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I hate emptying a toilet of its residual water by the repetitive process of soaking it up with a rag and then ringing it out in the sink or a bucket. There has to be some sort of manual, hand-held pump that I can use to remove the bulk of the water, leaving just enough left over that I can get it in one shot using the towel method.

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Shop vac w/ the filters removed - suck the water right out of there, easy peasy, works every time.

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And this is manual and hand-held? – oscilatingcretin Oct 10 '11 at 22:29
It is if you bring a very large battery? Actually I have seen hand held shop vacs - a plumber used one to do exactly what you wanted, drain the toilet, though his did plug in. – The Evil Greebo Oct 11 '11 at 12:11
up vote 5 down vote accepted

This looks like it will work!

enter image description here

Or maybe this one.

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Yep, the first one worked just fine. I was able to siphon out water until just enough was left in the bowl to be soaked up in one go with a rag. The tank took a few more soaks due to the large area. Regardless, it was much better than using a plastic cup that could only get so much water from the tank and bowl and then having to use the rag method 5 to 6 times for the bowl and tank each to soak up what the cup couldn't get. – oscilatingcretin Oct 16 '11 at 17:45

You can make a siphon. Get a jar with a plastic lid. Get some surgical tubing. Drill two holes in the lid slightly smaller than the tubing. Insert a longer piece of tubing into one hole, pushing it down near the bottom. Insert a shorter piece on the other side, keeping the tub end nearer to the top of the jar. Put the other end of the long tube in the toilet. Now suck the water into the jar. Once the water starts entering the jar gravity will take over and finish the job provided the jar is lower than the bottom of the toilet.

Or, as suggested, if you can live with it not being hand held, a wet/dry shopvac is probably the easiest way to go about it.

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Sucking toilet water - that sure sound like a lot of fun :) – Vitaliy Oct 11 '11 at 3:48
Hence the two tubes. You're not sucking the tube with the water in it...you are just making a vacuum in the jar to start the syphoning. – DA01 Oct 11 '11 at 4:21

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