How to Flush a Toilet from the Inside? [3 Ways]

Do you have a toilet that won’t flush because the flush switch or handle is bad? Follow this step-by-step guide to flush your toilet from inside:

Lift the Rubber Flapper Valve in the Toilet Tank

The flapper valve is an important component in the flush valve assembly. In its normal position, the flapper valve blocks the water in the tank from going into the toilet bowl.

flushing toilet from the inside

However, when the flapper valve is lifted, water escapes into the toilet bowl to initiate the flushing process. Pressing the flush switch or handle lifts the flapper valve.

However, if the flush switch or handle is bad, you can lift the flapper valve to manually flush the toilet.

To lift the rubber flapper valve to initiate the flush, do this:

Remove the toilet tank lid and keep it somewhere safe. Toilets are either made of ceramic or porcelain and must be handled carefully to avoid cracking. So, use some soft materials to put the tank lid.

This method requires you to get your hand wet with the water in your toilet tank. But you don’t have to worry, this water is safe and doesn’t contain any dirt or waste. Still, you should wear gloves before doing this task.

We assume that the fill mechanism is functioning properly and the toilet tank is filled with water. Look carefully into the toilet tank for the lift chain and pull it to lift the flapper valve. If the chain is stuck or disconnected and won’t pull the flapper valve, look out for the flapper valve itself.

The flapper valve is a rubber stopper attached to the refill tube at the bottom of the tank. It’s usually red though it can be found in other colors as well like grey and blue. Reach down to the flapper valve and lift it to flush the toilet.

Some modern toilets are equipped with a flush valve float instead of a flapper valve. If this is your type of toilet, lift the flush valve float gently with your hand to manually flush your toilet.

Other Methods of Manually Flushing Toilet

As stated earlier, the method above only works if the fill mechanism is working properly to refill the toilet tank. If the fill mechanism is also faulty, try any of these other methods to flush the toilet.

Fill the Toilet Tank Manually with Water and Flush Normally

The fill mechanism inside the toilet tank ensures that the toilet tank is refilled properly with water after every flush. However, if anything goes wrong with the fill mechanism preventing it from refilling the toilet tank, the tank may not refill after you flush.

In such cases, you need to manually fill the toilet tank and flush the toilet.

To flush your toilet by manually filling the toilet tank, do this:

Get a bucketful of water. Open the toilet tank and pour the water into it until it’s about a few inches below the refill tube. Most standard toilets require about 1.2 to 1.6 gallons of water to flush properly.

Be careful not to overfill the toilet tank or splash water on the toilet floor. Once the toilet tank is properly filled, pull the lift chain or lift the flapper valve to flush the toilet.

This method is better than pouring water into the toilet bowl directly to flush. It enables you to use just the right amount of water and also gives you more flushing control. This method is also less messy.

This method can also be applied to instances other than when the flush switch or handle is bad. For instance, it can be applied if the main water supply to the house is faulty and/or not running or the plumbing system is under repair.

It is also applicable to running or nonfunctional toilets.

Pour Water into The Toilet Bowl Directly to Flush

Please note that this last method doesn’t flush the toilet from inside like the other two methods above. This method seems like the fastest but should be considered when everything in the toilet tank is faulty. This means that the fill and flush mechanisms are completely bad and the toilet tank can’t hold water at all.

This requires that you understand how your toilet bowl flushes else you may end up messing up your toilet. You also need to understand the right force to use and the way to channel the water into the bowl.

To flush your toilet by pouring water directly into the toilet bowl, do this:

Get a bucketful of water. Depending on your toilet, you may need about 3 to 4 gallons of water in the bucket to flush properly.

Open the toilet seat cover if your toilet has one and pour the water into the toilet bowl as quickly as possible.

Pouring a large amount of water all at once and very quickly into the toilet bowl creates a force that pushes the waste down the drain. Pouring the water slowly will only fill up the toilet bowl with more water without moving the waste away.

And be careful while pouring the water to avoid splashing contaminated water on the toilet floor and on your body.

You can also use this method when the water supply main is faulty and there is no running water or if you have a tankless toilet.


There are three methods of manually flushing a toilet. The first method, which only works if the fill mechanism is working properly, is to lift the flush valve float gently with your hand. I

f the fill mechanism is not working, try any of these other methods to flush the toilet. The second method is to fill the toilet tank manually with water and flush normally.

The third method is to pour water directly into the toilet bowl to flush.

Each of these methods has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on what you need at that moment.

However, if you’re not comfortable with any of the methods above, contact a professional plumber immediately to fix the problem.

It’s worth knowing that a bad flush lever or button is usually caused by several reasons. A common reason is a broken or disconnected lift chain.

Another reason is a broken or damaged lift rod. For a toilet with a flush valve float, a faulty flush valve seal can be the problem as well.

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