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Can You Still Flush a Toilet When the Water is Shut Off?

November 18, 2019 Contractor2020

We’re all very accustomed to the comforts of today’s world. Have you ever flicked a light switch even though you knew the power was out? How about explaining to a young child why their online videos aren’t playing when out of WiFi range? Simply put, we’re all very used to having things work when we need then.

How to Replace a Toilet Seat

But what if you find yourself in a position where the water to your home is shut off but you still need to use the toilet? The good news is that it can still work thanks to the timeless design of the gravity-flush toilet.  

How a gravity-flush toilet works

Most toilets found inside homes are gravity-flush designs. That means it only uses the force of gravity – no mechanical or electrical assistance – to flush water and waste down the drain. When you push the handle, water empties from the tank, flows into the bowl in a circular pattern, and pushes contents through the toilet trap and down the sewer drain. It’s a pretty impressive fixture, if you think about it.

How to flush a toilet when the water is shut off

Since the gravity-flush toilet does not run on any type of outside assistance, you can still use it if there is a water main break or the supply is off for a plumbing project. All you need is water in the tank to initiate a flush. Here are two ways to do it:

  1. The tank should be full from refilling after the last flush prior to the water being shut off – so that means you get one easy flush.
  2. After that, you can manually fill the toilet tank with water. You want the water to be clean (no debris) but it doesn’t have to be drinkable water since it’s going down the toilet anyway. You can fill a bucket elsewhere in your home, from an outside source like a stream or rain barrel, or ask a neighbor if you could fill a bucket from their faucet. Dump the water into the tank up to the normal refill level, and you should be good to flush like normal.

When to call a professional plumber

It’s reassuring to know that you can still use the toilet even if the water supply is cut off. Of course, filling buckets is not a long-term approach so if you run into any plumbing issue, be sure to bring in the experts at Reichelt Plumbing Inc. To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, call (219) 322-4906 today.

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Reichelt Plumbing

451 Winston Court,STE A

Schererville, IN 46375


(219) 322-8312

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Call Us at (219) 322 4906