Frozen pipes can cut off your regular flow of water in the toilet, so don’t get flustered when you can’t access water. You can flush the toilet without water in the tank using the snow around you. Luckily, it’s simple to learn how to use snow to flush toilet.
Simply dump the melted snow into the toilet and it will unclog as you do with a plunger. You can leave the snow to melt naturally or heat it on a stove.
Let’s discuss the details of each method below.
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Ways to Use Snow to Flush Toilet
With or without a plunger, a toilet won’t flush when there’s no water. That’s why it’s crucial to learn how to flush the toilet with snow during winter months.
Snow is abundant, replenishable, and most importantly, free! You just have to make sure the snow melts into usable water. Here’s how to take control of the elements and use them to your benefit.
Method 1: Wait For the Snow To Melt Naturally
The easiest way to melt snow is to leave it melting on its own. However, it takes time to melt the snow, so make sure that you do it overnight or longer.
What To Prepare
- Pail or bucket
- Shovel or rake
- Look for piles of snow and shovel them into a pail.
- Sprinkle salt on the snow to help speed up the melting process. The salt will try to break down the snow’s water molecules and keep them from forming solid ice crystals.
- Put the pail of snow in a place where you want it to melt. Let nature take its course.
- Dump melting snow to flush toilet carefully. Pour it high so there will be more pressure to clean the bowl. No need to use the handle because the pressure will help push the material down into the drain.
Tip: If you don’t want to create an accidental mess, you can pour the melted snow directly into the tank. Fill the tank above the overflow tube, then use the flush handle.
Method 2: Boil Snow For Water
If you’re in a pinch, you can apply heat to melt the snow faster. Simply boil snow to create a source of water.
What To Prepare
- Stove or any heat source of heat
- A large pot
- Gather snow with your preferred tool. Snow is 90-95% air, so do expect to gather heaps of it.
- Heat your pot on the stove.
- Put a small amount of snow in the pot first, then cover the pot to boil faster.
- Once the melted snow starts to boil, add more snow in batches.
- After all the snow has watered down into the desired quantity, turn off the heat. If you own a porcelain toilet, let the water cool a little to prevent damaging the surface.
- Finally, dump the watered-down snow into the toilet or fill the tank with the boiled snow to use the handle for flushing.
Is It Safe to Use Snow to Flush Toilet?
Yes, using snow to flush toilet is completely safe as long as you melt the snow first. Metled snow is just water, and will just go down the drain without damaging the plumbing and the toilet itself.
When pouring water into the toilet, be careful not to create a mess. Pour slowly first, then dump the rest of the water into the toilet bowl.
Avoid pouring boiling water directly into the toilet if you have PVC pipes. The heat may damage the pipe seals and cause a leak. If your toilet has metal pipes, then it’s safe to use the watered-down snow right after boiling.
How much water to flush the toilet?
You need about a gallon or 3.8 liters of water to flush your RV toilet. Other toilets only require half a gallon for flushing. Unlike residential toilets, RV toilets have a smaller tank to hold the wastewater.
How much snow to produce a gallon of water?
Snow contains mostly trapped air and a small amount of frozen water particles. Also, water expands when frozen, meaning you’ll need lots of snow to flush the toilet.
The water content depends on the density of the snow. Denser snow produces more water when it melts. Typically, it takes two buckets of snow to produce a gallon of water.
How to accelerate snow melting?
Aside from salt, you can use alfalfa meals to accelerate the natural melting process of the snow. The nitrogen content of the alfalfa meal will help melt the snow.
Coffee is another great catalyst. Like alfalfa meals, coffee has nitrogen conten. It also has natural acidity, which also helps melt snow faster.
For faster results, use potassium chloride or magnesium chloride to chemically react to snow and reduce the melting temperature.
Lastly, don’t forget the traditional method of using a heat source.
How long does snow melt?
Snow can take several hours or days to melt on its own, especially if the weather remains at a freezing temperature. If you use chemical products like potassium chloride, it starts working after 30-45 minutes. Boiling snow may take up to a couple of hours, depending on the volume of water you need.
Now that you know how to use snow to flush toilet, frozen pipes or obstructed water supply during winter don’t seem like such a big concern. You can always melt the snow to use as a replacement water source. The melting process may take a long time, but it’s better than leaving your toilet dirty and being forced to use a chamber pot.
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