If you’re one of the 4.5 billion individuals in the world with access to appropriate sanitation, you perhaps make use of a toilet at least once a day. Unless you’re a plumber, while, you most likely don’t know how one works.

Make sure you read through this post first, since knowing how your home systems and appliances function is the best way to do straightforward DIY fixes on them.

toilet plumbing parts

The initiative of disposing waste has been around since time immemorial. The first prehistoric toilets have been found dating as far back as 2000 B.C. Today’s toilets are normally known as gravity-flush toilets, and were invented by Alexander Cummings in 1775. In the 1800s, toilets – or water closets, as they were then recognized – were shifting the hygiene world. Sewers, pipes and toilets multiply throughout the world. Today you anticipate offices, homes and restaurants to have hygienic flushing toilets – but how do they work? 

How Does Toilet Plumbing Works?

There are two major parts of the toilet plumbing system: the tank and the bowl.

The Toilet Bowl

Let’s look at the bowl first, then the tank. The bowl is the most vital part of the toilet plumbing system, as its simplistic yet brilliant design let easy waste disposal, by means of a siphon.

While glancing at the side of the bowl, you’ll notice a u-shape part of the bowl that attached to the bowl and goes into the floor. That piece of the toilet bowl is called the siphon, which you can mostly thank for flushing the contents of the toilet down into the drain.

How Does a Siphon Work?

Think back during your high school physics class, and you might have heard concerning siphons. A siphon is any pipe that shifts liquid upwards from a large tank and then down by making a vacuum. After a large quantity of liquid is strained into the reservoir, gravity takes care of the rest, running the liquid up the u shape basin, and down the pipe. The trick with a siphon is that since water is adhesive (molecules that stick together) once the water begins trickle over that U shape, it produces a vacuum that yanks the rest of the reservoir down the pipe. 

If, for some reason, you decided to remove the tank off of your toilet, and you just had the bowl, you would still have a fully functioning toilet, thanks to that siphon. If you gradually put a cup of water into the bowl, it would not do much. On the other hand, if you brought a two- buckets of water and poured it into the bowl, gravity would take effect, flushing the toilet. The U-shape on a toilet bowl also forms a seal that make sure gasses from the closet bend and septic tank aren’t released into your home from the bowl. Once the air gets into the siphon, the flushing stops, and the bowl fills back up with water because of the tank.

The Tank

illustration of a tank

What’s the role of the tank in toilet plumbing? The tank acts as the two-gallon bucket being flushed into the bowl, just with more accuracy, and it correctly fills itself back up. A tank is made up of several, but uncomplicated, parts.

A flush starts with a push of the handle. Pushing the handle raises a lever that is connected to a chain. This chain is connected to a rubber flapper at the base of the tank. The rubber flapper sits on the tank’s seat. The flapper creates a seal between the tank water and the bowl.

When the lever is pressed, the rod is pulled up, which pulls up the flapper, releasing the seal and making the tank’s water to pour into the bowl underneath, forming the flush.

Following the tanks water flushes into the bowl, the supply valve carry water up to the fill valve, this begins to fill the tank with water again. The flapper seals back down and stops any more water from going into the bowl. The fill valve puts water into the tank, until the float rises up to the exact level, and stops the fill valve.

Generally, the toilet functions in three parts: The tank lets two gallons of water flow into the bowl, begins the siphon. Through gravity, a siphon drains waste and water down into the bend and directly to the sewer. Then, the tank is filled up with clean water, ready for the next flush.