Q:

How does a flushing toilet work?

A:

Flushing toilets use gravity and an increase in the height of water in the bowl when the user activates the flush valve to move water and waste through an "S-bend" into a drain pipe and out of the home. These simple devices have relatively few moving parts and, in most cases, offer many years of trouble-free service.

The S-bend serves two important purposes in the modern toilet. It is a water trap that prevents sewer gases from escaping back into the home. The increase in water level causes it to create a siphon to remove waste. The tank at the top of the toilet stores water for the flush. Activating the flush lever lifts a flapper valve to allow the designated amount of water to flow into the bowl to begin the flushing action. Holes, located under the toilet rim, allow the water to flow into the bowl while rinsing its sides. Once the level in the bowl is greater than that at the top of the S-bend, gravity begins the siphon, which quickly empties the bowl of its contents. Emptying the tank closes the flapper valve and causes a float valve to drop. This valve allows clean water to fill the tank and return the level in the bowl and S-bend to normal. Once the water level in the tank returns the float valve to its preset level, the water flow stops and the toilet is ready for the next flush.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the way to increase water level in a toilet bowl?

    A:

    Increase the water level in your toilet bowl by adjusting the height of the float. A higher float retains more water in the tank and allows the toilet to fill higher. This is a quick repair that takes only a couple of minutes and requires a standard screwdriver.

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  • Q:

    Why does the water level in a toilet bowl fall?

    A:

    A common reason for a falling water level in a toilet bowl is a clogged vent. The water passing through the pipes creates a vacuum that pulls water into the drain from the bowl. Other reasons for dropping water levels include improperly installed drains and hairline cracks in the porcelain.

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    How do you adjust the water level in a toilet bowl?

    A:

    The water level in a toilet bowl is adjusted using the fill valve. The fill valve determines the water level by controlling the position of the float. Raising the float arm increases the amount of water in the bowl while lowering it decreases the level of water.

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  • Q:

    How does a bathtub drain work?

    A:

    A bathtub drain uses a trip lever to seal water in the basin or to release water into the drain pipe. Bathtub drains come in two styles: pop-up and plunger. Pop-up drains have a lever that moves the drain stopper up and down. A plunger-type drain assembly uses a lever to move a mechanism with the pipe.

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