Compensation question

I have a two bedroom two bathroom house. Guests have arrived. They love the house. They just reached out because the float broke in one of the toilets so it’s not usable for the night. (It’s only a one night stay) What is a reasonable compensation? I was thinking of taking off the cleaning fee. Everything else works but now they have to share one bathroom. (the sink and shower work in the 2nd bathroom, but the toilet is broken). Thank you

Not sure what you mean by the float “broke”. Floats don’t “break” unless the bar that supports it rusts out, or the float has a hole in it. Although it may not be something your guests would want to do, a toilet can still be used with a non-functioning float. All the float does is stop the tank from overflowing. They just have to remove the tank cover carefully and set it aside, so it doesn’t break, turn the water on from the shut off valve at the base of the toilet, and watch the tank fill, shutting the water back off when it gets close to the top. Then they can flush the toilet and repeat the next time they need to use it.

I wouldn’t necessarily offer compensation unless the guests seem really fussed about it, but if you want to, maybe a 10% discount.

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Hi I FaceTimed with the guest they took the lid off and the round ball that floats was broken off of the stick. Additionally the water was not filling all the way up. I think the mechanism needs to be replaced. There are two couples and unfortunately they will have to share one toilet. I feel bad and was trying to think of what I could do being that it’s only a one night stay and they do have the other bathroom and everything else in the second bathroom working. However it’s an inconvenience. So I was thinking maybe the cleaning fee which is about 25% of their costs given that it’s only one night . I just didn’t know as this is never happened

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I’m sorry but it is a one night stay, they can use the other functioning toilet. Apologize as an unforseen event. If it was a longer stay and it couldn’t be fixed in a timely fashion, I would consider a discount.

Toilet tank guts are pretty simple, but yes, all the parts should probably be replaced, as if the bar broke, it’s old and rusted out, which means all the guts are probably old.
It may not be filling all the way because a bit of the broken metal might be stuck under the flapper at the bottom, which means the water would be constantly leaking out of the tank into the bowl. So they should probably shut off the water valve behind the toilet, but maybe it’s too late at night to contact them about it.

Sure, offer them 10-25% back if that’s what you feel is warranted. It’s a bit of an inconvenience, for sure, especially if it’s two couples, but if it’s a family, like mom and dad and the kids, having only one working toilet doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. I raised 3 daughters in a house with one bathroom :wink:

I personally would give them a discount because if they call Airbnb they might get the entire night refunded. I would send them back through the resolution center $20 and thank them for informing you so quickly about the toilet and assure them that as soon as they check out it will be fixed.

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One night and two toilets (one broken) I wouldn’t comp them anything. They surely didn’t book your place solely because it had two bathrooms… People who travel together certainly should have no qualms about sharing a bathroom for one night.

If there was only one toilet to start with, sure, I’d comp them.


I know how to flush a toilet with a bucket of water - doesn’t everyone?



I have 3 toilets in my home and two of them have a pressurized tank inside the porcelain tank. That means it can’t be flushed by pouring water into the tank. It’s nice for “low flush” toilets but I wouldn’t want to have one in an Airbnb.

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After hurricane Wilma we were without water for ten days. Had I not known, and if we hadn’t been living right on the canal with its constant water supply, things could have become rather unpleasant. :slight_smile:

A loo not flushing should be easy to fix. A bucket is easily supplied. I have an excellent plumber who can come out within an hour or so and I’ve used him a few times for emergency loo work. No big deal because the loo has to be fixed before the next guests arrive anyway.

I wouldn’t refund.


You don’t have to pour the water into the tank. You flush a non-working toilet by dumping a bucket of water into the bowl, not the tank.

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Well I was sleepy and felt like I needed to decide. I refunded $100. Had I waited until I wasn’t tired I wouldn’t have… maybe $50. Oh well. Now I know better. Thanks for the thoughts. This group gives good perspectives.


It can be done either way. When I’ve done it I put the water into the tank so that it would have the usual water force to help push things down the sewer. One thing I can say about these pressurized tanks is that there’s never an issue with a float sticking, a flapper leaking, etc. But when they need to be replaced it’s expensive and time consuming compared to a float.

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The trick to getting enough pressure to flush properly when dumping water in the bowl is to dump the whole bucket in fast, at once. If you pour it in, it doesn’t work.

The hardest toilet repair job I had to do recently was when the guest toilet was leaking between the tank and the base. (Luckily had no guest at the time)

First it took awhile to figure out where the slow drip was coming from, then 3 tries with a new seal, removing the tank and putting it back on each time, and finally adding a bead of silicone before it stopping leaking.

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When we lose power, we lose water, too. Fortunately, we have a big pool outside and several buckets….


That’s how my neighbor’s water system works, a pressure pump from their well into the house plumbing. So when the electric goes out, they have no water in the house.

When my friend was building right next to them, I advised her to put in a rooftop gravity feed tank (which is all I have), in addition to the pressure pump, so she could switch it over when we lose the electric, which happens a lot here in rainy season. She was really glad she did, and has used the tank a lot.

Putting in and relying on first world systems, with no backup, in places with third world infrastructure, doesn’t work that well. :wink:

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We have one of those, too, but it doesn’t automatically turn on when the power goes out. We only turn it on if the power will be out for a long time.

The ones here don’t need to be “turned on”. My neighbor who has that and a pressure tank, just has a valve handle she turns, which closes the connection from the pressure tank and opens the one from the rooftop tank.

Is it a macerator type toilet? Used in basements (also RVs, boats, etc) to get around gravity issues. If so, no they can’t be flush with a bucket. since they depend on an electrical motor to flush.

No, they just have a pressurized tank inside the porcelain tank. There’s no separate float or flap.