The Anatomy of a Toilet
Have you ever stopped to smell the roses? Similarly, have you ever stopped to think about all that goes on when you press the handle of your toilet? Multiple mechanisms are working in tandem to effectively and cleanly remove waste and move it to somewhere else.
It’s not such a simple process, but toilets get it done (almost) every time. So what are these parts within the toilet and how do they work? We’ve broken it down into the two main sections to give you a better understanding of how your toilet works.
This is really where the magic happens. Within the tank, the mechanics of the flushing process are controlled. You have the handle on the outside, which, when pressed, allows the entire mechanism to work. Pressing the handle releases the flapper, a circular seal connected to the handle by a chain. When pulled up, the flapper releases water from the tank into the bowl.
We’ll get to the bowl soon, but after the water is released and the flapper closes again, the tank is refilled by a refill tube containing fresh water. A float is also connected to the refill tube and helps the toilet judge when the tank is sufficiently filled with water. There’s also an overflow tube that catches the water so that tank doesn’t overflow.
When the flapper releases water into the bowl, it begins the flushing process, with water being released from valves around the top of the bowl. The bowl empties through a bottom drain called a floor flange. There is a wax seal connected to the flange to completely seal the drain and prevent leaks.
Bonus: Behind the bowl is a shut-off valve that controls the flow of water to the toilet. In the event of a leak or overflow, you can turn off the water behind the unit to prevent damage.
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