You’ve turned off the water to the toilet because the tank or a plumbing fitting is leaking. But since this is your only toilet, it needs to be used before the plumber arrives tomorrow to fix the leak. How can you flush the toilet in the meantime?

Easy. Just fill a bucket with about two or three gallons of water and pour it into the toilet bowl all at once. Note: pour it into the bowl, not the tank at the back of the toilet. The flow of water will easily flush the toilet.

After a normal flush, water from the toilet tank would refill the trap in the bowl; now, with the tank’s water supply turned off, you’ll notice a low level of water in the bowl. You should slowly pour in more water to fill the bowl and the trap after your bucket flush. This will keep sewer gas and odors out of the bathroom.

The bucket flush is also a very effective way to remove water from the toilet bowl. Say you need to remove hard water stains from the bowl, and you want to use the cleaning chemical directly on the stain without diluting it with water. Use the “bucket” flush to remove the water from the bowl, and then apply your cleaning chemical.