How To Flush Toilet On Boat | Detailed Guide

So, you’ve decided that you’re up for a camping weekend; the only problem is you don’t know what to do with the toilet when you’re out on the boat. I mean, how the heck are you supposed to know how to flush a toilet on the boat? It’s not as easy as flushing it in your home. The same principles might not apply in this case. So, let’s see what we can do about that.

It may not be that crazy of a question. But if you’re like me, then you might be completely oblivious and never even think about how to go about flushing your toilet on the boat. If you’re lucky, maybe there are some instructions to help you out.

But the truth is that most boat owners never really think about their plumbing until they have to deal with it. Well, this guide is for the people like you, and I am sure this article will help.

The easiest way to flush your toilet on a boat is to open the tank stopper and pour water from a bucket directly into the bowl. This will move waste through your plumbing and out into the sea. If you have a pump toilet, you can also use this method to flush it.

What Is A Marine Toilet For A Boat?

If you love the sea and boating, I am sure you know about the marine toilet. But if you are new to this obsession, let me tell you what a marine toilet is. 

A marine toilet is a toilet that is designed to be used on a boat. It has a lower water line than your typical home toilet, and the outer bowl has two holes for flushing. The first hole is for your waste, and the second is for the sink water you use to rinse yourself off after using it.

There are many types of marine toilets, including those that allow you to flush by pumping or self-flushing.

How Does A Boat Toilet Work?

Okay, so, before knowing how to flush the toilet on the boat. It’s much better first to understand how boat toilets work because this can lead you to perform the flushing job correctly. 

Boat toilets are different from regular toilets because they use other technology to perform their function. When it comes to boating, most of us don’t even use the word ‘toilet’—we call them heads.

Boat toilets work by using the water movement in your boat’s tanks to help flush waste away. It also uses a pump to remove water from the tank, which leads to a clean tank and an odor-free experience for everyone on board.

There are many different boat toilets, but they all work similarly: using gravity and vacuum pressure combined with moving water through pipes or an onboard holding tank.

How Much Water Does A Boat Toilet Use?

Well, the answer to this question is a little complicated. First, there are two types of boats: power boats and sailboats. Both boats have different types of toilets and use different amounts of water.

Power boats tend to have more powerful engines and therefore use more fuel. Because of this, they require more water for flushing their toilets. A power boat toilet’s average amount of water is about one gallon per flush.

On the other hand, sailors require less water than power boats because they don’t use fuel or electricity. Instead, they rely on wind for propulsion. This means that the water used by a sailboat toilet will vary based on how much wind blows at any given time during your trip on the water. A sailboat toilet’s average amount of water is about 0.5 gallons per flush.

Read my article on How Much Water to Flush a Toilet to get more knowledge about it.

How To Flush Toilet On Boat | Manual Or Electrical Toilet

Now when you have enough boat toilets. Let’s move on to the main topic of this article which is how to flush the toilet on a boat. Remember that the procedure is not rocket science, but you must do it just like a pro to get your desired outcome.

Flushing Manual Toilet | Simplest Steps

I am sharing a method of flushing a manual toilet on a boat, as most boats have a manual toilet. You can flush these types of toilet by following the below steps.

Step 1: Ensure the toilet is empty by lifting the lid and checking inside.

Step 2: Turn the handle clockwise to unlock the flush mechanism, and lift to remove the tank lid.

Step 3: Pour water into the bowl until it is about one inch from full, using a funnel if necessary. 

Step 4: Replace the tank lid and turn to handle counterclockwise to lock it in place, then flush!

Flushing Electrical Toilet | Simplest Steps

After reading the procedure of manual flushing toilet on a boat, if you’re thinking that flushing an Electrical toilet on the boat would be challenging. So, my friend, I suppose you might be wrong. Flushing an electrical toilet is more manageable than flushing a manual toilet. Here’s how to flush your boat’s electrical toilet:

Step 1: Ensure all the necessary parts are in place before beginning. You’ll need an electrical outlet, a toilet bowl, and a hose attached to the drainage system.

Step 2: Turn on the water supply by pressing the button marked “fill” or “drain” on the side of your ship’s sink. This will allow water to flow into the bowl, fill it with waste, and flush it away.

Step 3: Lift the toilet seat lid and place a bucket underneath it to catch any overflow or spillage during use.

Step 4: Sit on top of your toilet seat (or stand beside it if there isn’t enough room inside). The idea is simple: when you press down on one side with your foot, it closes off one end of the pipe while opening up another end at another location so that water can flow through both sides simultaneously until the waste has been flushed away entirely from within its confines (i.e., this allows users to dispose of their waste more efficiently).

Also Read:

How To Flush Toilet On Bus

How to Flush Toilet in Camper

How to Flush Toilet in Airplane

How to Flush a Caravan Toilet

What To Do If Boat Toilet Won’t Flush?

If you are on a boat or water vessel and have a toilet that won’t flush, then you’re probably not having the best day. But don’t worry! Many simple things can be done to fix this problem before calling a professional plumber. Let’s go over some common reasons why your toilet might not be working correctly and how to fix them:

Problem In A Sewage System 

The sewage system on board is based on a vacuum, so it is essential to check if there is enough vacuum to create a good seal.

If the pump is not working, it may be blocked. This could be caused by debris in the hose or a blockage in the sewer system.

To check if your boat toilet is blocked, remove the lid and look at the bottom of the bowl. If any debris or foreign matter is present, you will need to remove it using a long-handled brush or stick before reinserting your boat toilet into its housing.

The Check Valve At The Pump Outlet May Be Clogged Up With Debris

If your boat has a check valve at the pump outlet, it may be clogged up with debris. To clean it out, use a paper clip or similar object to push in gently and twist the valve until it pops back out. If this doesn’t clear the clog, replace the check valve.

It Is Important To Check Whether The Flapper Works Properly

First and foremost, check whether the flapper works appropriately. To do this, put a small object under it so that when you flush, water will flow into the bowl of your boat toilet and not into your boat cabin. 

If there are no leaks, then it means that everything is working fine; however, if there is a leak, then you need to replace your old rubber seat with a new one (or buy a new flapper).

Make sure that there are no clogs in your pipes by pulling out any blockages with pliers or tongs before attempting to reset them back into their respective places.

If there are still problems after doing this step, then consider replacing some parts of your system, such as replacing broken pieces like cracked toilets or replacing damaged valves which may result in leaking due to improper installation procedures by previous owners who installed them incorrectly without understanding what they were doing at all times

Clogged Toilet Paper Filters Can Also Cause Flushing Issues

The toilet paper filter is located at the bottom of the toilet. It should be cleaned regularly to prevent it from becoming clogged, which can cause flushing issues. If you’re having trouble getting your boat’s toilet to flush, try cleaning out its paper filter before attempting other solutions.

If Above Measures Do Not Help, The Problem Might Be In The Drainage

If the above measures do not help, the problem might be in the drainage. So it would be best if you inspected all hoses and water levels in the holding tank.

For checking the hose for leaks, kinks and bends:

  • Check if there are any cracks or leaks on it.
  • Check if there are any kinks or bends in it which may cause blockage of water flow through them.


Now that you have all the facts and know the exact ways of flushing, you won’t have to worry about forgetting how to flush the toilet on the boat next time you go camping! While the steps displayed above are specifically for a boat toilet, the basic principles still apply, and the same methods should work for most other types of toilets on any watercraft.

Leave a Comment