How to Flush a Toilet Without the Handle

Toilets and particularly toilet flush lever handles malfunction from time to time. While you wait to get this fixed, you may wonder how to flush a toilet without the handle. Well, there are a few different ways you can do this, but the main manual flushing process involves a bucket of water.

Flush a Toilet Without the Handle

To flush a toilet without the handle, you would fill up roughly a gallon of hot water into the bucket and slowly pour it into the toilet bowl, and gradually incrementally increase your pouring speed. If this is done well, the water should clear your bowl of the waste, which will then flow down through the pipes. This is effectively akin to the gravity-flushing process your toilet usually uses to flush down waste.

Your toilet needs to be flushed even when the handle malfunctions or the water level drops off. Without it, you’ll be left without one of the most essential home appliances. Everyone needs to know how to flush a toilet without the handle to keep their toilet running until they have a permanent fix.

Read on to learn more about your options.

Method 1: Use a Bucket to Flush Down Any Waste

This method will likely be your best bet if your toilet tank’s flush valve is broken itself, not just the handle. In the long-term, repairing the broken tank and subsequently the lever that triggers its system will be your end goal, but in the meantime, this should help you flush down all your waste.

bucket to flush

For this process, all you need is a bucket and 1-2 gallons of water every time you want to flush the toilet. However, the amount of water needed will depend on the amount of waste. In addition, if your toilet has a clog or blockage, you may need even more water. Regardless, here are the steps to flushing your toilet with a bucket.

Step 1

Fill a big bucket of hot water and some gloves and goggles and wear them to protect your face and hands while you flush.

Step 2

Begin pouring water into the bowl and keep speeding up the pouring so there is enough pressure to flush the toilet.

Step 3

If 1-2 gallons is not enough for your toilet, then keep adding water until you know what works best for the toilet you have. If there is a clog, you should make sure you fix that right away before continuing the flushing process.

Method 2: Flush Manually Without the Handle

If your handle is not working, it could be broken, loose, stuck, or hard to push down. If you cannot fix it right away, you will still need to be able to flush without using the flush lever. You can do this by pulling the chain or rod that attaches the handle to the toilet flapper. Here is a step-by-step process.

remove the lid from the toilet tank

Step 1

Lift the lid to the toilet water tank so you can reach inside.

Step 2

Find the chain or rod that attaches to the flapper.

Step 3

Now you should take hold of the chain and then let it go. This should fully flush your toilet. You can keep your lid off the toilet tank until you properly fix your handle.

Another possible method if the handle has broken or fallen off is to grip the stub using pliers. If you squeeze the handle stub and turn it, then it should work as a flush. However, this is a risky method since if the stub breaks, you will not be able to attach it to a new handle.

It is important to note that this works well if you have a flush lever, but not as well if you have a flush arm.

Method 3: Flush Manually from Inside the Tank with a Broken Chain

This method will be your best bet if your toilet tank is still connected to your water supply, but the flapper chain that connects the flapper to the chain has also broken. This is essentially a modification of Method 3 if you have a faulty chain. In this case, you will just find your flapper and pull it up.

The rubber flapper is one of the key components in your toilet’s flushing. If your chain is broken, the flapper is still useful. You could keep pulling it up to kickstart the flushing process until you finally replace the chain. Here is a step-by-step process.

Step 1

Take off the toilet tank lid so you can access the flapper.

Step 2

Find the flapper; it should be situated at the bottom of the toilet tank.

Step 3

Now pull the flapper up to release the tank’s water so it flows down into the bowl. If you want to do this without possibly damaging the auger, it may help to do this with a toilet snake or auger.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can you manually flush a toilet?

Yes, you can manually flush a toilet if need be. The most common method if your toilet tank system has completely busted us is to pour a bucket of water into your bowl so the waste flows down the drain.

What do you do if the toilet handle breaks?

Until you can buy a new one, there are many ways you can still flush the toilet. If your flapper and flapper chain is still available, just open the lid and pull the chain to flush the toilet. If your chain is also broken, then just pull the flapper up to start the flushing process.

How do you flush the inside of the toilet?

You open up the toilet tank to fiddle with the flapper and flapper chain so you can trigger the response from your flapper your handle normally would.

How do you adjust the toilet, so you do not have to hold the handle down?

This usually means your flapper is not correctly lifting off from your flush valve. This can be rectified by adjusting the length of your toilet chain that connects your flapper to the flush valve.

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