Home Home Improvement What to Do if You Have a Broken Toilet in a One-Bathroom Home
Home Improvement

What to Do if You Have a Broken Toilet in a One-Bathroom Home

What to Do if You Have a Broken Toilet in a One-Bathroom Home

If you live in a one-bathroom home, a broken toilet can feel catastrophic. According to statistics, the plumbing industry in the United States raked in a revenue of $142 billion in 2021.

So, if you’re experiencing toilet problems and there’s only one bathroom, what should you do?

Read on to discover some helpful tips that will get you through the crisis so you can return to a normal life.

Check for Leaks

One of the most common causes of toilet problems is leaks, and this is something you should address as soon as possible. Not only can water damage your floors, but it also poses a serious health risk to you and your family members.

Start by looking for the source of the water leak. Note that leaks coming from your home’s water supply line are a lot different from leaks located at the base of the toilet, or where the bowl and tank connect.

Take a closer look at the nut behind the valve, the base of the toilet, and the toilet supply line connection. In many cases, a loose or worn-out part could be the culprit. If this is the case, then it’s usually a fairly easy thing to fix DIY.

Ask the Neighbors to Use Their Toilet

If you’re experiencing toilet problems and you can’t wait any longer, you may need to rely on your neighbors for help. Don’t be afraid to politely ask your neighbors if you can use their toilet. After all, if they know you, then it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Make sure that you tell your friendly neighbors that the situation is only temporary. Hopefully, there are people who live near you that are kind and that you can rely on when something like a broken toilet occurs.

If you can’t find a neighbor who’s willing to let you use their bathroom, you can also try a local place of business. Just make sure that the business has public restrooms and make sure you don’t need to buy something first in order to use them.

Broken Toilet? Try a Modification

Fortunately, if you need to hire a plumber but they’re all booked up, you can make some modifications to your toilet while you wait. This method will help you use the toilet as it collects waste without flushing it.

Start by making sure you turn the water valve that’s connected to the toilet off. Then, flush out any leftover water sitting in the bowl. After you do this, the toilet should not refill automatically.

Place a durable plastic garbage bag under the seat of the toilet and line the bowl with it. It’s best to use two bags, just to make sure that they don’t leak.

Now, fill your newly-lined toilet with some lime, peat moss, or kitty litter. The goal is to fill it with anything that will absorb liquid while also reducing odors.

Once you complete these steps, you can go ahead and use your toilet. It’s possible that you can use the same bag more than once before you need to remove and replace it. When you need to take it out, make sure you tie it up securely, then add a new inner bag and repeat the process.

Always make sure you store your “used toilet bag” in a safe place away from kids, pets, and wildlife. And, don’t forget to wash your hands with warm water and antibacterial soap or use some hand sanitizer.

Dig a Cat Hole

If you’re experiencing toilet problems in a one-bathroom household, you might have to improvise. A “cat hole” is a great way to use the restroom in a pinch.

Start by digging a hole in a dry area of your yard that’s a minimum of 100 feet away from your house, well,s and open water sources. This includes streams, lakes, rivers, and yes — even the ocean.

Dig the hole at least six inches deep and at least 6 inches in diameter or larger. You can toss toilet paper into the hole when you’re done as long as it’s biodegradable. Never throw tampons, sanitary napkins, wipes, or diapers into the hole, and put them in a securely closed plastic bag instead.

Once you dig your hole, you can use it as an “outdoor toilet.” When you finish, just cover the hole with the dirt you used to make it and pack it down to prevent the waste from attracting pests.

If you’re planning to do this for a while, it’s a good idea to mark the hole so you don’t accidentally dig a new one in the same spot. And of course, remember to wash your hands immediately afterward.

Hire a Plumber

Of course, your first action should be to call a plumber if you’re dealing with a broken toilet. A professional plumber can come and assess the issue and make all necessary repairs.

If you’re having trouble locating a plumber near you, go online, check the phone book, or find plumbers here who can help you. Many homeowners think that they can fix a broken toilet, but in most cases, it’s a task that is usually best left for professionals to tackle.

However, if you can’t seem to get a plumber to come out right away, you can always refer to the options above while you wait. The key is to remain as patient as possible and look for reasonable ways you can still use the toilet until yours gets fixed.

Don’t Panic

Toilet problems can happen to anyone, so remember these tips if you end up with a broken toilet in a one-bathroom household. Whether you need to ask a neighbor for help, improvise with trash bags, or dig a hole, you can get through this precarious moment unscathed.

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