Not knowing how your toilet works can be a major issue that can turn into a disgusting problem quick. It pays dividends to properly get acquainted with your bathrooms Most Valuable Player!
How Does a Toilet Work?
Often times we take having a toilet for granted. It’s easy to forget that not too long ago having a running toilet was a luxury. Let’s take a look at how the components of a toilet tank work should you need to diagnose an issue.
Despite having no moving parts, the toilet bowl features a highly functioning design. The toilet bowl is attached to a pipe with a U-bend that leads into the sewer system. As water and waste leave the bowl on flush, air rushes causing the “flush” sound. The air coming into the bowl stops the siphoning process. The bowl is then refilled with water.
The toilet tank is located in the upper part of the toilet and holds about 2 gallons of clean water. More importantly, the tank can send the water fast enough through the bowl to activate the siphon effect and send waste down the pipe! By pushing the handle down, the tank system is activated causing water to dump into the bowl triggering the flush.
More On Toilet Tank Parts & Their Functions:
Flapper Valve: A flapper valve creates a watertight seal in the tank. This valve holds the water before and after a toilet flush. When you push the handle, the flapper rises and this allows water to flush out the waste.
Refill Tube: The refill tube is located above the overflow tube. When it is pushed down into the overflow tube it can siphon water from the tank into the bowl causing the fill valve to cycle on and off.
Float: There are two types of floats for conventional toilets. Older toilets tend to have a large plastic or brass ball that is connected to a horizontal rod. This rod is connected to the toilet fill valve. The other style of a float that moves up and down along the vertical pipe of the toilet fill valve.
Refill Tube & Overflow Tube
The refill and overflow tube work together to help keep water in the tank. The overflow tube empties directly into the toilet bowl below. The overflow tube refills the bowl after each flush.
Shut-Off Valve: The shutoff valve connects to copper plumbing pipes in one of two ways: compression fitting or sweat fitting.
Wax Seal: The wax ring on a toilet provides a soft, pliable seal between some of the harder components of a toilet system. Toilets are generally made of porcelain. The wax ring fits around the exit hole in the bottom of the fixture and rests on the flange. The flange sits atop of the drainpipe.
With this information, we hope you will be more confident addressing toilet issues that may arise in your home.