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Seelix's avatar

Can someone answer a quick plumbing question? No emergency, just curiosity?

Asked by Seelix (14757 points ) April 13th, 2011

So today, the building maintenance people have shut off our water in order to repair some valves or something. We were warned well in advance, and filled the bathtub at bedtime.

The notice we received said that in order to flush the toilets, we should just pour water into the toilet bowl. Well, that didn’t work, so I poured it into the toilet tank then flushed as normal. No big deal.

What I want to know is why they’d suggest filling the bowl when it’s the gravitational force of the water in the tank that flushes away all the ickies? Should it have worked if the tank wasn’t full?

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12 Answers

filmfann's avatar

If the tank isn’t full, you’re not going to get a complete flush.
Your way was better than the suggested way, but the landlord may have felt taking the tank lid off was too much for other renters in your complex.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Last time I had to do that I discovered that you couldn’t just pour the water into the bowl, it had to go in with some force to start the process. No I can’t really explain that, but a few quarts (like from a saucepan) swooshed in at a sort-of sideways, downish angle with a fair amount of oomph seemed to do the trick.

Seelix's avatar

Thanks peeps! I didn’t think it made much sense to just pour the water into the bowl. Maybe the building manager thought that filling the tank would be too much – most of the people living here are international students whose first language isn’t English, and maybe they (stupidly) assumed that the instructions would be too complex. (shrug)

buster's avatar

I agree fill the tank especially if you cut a deuce. Just a little gangster knowledge I would like to share. When the police are about to raid a dope house suspected of holding large quantities they cut off the water first. That way they can only flush one toilet once. Some dealers keep buckets of water in a bathroom for this reason in case they get ran in on they can barricade themselves in the bathroom and keep refilling the tank and flush as much as possible if not all.

john65pennington's avatar

If you pour enough water at one time into the bowl, gravity takes over and it will flush. In any event, we don’t need any deuces floating around. What does that mean, anyway?

FluffyChicken's avatar

@john65pennington a deuce = a turd. cutting a deuce = pooping.

Aster's avatar

yeah, you do have to pour a whole bucket of water down at once and it works.

Seelix's avatar

Thanks for all your input, everyone! Hopefully it’s not something I’ll have to worry about again for a while. The water is back on! :)

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
woodcutter's avatar

I always thought it was “dropping a deuce”. Cutting? I suppose there may be some pincer action involved. Putting the water in the tank first is the more sanitary way, trust me on this.

RocketGuy's avatar

Most people don’t know that you only need a gallon of fast, downward moving water to flush a toilet. No need to fill the tank w/ 5 gallons for a single flush. That would be a waste of a (at the time) limited resource.

Seelix's avatar

@RocketGuy – Good point. I flushed the toilet a few times throughout the day while the water was shut off, and didn’t bother filling the tank even halfway.

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