How Do Toilets Work? Allow Us to Explain
Have you ever sat to ponder life’s most important questions – like why are we here? Why is the sky blue? Or, how does a toilet work? While we can’t answer the first two questions for you, we can explain how the “porcelain throne” in your home functions. Let’s start with the basics.
There are two main parts of every toilet: the bowl and the tank. The tank consists of several parts, including fill valve, flush valve, overflow tube, and flapper. The bowl sits below the toilet seat and drains out into the siphon, which connects to the sewer line.
What happens when you flush the toilet
- First, a chain is pulled by the toilet handle, which raises the flapper inside the tank and releases water into the bowl.
- Waste from the bowl and the water within are then drained out into the bowl siphon.
- After this, once the tank is empty, the flapper shuts (you’ll notice the toilet handle rise back into place) and the fill valve beings to do its job.
- The tank then fills with new, clean water and the bowl water rises along with the water in the tank.
- In an effective flush, the float in the tank rises with the water and shuts off the fill valve once the appropriate level is reached.
Common problems with toilets
While the toilet is a simple design that is remarkably reliable, there are a few common issues that can happen that will prevent your toilet from flushing properly.
- The chain gets tangled or breaks, which prevents the flapper from lifting up
- The rubber of the flapper becomes worn out, which breaks the seal and allows water to trickle from the tank into the bowl (you’ll hear the toilet running to refill periodically)
- The float gets stuck, causing the toilet to constantly run
- Contents from the bowl (waste, paper products or other objects) can get caught in the trap in the base of the toilet, which is the cause of most clogs
Need your toilet fixed?
If you are experiencing toilet troubles (of the plumbing variety), our team at Reichelt Plumbing knows the ins and outs of all plumbing system problems. We’ve been proudly serving Northwest Indiana and South Cook County, IL for over 25 years. Don’t delay in giving us a call for help – call (219) 322-4906 today.