I want to fill the toilet bowl with water as high as I can and let the water sit without draining for up to 24 hours. Why? To let some (gentle) cleansers do their work. I've tried shutting off the water at the wall and refilling the bowl from a pitcher, but inevitably the water starts draining too soon. Ideas?

  • The only think I can think of is Bernoulli. If it's windy outside, the wind over the top of the vent stack can create a Bernoulli effect and partially empty the toilet bowl. I cannot think of anything else that could cause the bowl to empty except a crack in the bowl itself, which would be pretty obvious. – BillDOe Nov 20 '17 at 22:28
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    It drains because there's nothing actually holding it in - just the curve of the pipe which makes up the 'trap'. You'd have to physically block it somehow to keep the level above its normal 'finished flushing' level. – brhans Nov 20 '17 at 22:43
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    Use a toilet plunger fit the plunger and fill if it is a good seal the bowl will stay full. I have had a young child flush a balloon that got stuck in the trap took a while to figure that one out, finally popped it with a drain auger but if the right size the balloon will make a good seal if the plunger won't seal tight. – Ed Beal Nov 20 '17 at 22:59

The toilet bowl can only hold water as high as the top of the porcelain inside of chamber 5 in the picture below, unless you do something to stop it:

Toilet cutaway


Wad up a large trash bag and stuff it into the bowl, about as far as it will go. If it's not large enough, place a few crumpled paper towels into the bag and re-wad. It should be large enough to clog most toilets, it's easy to remove, and won't seep like a towel or rag would.

  • +1 but I will add that you need to be real careful that you don't flush that bag down when you fill the bowl with water, could make for a bad day. – Jimmy Fix-it Nov 22 '17 at 5:48
  • you can always tie the drawstings around the toilet rim to be sure ;) – dandavis Nov 22 '17 at 6:46

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