How Your Toilet Works

In the world of home construction and purchasing, what is arguably the most important fixture in the home? Did you guess it? If you said something related to bathroom you may be right. To say it more accurately, you might have said the commode, the john, the porcelain throne, or more commonly, the toilet.

In fact, you can find one of these fixtures in just about every home in the U.S. If your home is newer, you most likely have more than one. In fact, the number of these fixtures is always a selling point for a home.

So how does a toilet really work? When the handle is pushed down, the lift lever raises a rubber seal called a flapper or tank ball. Water in the tank rushes down through the flush valve opening in the bottom of the tank into the toilet bowl. Wastewater in the bowl is forced through the trap into the main drain. When the toilet tank is empty, the flapper seals the tank and a water supply valve, called a ballcock, refills the toilet tank. A float ball that rides on the surface of the water controls the ballcock. When the tank is full, the float ball automatically shuts off the ballcock.

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