Running water in your home is one of the most common conveniences in the modern world. We take it for granted, and can’t imagine life without it. Before you get too comfortable, remember that the unimaginable became a reality for about 165,000 Odessa residents when a water main break forced the whole system to shut down. Many questions arise when you unexpectedly don’t have water. In this post, we’ll tackle one of the biggest: flushing the toilet with no water.


When the water shuts off, there should still be water left in the toilet from the final flush. As long as you don’t try to flush when there’s no water, you should have enough water in the bowl. If not, you’ll need to find a way to add water to the bowl.

When you push the lever to flush the toilet, the water in the bowl will go down the drain – even if the water isn’t on. The problem is finding water for the next flush.


To create the same effect as having running water, you need to take the following steps:

  • Check the small numbers at the back of your tank to see how many gallons are used with every flush. Most toilets are between 1 and 1.5 gallons. That’s how much you’ll need to flush it! Make sure you have at least that much in a bucket that’s easy to pour from.
  • Quickly dump the entire contents of your bucket into the toilet bowl. It’s important to pour fast to create enough pressure to push everything that’s in the toilet through the pipes, but not so quickly that you’re splashing water or waste everywhere.
  • No need to jiggle the handle or worry about the empty tank.
  • If the water could be shut off for a while, it can be a good idea to have some buckets on standby for when it is necessary to flush. You can use your own discretion to determine if a flush is necessary after every use.


Thankfully, the water outage in Odessa only lasted a little more than a day. Now that it’s back online, you may have some other plumbing issues that need attention. Trenchless Replacement Specialists can help. Make an appointment online or call us today at (432) 580-7693