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Can You Flush The Toilet When The Power Is Out? [Answered]

How would you feel if you couldn’t flush the toilet when it’s necessary? It’d be quite an embarrassing situation you don’t wanna face. That’s when you might think.

Can you flush the toilet when the power is out?

Yes, you can. You can try pouring water into the toilet tank and flush it. Or you can quickly pour water, in a huge amount into your toilet bowl. But there’s a chance of water flowing out the bowl. Plus for both of the methods, you’ll be needing a lot of stored water.

That was just a sneak peek. To know the entire thing read our piece till the end.

Let’s begin!

Do Toilets Need Electricity?

Most of the flush valve toilets use gravity to do the job. But pump toilets require a power source to function properly. 

Household toilets are mostly flush valve toilets and they don’t need electricity. But still there are households that use electric pumps for water supply. Even sand point well use electric pump these days. 

This is why when a power outage takes place water supply can get interrupted. Your toilet may run out of water because of this unavoidable situation.

How Toilet Flush Works

After you flush your toilet once, the toilet tank immediately starts to store water. In most cases, even after a power outage, you can flush your toilet once. You can definitely use that opportunity. 

But if you act smartly you can flush your toilet a few more times. For this, you should learn how your toilet flush works.

Remove the lid of your tank and check inside to see the mechanism. You’ll see a chain attached to the flushing lever that’s submerged in the water. 

When you push the flush button, this lever lifts the stopper flap. This causes water to flow in the bowl from the tank. But there must be water in the tank for this.

How To Flush Toilet During Power Outage?

You can definitely flush your toilet even during a power outage. But for that, you’ll need a lot of water. There are two different ways you can try when the power is out-

Method-1: Pouring Water In The Toilet Tank

As we said before, knowing your toilet flush mechanism can help you utilize it. For this method, you’ll have to pour water into your toilet tank directly. That’s it, simple right?

Just flush your toilet like you always do and it’ll work perfectly fine. There shouldn’t be any problem with flushing. But if there is, see if the toilet tank mechanism adjustment is done properly.

Method-2: Pouring Water Into Toilet Bowl

You can flush your toilet now. But to do so, you need to pour water into the toilet bowl directly. But you’d need enough water for this and it must be done quickly as well. 

Pouring water slowly will not be effective. It’ll only raise the water level in the bowl. Plus using less amount of water will result in failure.

To make this work, pour a large amount of water into the toilet bowl. Make sure that it’s covering at least ¾ part of the bowl. 

Pour the water at once. This will create a sudden pressure. Because of this sudden increase in or rush of water, you’ll be able to flush automatically.

This method comes with the risk of water overflowing the toilet bowl. If you’re not doing it right, the water will overflow from your bowl. 

This will create a bigger mess for you to deal with. Plus you wouldn’t wanna waste your valuable stored water during a power outage too.

This is a great way to flush your toilet manually.

Storing Water For Toilet Flush During Power Outage

A good amount of water is needed for flushing a toilet when the power is out. You’ll also need water for cooking, drinking, and much other work. 

It’s best to store water for this kind of emergency moment. These are few ways you can reserve water for later use-

Using 5-gallon Bucket For Water Reservation

Using a 5-gallon bucket to store water is a good backup plan. Reserve one bucket of 5-gallon water in each toilet. This way you’ll hardly ever run out of water during power outages. Make sure the bucket comes with a closing lid so the water stays good.

You can buy these buckets for water reservations-

Product 1
Product 2

Using Rain Barrel To Store Water

Keep a rain barrel in your yard or on the rooftop to collect rainwater. Clean the barrel from time to time. To keep the water fresh, you can add a pool chlorine tablet. 

Don’t forget to cover the barrel with plastic or a lid. Remember another thing. This water should not be used for drinking or cooking purposes.

Saving Water In Bathtubs

This is not a preferable method to save water but it’s your call. Apply this method only if you don’t have other options to work with. 

You can fill your whole bathtub with water. But this may cause rust in bathtub cover screws. The water would also be unprotected from any contamination.

Hopefully, you’ve found the information useful.


Question: What is the best way to get water when the power is out?

Answer:  Electric pumps can’t be used in a power outage. That’s why I use hand pumps that have manual settings. This way you can pull water from the well. They are lifesavers when it comes to emergency situations.

Question: What plumbing system uses electricity?

Answer: Your household water comes in one of the two ways. It’s either a private well or city water. Private wells need electric pumps for pulling water. This is why they don’t work during a power outage.

Question: Is electricity necessary for city water service?

Answer: City water doesn’t need electricity to pump water. Instead, it uses gravity to run water flow in the system. Unless the tank runs out of water it supplies water without any disturbance. 


That was all about can you flush the toilet when the power is out? Hopefully, you’ve got the answer you were looking for.

Until next time, stay safe!