Most people don’t give a second thought to what happens when a toilet flushes, but it’s a good idea to know exactly how your toilet works so you know what to do when something goes wrong with it.
When you push down on the handle to flush your toilet, it pulls a chain that opens the flush valve inside the tank. This causes the water in the tank to drain quickly into the toilet bowl, which creates a siphoning effect on the wastewater already in the bowl. This is what causes the water in the bowl to go down your drain. The wastewater goes into the local sewer system where it either goes into a septic tank or a water treatment facility.
Once your toilet’s tank has drained and the flush valve closes, the refill valve in your toilet will refill the tank and the from your home’s water supply lines. A float ball in the tank will close the refill valve once it rises to a certain level.
Technically speaking, a toilet is not very complicated. For the most part, it relies on opening a valve and allowing water from a tank to rush into the bowl and siphon wastewater away. That doesn’t mean that things cannot go wrong with it. For example, you might have a toilet that won’t stop running. This is either due to the flush valve not closing all the way or the float ball not shutting off the refill valve. Shaking the handle on the toilet usually causes it to close the flush valve completely, which is why it’s such a common and effective way to stop a toilet from running. As for the refill valve, that can be adjusted by bending the rod that is attached to the float ball. You obviously don’t want to do this too much, but it can be a quick fix if you can’t get a plumber to your home right away.
Finally, be careful with what you flush. Human waste and toilet tissue will always be safe, but anything else will only cause your sewer line to become clogged and your toilet to back up if you flush too much of it. A toilet plunger should take care of the occasional clog, but you can only fix so much on your own.
If you have any problems with your toilet that you don’t feel comfortable fixing on your own, don’t hesitate to contact HIS Plumber.