When you switch off the water supply to your house or part of it, the functionality of your plumbing becomes limited. However, there are some plumbing fixtures you may still want to keep operational, like your toilet. Losing the ability to flush the toilet while the water is shut off can be annoying, embarrassing, and can get rather smelly. Fortunately there is a way to flush your toilet without its normal water supply.
How Toilets Work
When you push down on the flush handle, water from the toilet tank flows down into the toilet bowl, and is sucked down your drains. The toilet tank is then refilled from the main water supply. The whole process of flushing all depends on having a water supply and the force of gravity. Therefore, if the water is shut off and toilet tank is unable to refill, you won’t be able to flush the toilet again.
Filling Your Toilet
You can manually fill your toilet tank up with water from a nearby stream, or any other water source that is available to you. Since the water drains away down the toilet pipes, never to be seen again, it is not important what kind of water you use, just that you refill your toilet tank. Your toilet tank should be filled until the ‘water line’ which is marked on either side or the back interior wall of the toilet tank. Once the toilet tank is full, you’re free to flush away!
Why is it Important to Flush
Although the phrase ‘if it’s yellow, let it mellow’ still rings true, it is important to flush at least once a day. If urine is left in a toilet bowl for too long, bacteria can begin to grow, bad smells will form, and the urine could stain the toilet.
‘If it is brown, flush it down’ is also important to remember and is the main reason why it is necessary to have buckets of water ready to refill a toilet, as it can become very unhygienic to leave solid human waste in a toilet for a long time. Waste can cause bad smells, attract flies, and create a breeding ground for bacteria.
If you know that you will be without water for sometime it is wise to prepare beforehand by filling buckets of water or keeping large bottles of water next to the toilet.