Will toilets work without electricity?

Portable commode
Reliance Camping Toilet
------------------------------------------------- Revised 10/29/18
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You can flush your toilet with about a gallon of water, and The Wen way
shows you the way!

So there you have it: toilets run on electricity even though it's
true that your toilets flush without electricity. While you can't
avoid an emergency, you can at least know what to expect and
you can have a plan for the unexpected problems. It can be as
simple as owning a camping toilet.

Happy endings...
Do you have a plan when the stuff hits the fan? If your #1 place
to go #2 isn't available in a long-term emergency because the
toilets won't flush, you must have an alternative sanitation plan.

Get a prepper toilet.

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Prepare to live happily ever after with us at happypreppers.com - the emergency
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Toilet flushing
Do toilets work without electricity?

Will your toilet flush without electricity in an emergency?
Can toilets work without electricity? The simple is answer is yes,
but your toilet will work for a limited time only. The reason your
toilets will work temporarily without electricity is because most of
the work already has been done to get the water to your toilet
and to build the pressure to enable it to flush away the waste.

So
toilets run on electricity? Yes! To fully understand how toilets
run on electricity, you need to know how water flows from the
treatment plants to your home...

Will toilets flush without electricity?
Can toilets flush without electricity? The short answer is yes they
can. Your toilet will work without electricity provided the water
supply isn't also cut off (but it will work only for a limited time).
Your toilet requires both the water from the municipal water
supply and enough pressure to flush it away for processing.

Your toilet works with pressure. The toilet plunger right, applies
pressure to help you flush away a clogged pipe. The drain blaster
uses the power of high-pressure compressed air to blast away the
toughest clogs in your drains in just seconds. Hair, cloth, tea,
leaves, grease, oil dirties and so on. Just pump the drain blaster
and squeeze the trigger, and it clears the clog instantly.

If there's no clog, then you can use a gallon of water to flush the
toilet and the video at the bottom of the page shows you how.

Why can a toilet flush when there's a blackout?
The reason you can flush initially without electricity is that the
municipal water supply has already provided your toilet with the
water it needs for several flushes. Likewise, the pump systems at
the sanitation plant have already flushed away previous waste
leaving room for you to flush. Your toilet will work initially
without electricity because it requires intermittent pressure. In an
emergency for example, water towers help provide pressure.

Eventually, however, the sanitation district will require power to
flush away all the waste for processing. The pipes run several
miles and sometimes the pipes run up hills. Pump stations help
get the waste where it needs to go and these require electricity.

Toilets require pressure and water.

  • Toilets work on pressure. Toilets work on pressure. It's the
    pump systems at the sanitation plant require power. The
    municipal sewage system requires electricity to move the
    waste through the pipes and out into the sewer system.
    Waste removal systems are gravity based or require
    electricity! If your system is gravity-based  your toilets will
    flush unless the pipes freeze. But there's another caveat.
    You see, the waste goes through a pipe and gathers in a
    chamber. Here's where the electrical pump pushes it through
    a pipe going to the outside sewer system. If the power goes
    down (no electricity), then waste gathers in the chamber. It
    gets stuck  and can't move further along the path. Eventually
    this chamber could overflow.

  • Toilets require water. If your building shuts off its water
    supply, you can still flush the toilet with greywater or water
    you've stored. Your toilet tank should have enough water for
    a flush and you can also rely on your water heater for extra
    water in an emergency. Alternatively, you can get water from
    a pool or a pond.

How does water get to your house?
A series of water towers and tanks, hydrants, pumps, pipes and
valves help bring the water to your home and the sewage away.

  • Pumps (move water). One way the sanitary district uses
    electricity is with pumps. Water needs to be pumped at
    higher elevations for example  Quit simply, toilets work on
    pressure and they require adequate water.

  • Water towers. Water towers help provide water during
    power outages and fires. They also help when demand is
    high and help to improve the water pressure.

  • Valves. Valves help stop the flow of water when breaks
    occur. Did you know that functioning pipes can be even a
    hundred years old? Eventually,  pipes installed in the early
    1900s will need replacement or the water will stop flowing.

Will your toilets flush without electricity?
That depends if you have city water pressure or a well. If you
have city water, the water tower in your town creates the
pressure to make the water flow and fill up the tank.

Most toilets don't require electricity, it's true. A caveat is up-flush
toilets. There are electric upflush toilets for use in a basement
where the drains are higher than the toilet. These are quite
common. If these toilets do not have electricity they will not flush.

  • Municipal water supply: The public water supply is how
    most people who live in a town or city get their water. It's a
    long way from the water plant to the tap. These municipal
    water utilities get water to you through surface water or
    ground water (both require pump):

  • Surface water: This water comes from lakes, rivers and
    streams. It requires pumps to treat the water and get
    water to homes.

  • Ground water: This water is collected from deep
    underground in what's called aquifers. The utility
    company drills a deep well and then pumps it to the
    surface. It also requires pumps to treat the water and
    get it to homes.

  • Well water. If you live in the country, your water likely
    comes from a well on your property. If you have a well, you
    need electricity for the water pump to work and fill up the
    tank on the back of the toilet.

What happens after you flush?
Humans have always peed and pooped, but where it goes after
we’ve done our business has changed a lot. SciShow's Hank Green
explains that the water you just drank may well have been a part
of someone’s urine just weeks ago! Just another reason we
recommend filtering your water with a
Big Berkey Water Filter.
Sun Mar Composting Off-grid Toilet
Nature's Head Dry Composting
Camco toilet
Serene Life Outdoor toilet
Best water purifiers for preppers
Water storage Options
nine reasons to love a Big Berkey
Off grid showers
How to set up a quarantine at home
Waterbob ~ bathtub reservoir
Bivvy
Above, SciShow's Hank Green explains what happens after you flush.

It's good to have a camping toilet on hand.
While it's true you can flush the toilet even when the electricity
is off, eventually the sewers will backup and you won't be able to
flush. That's because the sanitation plants run on power. While
they have backups for short emergencies, they are not equipped
for month-long power failures.

In an
electromagnetic pulse (EMP) where there is no more power,
or a
severe pandemic where workers are unable to keep the plant
operating, sanitation may not immediately be on your mind, but
eventually it will. So now you know that most toilets don't
require electricity to work in the short term.

Can you flush a toilet without running water?
You don't need a video on how to flush a toilet without running
water, but someone created it below. All you need is a large
bucket of water to force the pressure and flush, provided there
isn't something clogging the drain.

  • Tip: Store a five-gallon bucket in the shower to collect the
    shower water as you wait for the water to warm. In this way
    you'll always have water for your garden or for flushing the
    toilet if need be. You could otherwise the greywater from a
    bathtub.

How to Flush a Toilet without Running Water
The time may come when they turn out the water in your building
or for a long term off-grid scenario you have no water.

You can flush a toilet without electricity and also without running
water. Here's how...
How to stockpile enough toilet paper (and what to do when it runs out)
Prepper Toilets
Big Berkey Water filtration System
Will toilets flush without electricity?