Can You Flush The Toilet When The Power is Out?

Where do you live? It doesn’t matter if you have a power outage problem. Turning off the power and not flushing the toilet is one of the most annoying and disturbing things in life. This leads to a smelly and worse situation that causes embarrassment in front of others, including your neighbors and relatives. So you might be thinking Can You Flush a Toilet Without Power?

As we know that toilets are a piece of calm but only when the power(electricity) of our restroom works 24/7 and our toilet’s flushing tank works well. If you do not make a backup for a power outage, such as a generator or something else, you will face many problems during a power outage, such as spoilage of food, loss of air conditioning or heat, etc. It doesn’t matter but when you think about “can you flush toilet when power is out?” This question bothers you a lot.

Methods To Flush a Toilet Without Power

1. By Using Bucket Of Water:

One of the best ways to flush your toilet while the power is out is by using a bucket of water but there is a problem with water splashing on your clothes or on your face.


  • Fill water in a bucket or anything like that easily available in your home.
  • Lift the bucket using one hand and the other hand holds the bottom of the bucket.
  • Dump the water into the bowl. Try to pour all water quickly.
  • Always keep your face away to avoid the splashing of water on it and your clothes.

It is the fastest way of flushing your toilet which also washes all the waste. But if you are too slow to dump the water in the bowl then your toilet will not flush.

2. By manually Filling The Tank:

Modern toilets have decreased the water consumption for flushing the waste into the drainpipe. Old toilets use about 3 gallons for flushing the waste but modern toilets are only using 0.8-1.6 gallons for flushing the waste. During a power outage fill your tank manually using a rain barrel or 5-gallon bucket. The following method will clearly describe to you how to fill the tank:

  • Firstly, remove the lid of the tank.
  • Place it in a safe place
  • You will see an overflow tube in the tank. Fill the water just half an inch below it.
  • Put the lid back and push the flush button for flushing.

Filling the tank manually during flushing will help you a lot as it is a better way than using a bucket of water. Because you don’t have to worry about splashing water on your face or clothes and also worry about wasting water.

Can You Flush a Toilet Without Power

Another advantage of using this method for flushing is that your toilet bowl will be completely rinsed and clean as if you use a bucket for flushing then there is a possibility of accumulation of waste on the bowl. 

Finally pour some water into the bowl separately, to prevent bad gases from entering your toilet and home. If you are unable to find the overflow tube in the tank due to a lack of knowledge or any other reason, be patient as I have tried to give you all the basic information about the toilet tank. The overflow tube is present in the center of the tank that funnels the water back to the bowl to refill it. The overflow tube also prevents the overflowing of water in case of any damage to the fill valve.

Ways To Store Water To Flush During a Power Outage:

As we know the toilet requires an adequate amount of water for flushing the waste down the drainpipe, therefore, storing water for emergencies (like power outages) is the best solution for flushing problems during a power outage.

There are several ways by which you can store water. These includes:

1. By filling Bathtubs:

One of the ways by which you can store water for power outages problem is by filling water in your bathtub. But personally, I don’t like that way as there is a fear of leaking out all the water.

The only time I have tried that, my tub’s drain plug was not just tight and that’s why my all stored water had drained slowly before the next day. But there is a solution to that. If you want to use bathtubs for storing water then try expensive water bladders. These bladders are made for avoiding the accidental draining of water.

2. By storing Water In Rain Barrels:

Rain barrels are the most popular way of storing water for power outages. They can store roughly 60 gallons of water which can be used for flushing toilets, gardening, and something else according to your need.

Rain barrels are very inexpensive and everyone can use this. Instead of filling them with your home’s water, some people put the rain barrels outside to fill them with rain. However, I don’t like this method as the water becomes dirty and the filling process is very slow.

I recommend you fill them in your basement and also add a pool chlorine tablet to keep your barrel water fresh every time and then cover their top with plastic. Now, you can use water to flush any time during a power outage.

3. Using 5-gallon Buckets:

Trying a 5-gallon bucket is also a very easy and cheap method to store water for your future. You can fill the bucket and place it anywhere in your home. Usually, toilets require about 1.6 gallons for flushing the waste but modern toilets had tally decreased this. 

They require only 0.8-1.2 gallons for flushing. Therefore the water in your bucket is enough for using the toilet 3-5 times. But you can also buy 2-3 buckets and store more water. Buy remember, always dump the water in your toilet as fast as you can to create a siphoning action in your toilet bowl. This will make it easier for your toilet to dispose of waste into the drainpipe with less water consumption.

Another Solution is Having Portable Toilets:

This solution will amaze you very much but this is true. you can buy a portable camping toilet for your home and use them in emergencies just like power outages.

Using a portable flushing toilet is best only when you have enough stored water because it also has a flushing tank on it. But don’t worry! If you have no stored water you can use a Composting, bucket, or collapsible camping toilet. All three types of toilets don’t require any type of water. They just break down the human waste into dry compost which you can use for your garden as a fertilizer after a few days. Some composting toilets are also installed permanently like your regular home toilets.

How does a toilet flush work?

Before knowing about the ways of flushing your toilet without power let’s first discuss the working of your toilet tank. The technology involved in flushing the tanks of your toilets is not rocket science. 

How Much Water Does It Take To Flush A Toilet

The function of your toilet tank depends on the type of toilet you have, whether it is electrical or non-electrical. However, the basic function of both types of tanks is the same the tank contains some water. When you press the flush button, the chain in the tank covers the opening between the tanks and the bowl rises up so that the water flows towards the bowl very fast.

This creates a siphoning action in the toilet bowl, which washes all the waste into the drain pipe. Not all toilets work with electricity, therefore, not having electricity with non-electric toilets will not bother you much. What is the need for electricity in a modern toilet? This is a common question that makes people think. But the answer is simple: the pump in the tank that refills it needs electricity


Having a power outage is a large concern especially if a question is raised in your mind how can I flush the toilet? Don’t worry! I have tried to tell you every possible solution for the power outage problem. Prolonged shutdowns can be a hassle for you as your plumbing requires a large amount of stored water. Having a generator is the best backup to reduce your stress during a power outage. I hope that your problem of flushing the toilet during a power outage will be solved. Learn also about How To Flush a Toilet Without Running Water?

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you flush a toilet without power?

There are many ways to flush a toilet when power is out. One of the best ways is having a generator backup, storing the water, and having portable toilets like composting toilets as I have described above.

How many times can you flush a toilet without power?

It basically depends on what you are using to flush your toilet. If you are using a generator as a backup, you can flush the toilet as needed. But if you are using stored water, it depends on the capacity of the bucket or something else you are using.

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