How to manually flush a toilet with a broken handle: 1 Easy Step

Just because your toilet is broken doesn’t mean you have to use the bucket. It’s time to keep on flushin’ and learn how to manually flush a toilet. You just fill a bucket with water and pour it into the toilet bowl. Be careful though! Below are some helpful hints that will help you get the job done properly.

It is not always possible to repair a water supply or toilet immediately.  Manually flushing can temporarily keep a toilet usable.


What is the best way to flush a toilet manually? Flush poop with a bucket

The best way to flush a toilet is by using the bucket and use this to pour water into the toilet bowl. Toilets generally use 1.6 gallons of water per flush so you can use this amount of water in your bucket as well. This can be used for all types of toilets that use water to flush.

The water doesn’t have to be warm. Older toilets use more water so you can add some gallons if needed.

Don’t pour the water too fast as water and air have to mix to push the sewage forward. This allows you to control the process and flush when you need to. Don’t use other liquids as these could affect your pipes.

Solids such as sand shouldn’t be used either as these can clog up your drains, leading to expensive repairs. You can use bottled water if needed. Rainwater can be used in some instances if your local regulations allow it. 

You should do this every time that you use the toilet. Toilets can get nasty really quickly if you don’t flush them every time that you use them. It might be annoying to fill a bucket every time but it is the best way to flush a toilet manually. 

You can also pour water into the toilet tank and use the regular flush if the tank isn’t leaking. This can allow the person that is coming next to use the flush as normal. 

Make sure that the base of your toilet is not leaking when you do this. A lot of people mistake a leak in the base for a hole in the water tank. If you keep using a toilet when there is a leak in the base of the toilet, it will keep leaking.

Therefore you have to check if there is no problem with the wax ring or toilet flange. This is quite hard to do and you might have to remove your toilet to do this. If you are not sure if the water is coming from the toilet base or toilet tank, it can be a great idea to call a plumber as you are going to have more damage if it is from the toilet base and you keep flushing. 

When should you manual flush a toilet without running water?

Toilets are often quite easy to fix. If there is an issue with the toilet tank, such as a leak it can be a great way to use a manual flush. Another reason can be a problem with the water supply to the toilet, such as a leak in the pipe. These issues can be fixed quite fast but in most instances, people should leave this to a plumber as they need some skills to get repaired. 

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

If they are renovating your house, it is possible that they shut off the water. The easiest way to keep flushing during this period is using a bucket with water. 

Manual flushing is a waste of water and can be done only when it’s necessary. Flushing with the bucket will cause more water to be wasted, so remember that you should only use this method when it’s necessary.  

Toilets often last about 10 years or longer but it is quite common hat components such as a flapper break. These are quite easy to repair and your toilet should work quite soon.  

Troubleshoot a toilet that won’t flush

Making sure your toilet is functioning properly doesn’t have to be a big ordeal. If you notice your toilet isn’t flushing, just follow these steps.

Push the toilet flush. In some instances, it can get stuck. By pushing it, the flush can become loose and you can use the toilet again as you normally would. It is also possible that the water supply didn’t fully fill the toilet. By pushing the flush, it can refill the tank. Toilets are not perfect and sometimes they don’t get filled completely. 

Open the toilet tank and check for any dirt in it. Sometimes sand or dust can accumulate in the toilet, blocking the water. You can fix this by cleaning the toilet tank with a brush and cloth.

Check the toilet flapper as this piece of rubber might get stuck. The flapper regulates the water and releases it into your toilet bowl. 

Example of a toilet flapper

You can also check the water supply to the toilet. Maybe the valve has been closed by someone. Ask around if there is a reason for this before you open it back up. You can test the water pressure to see what is going on. There can also be some dirt or chalk in your pipes.

This has to be cleaned up if you want to get the water flowing again. Installing a filter or water softener can remove this problem in the future. 

If you have a pump to get water to the toilet, it might be broken or you have to restart it.

In some instances, there is a problem at the water company and you have to reach out to them.

If you have a lot of problems with your toilet, it might be time to replace it.

Conclusion: what to do when your toilet doesn’t have running water.

Manual flushing with a bucket of water is a great idea if there is an issue with the water supply of the toilet or if the toilet tank is leaking. You can do this for several days if the plumber is not able to come immediately.

Don’t pour out the water too fast as air and water have to mix in your pipes. You don’t have to use too much water as 1.6 gallons is often enough. Make sure that there is no problem with the toilet base if you do this as it can leak further if you use manual flushing. 

Check around your toilet to make sure that there are no water leaks. Water leaks can result in expensive damage and should be repaired as soon as possible.