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The ABCs of Plumbing – How Toilets Work

Posted on: February 10, 2015

Every home has a least one, and we don’t usually think about how much we depend on them until something goes wrong. So how does a toilet work? It’s a simple process that involved three main parts, including:

  • Flush mechanism
  • Bowl siphon
  • Refill mechanism

The flush mechanism is activated by a handle that is connected to the flush valve chain which opens the flush valve long enough for the water in the tank to empty into the toilet bowl.

The bowl siphon is molded into the base of the bowl itself and is shaped like an upside down “U”. It connects the toilet bowl to the sewer line below and transports water one to the other. As soon as the bowl emptied, air enters the siphon pipe, stopping the siphoning process.

Once the tank has emptied, the refill mechanism takes over as the flush valve now rests against the bottom of the tank, sealing the drain hole and allowing the tank to be refilled, allowing the flushing process to be repeated again.

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