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How Do Toilets Work?

Flush structure

Do you know how your toilet works? It's ok if you don't, but it's important to understand how. With most toilets will have two main compartments:

  • The Bowl - Drains out to the siphon
  • The Tank - Goes against the wall like a chair back, and has the flush handle

The tank has the following internal parts: Fill Valve, Flush Valve, Overflow tube, and Flapper. This is what happens when you flush:

  • The flush handle is turned.
  • The chain is pulled and raises the flapper so it releases tank water into the bowl.
  • Dirty water is drained into the bowl siphon.
  • The tank empties, the flapper shuts, and the fill valve activates.
  • New water is filled into the tank by traveling up through the valve via the refill tube, then back down through the overflow tube.
  • Bowl water rises in tandem with the tank water. Once the fill line is reached, the valve shuts off, then flushing stops.

So what does the tank actually do? The tank's function is to send water through the bowl withing 30 seconds so the flush happens when the handle is pulled. When the tank water is emptied, the flush valve shuts to collect more water for the next flush.

Can the water overflow? As long as the Float Ball (also called filler valve) and overflow tube work together properly, the water won't overflow.

  • The float ball is used to start and stop loading water.
  • The overflow tube directs excess water to the correct places.
  • If the float ball is detached and the tank loads water continuously, the overflow tube redirects the excess water into the bowl to prevent overflowing.

Essentially, this is what happens when the toilet is flushed. It can be a bit intricate, but it's important to know in case a problem should arise. And if you can't quite figure out if you're experiencing toilet issues, you can always contact All Good Plumbers to solve all your plumbing problems.

Categories: Plumbing, Toilet, Bathroom