One of man’s greatest and most useful inventions is the humble toilet. It has allowed us to modernize the old ways by bringing the old outdoor privy into the house minus all the drawbacks of an outhouse. There are basically six major components to a toilet as well as a mechanism called the siphon action. Knowing how your toilet works will not only help you to appreciate it, but it will also help guide you when there’s a problem with it.
These six major parts are the toilet bowl, the toilet tank, the toilet fill valve, the toilet flush valve, the float, the overflow tube and lastly, the handle.
The toilet bowl is especially designed to hold water in its base. It also has the ability to take in water from the tank via the rim and a siphon jet hole situated at the base of the toilet bowl. Finally, found at the heart of the toilet is the siphon tube. The siphon tube is a tube shaped unit that is integrated into the back of the porcelain toilet bowl and serves two main purposes. First, it acts as a trap so that no sewage gasses can leak up into the home. The second is the more important purpose of the siphon tube. It acts as the mechanism for drawing water and waste products out of the toilet bowl base.
The siphon tube is quite an interesting contraption. If you’ll try to notice, even when you repeatedly pour individual cups of water into the toilet tank, the water level does not rise. If you try pouring a whole bucket of water into the toilet bowl really fast, you will see that the water level in the bowl will initially rise but will then be drawn down very dramatically and up to a point where there is practically no water left in the toilet bowl. This happens because of the siphon action. When you pour a large volume of water into the toilet bowl it causes the water in the siphon tube to rise and spill over into the sewage pipe and then because of the principles of a siphon, the water is automatically drained very quickly from the toilet bowl and into the sewage pipe.
The toilet tank is the one responsible for holding the water supply required for the flushing action. Once you push the toilet handle down, a rubber flapper installed inside the tank is lifted and allows the water to rapidly pour into the toilet bowl. As soon as the water pours into the toilet bowl, the siphon effect instantly occurs which causes the toilet to flush and empty the waste from the bowl. The toilet bowl is designed to have the water flow from the rim and one large hole at the base of the toilet bowl into the toilet. This design basically creates a swirling function to assist in flushing the waste from the toilet. Once this is over, the flapper gets back into position and the water in the tank starts to fill up again and will only stop when the float reaches its predetermined height.
The next time you use your toilet bowl, appreciate the little things that work together to make your life more convenient and healthy.