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toilet.jpgEver wonder what happens when you flush a toilet? You see the handle, the tank and the bowl, but do you really know how they all work together to safely process waste.

The average toilet’s tank houses many different parts working together to eliminate your waste including:

  • Fill valve
  • Fill float
  • Siphon
  • Flush valve
  • Overflow tube

What Happens When You Flush The Toilet?

The toilet is known by many names-- the john, the commode etc.; however, it doesn’t matter what creative nickname you call your toilet they will still function the same way.

These ingenious flushing appliances are the sanitary solution to an everyday problem-- even though they often have a negative connotation associated with them and tend to be the butt-end of jokes.

When you flush a toilet, you push down on the handle which pulls the chain and releases the flush valve.

Approximately 3 seconds after that, the flush valve will resets after about 2 gallons refill the tank and the bowl. As the water refills the tank and bowl, the siphon will activate and draw the waste from the bowl down the drain.

The float is similar to a fishing bobber. It floats on top of the water in the tank and rises and falls accordingly. The float is the part that signals the refill valve to turn on as the water in the tank depletes.

The float will rise as the tank fills with water again, and will also signal the refill valve to shut off when it reaches a certain level; if your float is damaged and the refill valve doesn’t shut off when the float reaches a certain level, then the excess water will cycle through the overflow tube will prevent flooding.

Toilet Problems, Clogs and Leaks

There are more modern and eco-friendly toilets which function the same way as older toilets but are engineered for conservation.

This means that for flushing fluid waste, it will use about 0.9 gallons and for flushing solid waste, it will use about 1.6 gallons; older toilets will use about 2 gallons regardless of fluid or solid waste.

If your toilet is exhibiting problems, it can be difficult to determine whether you need to replace or simply repair your toilet. Contacting a professional will help alleviate your frustration and determine what the best solution for your toilet will be.

50 Home Plumbing Tips

Topics: Commercial Plumbing, Home Plumbing, Drain Cleaning and Repair, Toilet Leaks and Repair