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How does a Toilet Work?

How does a Toilet Work?

Toilet is a simple machine. It basically works in three steps or mechanism: bowl siphon, flush mechanism and refill mechanism. Read this article to understand the working of this simple yet useful machine.
Niharika Arya
Toilet is an amazing machine to flush away all the waste in a very clean manner. This machine has a very simple mechanism. To understand the working of a toilet you need to have a basic knowledge of its parts.

Parts of a Toilet

There are many parts in a toilet. Following are some of the major parts of the toilet.
  • Bowl: It is the front portion of the toilet which holds the waste and water. Bowl has a seat cover and a rim.
  • Tank: It is situated at the back of the toilet. It holds water and contains lots of other important parts like flush handle, float ball, valve, etc.
  • Siphon Tube: This tube is connected to the bowl. It further leads the waste and water to drain out of the sewer pipe.
  • Float Ball: This is present inside the tank. When the tank is empty the ball falls and water starts filling, once the water level reaches a certain level the ball starts floating up and this further stops the water from filling further.
  • Flush Handle: This handle is used for flushing away the waste. It is present on the tank. When you press the handle, the water is released from the tank in the bowl.
  • Trip Lever: This lever is connected to the flush handle. It helps the handle to come back to its position after the flush so that it can be used again.
  • Flush Valve: This valve is inside the tank and is connected to the flush handle. When you press the flush handle the valve opens and water pours from the tank to the bowl. A flapper helped the valve to stay at its position till the flush handle is not pressed.
  • Refill Tube and Valve: When the water is flushed away then the refill valve is open to refill tube pours fresh and clean water inside the tank.
  • Overflow Tube: If excess water is filled inside the tank this tube helps to prevent the tank from overflowing. The excess water enters this tube and drained in the bowl.
Working of a Toilet

Working of a toilet consists of three main systems, namely the bowl siphon, the flush mechanism and the refill mechanism. The functions can be explained based on the working of all these three systems.

The Bowl Siphon
This system has working of bowl and siphon. The water and waste is flushed out of the bowl in the siphon tube. This happens only when the water is flushed in a particular speed and in a considerable amount. When you do so, the water rushes to the siphon and is sucked inside making a gurgling sound. The siphon tube is further connected to the sewer pipe which takes the waste to the drain. But if you pour water with no force the flushing will not take place properly. So you can say if there is any problem with the flushing of water then you can just pour a bucket of water in the bowl with some force.

The Flush Mechanism
As we have seen in the above system the importance of gallons of water pouring together in the bowl, we will see how this happens in flushing system. The flush mechanism has the working of the tank, bowl and siphon. The tank reserves gallons of water together and as soon as we press the flush handle, the chain connected to it opens the flushing valve. This gives the way to the water and within 3 seconds entire amount of water rushes to the bowl. This does the proper flushing and the water and waste is sucked by the siphon jet.

The Refill Mechanism
As soon as the flushing is completed the work of the refill system starts. Toilet tank works mainly in the flushing and refilling mechanism. Hence you can see that the entire refilling work is done inside the tank. When the water is flushed, the tank emptied and the float ball drops down. This opens the refilling valve and refilling tube starts filling fresh water inside the tank. As the water level rises to a certain level, the ball starts floating and the refilling valve is closed. If the water increases from that specific level, it is transferred to the overflow tube which will take the water directly to the bowl and hence will save the overflow of water.

Now as you know the working of your toilet, next time if your observe any problem with your toilet, you will at least understand the issue and can fix the problem accordingly.