(update) The holiday season is near and this could mean more visitors at your home. A toilet is one of the most important objects in every home. Not having a working toilet can significantly impact your daily life and routine because a non-functional toilet prevents you from using one of the bathrooms in your home—or can even prevent you from using the bathroom in your home at all if there is only one bathroom in your house. If your toilet won’t flush correctly, many different consequences can occur. One of these consequences is that the toilet bowl can fill up with water and overflow—resulting in a disgusting mess that you have to clean up as well as potential water damage and flooding in your bathroom.
Don’t panic if you try to flush your toilet and it won’t flush. Do not keep trying to flush the malfunctioning toilet using the conventional method of pushing down on the toilet’s flush lever, because this can cause your toilet to overflow or worsen whatever problem is causing your toilet to fail to flush.
If your toilet won’t flush, the first thing you should do is call a professional plumber. Unless you are willing and able to DIY fix your own toilet—which usually requires special skills, equipment, and experience—you will need the services of a professional to diagnose and repair whatever underlying problem is preventing your toilet from flushing properly, and there may be times when you’ll need to know how to shut off valves.
Once you call a professional plumber, however, you might have to wait a while before you are actually able to get services from that plumber. While you wait, you don’t have to avoid using your toilet even though it won’t flush conventionally. There are a few simple ways to manually force your toilet to flush that can help you get by through the waiting period in between when you call a plumber and when that plumber actually arrives. It is important to note that manually flushing your non-flushing toilet is a temporary fix, but it can allow you to use the bathroom as you normally would while you wait for a plumber to arrive and offer you a more permanent solution.
Keep reading to discover three different ways that you can manually flush your toilet in the meantime while you are waiting to receive professional plumbing services to ensure a more permanent fix for your toilet.
Fill the Toilet Bowl
The toilet bowl is one of the most familiar parts of the toilet. It is the bowl-shaped basin that usually has water in it where waste goes before you flush the toilet.
When you flush your toilet conventionally by pushing the toilet’s flush lever down, the toilet bowl fills with more water that forces the waste in the bowl to go down the drain at the bottom of the toilet bowl. If your toilet will not flush this way, however, you can imitate the effect of flushing your toilet by pouring water directly into the toilet bowl.
Fill a bucket with at least a gallon of water and pour it slowly at first and then more forcefully into your toilet bowl. If you pour the water into the bowl with enough force, it should cause the waste in the toilet bowl to go down the drain at the bottom of the toilet bowl.
Fill the Toilet Tank
You can also manually flush your toilet by filling the toilet tank up with water. This method is very similar to the method of filling the toilet bowl with water to force the toilet to flush.
Start by removing the cover of the toilet tank and pouring water into the tank until it reaches the water line that should be located about one inch below the top edge of the tank. Then, press the flush lever as you normally would.
It is important to note that this method does not always work. If it does not work the first time you try it, don’t try it again and try another method of manually flushing your toilet instead.
Lift the Flapper
When you flush your toilet by pushing the flush lever down, the flush lever pulls up a rubber part called a flapper that is seated above the hole that connects the toilet tank to the toilet bowl—which allows the water in the toilet tank to empty out into the toilet bowl and force waste down the drain at the bottom of the toilet bowl.
If filling the toilet tank with water does not allow you to manually flush your toilet, you can try lifting the rubber flapper manually. Lifting the flapper should force water to drain from the toilet tank into the toilet bowl, mimicking the effect of conventionally flushing the toilet.