I have a large container (a hot water urn) that I need to fill with water.

I don't have access to a hose, unfortunately, so that is not an option.

I did also try stuffing the urn in the sink, but that didn't work because the sink is too small to fit the urn inside.

How can I fill my hot water urn from a sink that's too small for it?

This also applies to any other bucket or water container.


8 Answers 8


Here's a solution that my friend came up with:

  1. Take a bunch of Styrofoam cups
  2. Cut out the bottoms of the cups
  3. Stack them up
  4. Put the wide end of the top cup under the faucet, and the (cut open) thinner end of the bottom cup over the edge of the sink
  5. Place the urn directly underneath the end of your Styrofoam cup chain
  6. Turn on the sink

At the end, your contraption should look like this:

enter image description here

  • 19
    THIS is the stuff worthy of a true "lifehack" accept
    – Phlume
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 20:34
  • @Phlume Thanks! ....I took a picture of my friends solution weeks ago....when I committed to this proposal, I told myself that this Q/A set would be my first posts here :)
    – Shokhet
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 20:35
  • 1
    Or any large plastic bottle with the base cut off...
    – RedSonja
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 14:45
  • 1
    @Shoket Is it not a form of hose?. Without using hose directly, you created a hose with what you have, good work man. Commented Dec 14, 2015 at 12:08

Similar to @Shokhet's answer you can also use a clean dustpan, as shown below:


Source: Trupser.com


Step 1: Get a smaller container which actually fits in the sink.

Step 2: Fill it up.

Step 3: Dump it into the larger container

Step 4: Repeat Steps 1-3 as needed.

  • 1
    +1. That works too :) .....part of my problem was that I didn't have a smaller container, but since I didn't mention that in the question, this is a good answer :)
    – Shokhet
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 18:55
  • 2
    A single Styrofoam cup would work! And could be reused later!
    – Sterno
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 18:55
  • 14
    I found you another container
    – Sterno
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 19:01
  • 3
    @Shokhet I'm only picking on this because it was held up as the epitome of a good question. I think it suffers from the same problem as a lot of the other questions... it has a pretty obvious, common-sense answer that solves the problem. The difference here is that it has a clever non-obvious answer, too. I fear that cleverness of answers as a metric for question topicality will be a problem.
    – Sterno
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 19:07
  • 2
    I hear what you're saying. I didn't choose this question as the example of an on-topic question, though I did notice that it was linked to in a number of Meta posts. I absolutely agree with you that answers should not be used to judge questions.....I'm currently working on an answer to meta.lifehacks.stackexchange.com/q/8/59....I think I have a way of dealing with it.
    – Shokhet
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 19:10

This is really simple, but if you urn is very big, it is quite difficult to do :D

  • take a smaller volume

  • fill it with water from your tap

  • pour the water from the smaller volume into your urn.

Another variant:

  • take a large plastic bottle (e.g. 1.5L+)

  • cut the bottom and put the bottle in this way:

  • 5
    nice imageeeeee
    – bjb568
    Commented Feb 22, 2015 at 20:37

I've used a flexible cutting board for this, if the faucet is above the lip of the sink. You can curve the flexible cutting board into a "U" shape, put one end under the faucet, and put the other end over the thing you're filling. Turn on the water slowly & carefully to make sure it's running the right direction. And since water will run downhill (isn't that a saying?), your urn or other container will get filled up. :)

enter image description here


These are all great answers. I've also used a plain ol' baking tray that was not as wide as the bucket I was trying to fill up. Hook one of the lips of the baking tray under the faucet, and hang the tray over the edge so there's enough force from the other side of the tray trying to fall, to keep the water from splattering too much from out of the faucet.

The advantage that this technique has over the styrofoam cups technique, I think, is that the tray will be much sturdier, and thus be able to take more force, and perhaps perform better under hot water, over a long period of time (depending on your bucket size, and how many times you need to refill it).


You can attach a length of garden hose to your kitchen sink using an adapter. This should allow you to fill any size container.


  • This is a good idea, but I wrote in the question "I don't have access to a hose, unfortunately, so that is not an option." ....maybe for next time, though. +1, anyway.
    – Shokhet
    Commented Dec 26, 2014 at 17:54
  • 1
    @Shokhet I thought you meant that you didn't have access to a sprayer hose, or an outside garden hose. They sell short lengths of garden hose with a screw on adapter only on one end. That would probably be the most practical solution if you had to fill the container more than once. The other solutions are pretty inventive though. Commented Dec 26, 2014 at 18:02
  • 1
    Right. This container actually has to be filled weekly....I might let my friend know about these garden hoses, this might make his job a lot easier.
    – Shokhet
    Commented Dec 26, 2014 at 18:04

Unscrew the U-shaped trap plumbing below the sink.

You can often do this with your bare hands. Then simply place your container vertically under the drain hole of the sink, and open the faucet.

Careful: usually there is a gross amount of gross dirt inside, with some water, so don't spill that. And since the water runs through the dirty drain pipe before getting to your container, this is not applicable when you need clean water. But if you just want to water a tree or something …

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