One of the more ingenious machines in your house, a toilet requires no electricity or running water to function. With that said, if you find yourself temporarily without water, knowing you can still take advantage of this modern convenience might save you from an embarrassing situation. Though being without water doesn’t equal an outright emergency, it can still feel like a hassle. As such, follow this guide to help you flush the toilet manually using leftover wastewater from around your home.
The Basic Functions of a Toilet
To refill on its own, the toilet uses its back tank. With a handy stopper at the bottom of this tank, which connects to the handle and allows the tank to drain when you flush, the water doesn’t leak. After a flush, the water drains through a pipe, filling back up after each cycle. However, without running water, this last step in the process can’t happen.
Did you know that even with the water off, you still have one free flush remaining? Because the water in the toilet bowl gets used for the next flush, as long as that water remains, you can flush the toilet.
How to Flush the Toilet Using Waste Water
Leftover water comes from many sources. After a bath or washing dishes, rainwater, and even chlorinated water from a swimming pool can be used to manually flush a toilet. The good news is, it doesn’t matter how mucky or dirty the water is. It’s all going down the toilet, anyway. To capture this water, you only need a collection of buckets or large plastic jugs.
Flushing a toilet by hand is a straightforward process, involving only one major step. First, make sure the lid and toilet seat are up (to prevent making a mess when you fill the bowl with water). Then, pour a bucket of water into the bowl. Gravity takes care of the rest.
Note: If you anticipate needing to flush by hand for any great length of time, it might be a good idea to stock up on wastewater in advance. If major plumbing work will leave you without water for several hours, consider filling the bathtub with water beforehand or asking a neighbor to loan you a few filled buckets.