up in the tank as it leaks into the bowl continuously.

This can cause trouble. Go to a local store, purchase a new flapper and install it yourself since it isn’t that hard to install.

  • Problem with the tank pipes

A toilet can only work properly if the water levels are higher than the overflow tube. If the level of water is beneath the overflow tube, then the flush won’t release water with pressure and your waste would remain in the toilet.

Check the level of water before flushing or you can wait for 4-5 minutes before you can flush again.

Sometimes the main water valve does not work or someone turns it off by mistake, so check for the valve first and if it is turned off, move it the other way.

If everything in the toilet is fine and also the valve is open then you should call for a plumber to detect the problem.

  • No supply of water

When you run out of water in a flush, first of all, check the problem because sometimes the flush is working fine but the water is off from the main supply due to some reason.

In such a case, pour water buckets into the toilet until the supply is normalized. Always keep a bucket of water filled in the toilet as you never know when a problem occurs.

Check for the faults and if the problem is with the supply of water from the main source then make a call to a plumber or your local water resource management to resolve your issue

It is good to have a backup.

  • Clogging of pipes

Clogging of the main pipes or the trapway is the most common cause of why doesn’t flush work. There are many reasons why a toilet is clogged. We are aware of the clogging of bathroom sinks, kitchen sinks and bathtub drains but we do not know much about why a toilet drain gets blocked.

We know that the toilet drains are normally wider than the sink and bathtub drain that’s why we tend to throw a lot of trash in the toilet like paper towel, tissue paper, match sticks, cotton,  paper, etc. and as result, the drain system gets clogged due to which either the pipe leaks or unable to flush out the wastes.

In such cases, you can use a toilet auger or a toilet snake. They are available easily in stores and nowadays many companies sell them online like on Amazon, eBay, etc.

If you do not know how to handle a toilet auger (although it is not that difficult to understand) call a plumber to fix your toilet.

We hope that this article was beneficial for you and was worth your time.


Q1. Can you flush a toilet when the power is out?

Flushing a toilet without water has nothing to do with the electricity. This means that strong flushing toilets have got all the requirements to carry out their job even when you are out of power.

Q2. How to drain a toilet bowl?

Turn off the water supply and flush so that the tank is empty. Now force out the water due to which there will be no water in the toilet tank whether the drain is clogged or not.

Q3. How to manually flush the toilet?

Flushing the toilet, when the water is off, is not an easy task. Still, you can do it with the help of 2-3 buckets of water.

Q4. How much water does a toilet use?

Every toilet has its own capacity. The amount of water used by a flush is measured in terms of GPF (gallons per flush) or LPF (liters per flush). Most of the TOTO designs use 1.28 gallons per flush.

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