How Does a Toilet Work?: The Anatomy of a Toilet Explained

Ah, the toilet. That equipment essential in every functioning home is often overlooked after the business is finished and the wiping is done. Because of this, we usually don’t appreciate the complexity of making a toilet operate. Most people think it’s just a simple unit that you prop on top of the hole in your bathroom floor and forget about afterward. In reality, a toilet is much more complex than most people realize, and if you’re on this page, you’re wondering: “How does a toilet work, exactly?”

That’s a good question. What makes it tick, and how does it keep delivering the same results for years?

This article will give you a quick overview of the basics of a toilet and how they come together to make the whole unit work flawlessly. Keep reading to find out more!

First, You Press the Lever

From the moment you pull down on the lever to flush the toilet, impressive things start to happen. First, the clean water held within the tank is rapidly released into the toilet bowl through flush passages – those are the narrow holes that you see in the studded around the lip of and at the base of the bowl – and is used to force the dirty water and your past waste bend in the toilet (this is called the trap) and down through the piping towards the septic tank.

This action triggers the second process needed to refill the toilet for future use.

Then, the Water Returns to the Tank

After the water from the tank is drained from the flush, the toilet “senses” that it lacks water and needs to refill. This is where the sophisticated control valve system comes into play. When the water level drops, the float or pressure gauge connected to the ball valve in your tank falls and opens up, triggering an influx of clean water through the flapper (if you’re still confused, check out this site for more on what you need to know).

As the water level rises, the float also goes up, which in turn makes the flapper go down and reduces the amount of water entering the tank. Eventually, the float will reach a certain level that will cause the flapper to completely shut, keeping water from entering the tank.

Gone Without a Trace

So what keeps the scent of your bodily wastes from penetrating the room? The smell is kept at bay thanks to the humble work of the trap and the wax ring. As said earlier, the trap is the section of the toilet that bends at the back, and the wax ring is a ring of wax located under the base of the toilet. Together, these two instruments allow you to use your toilet for years without a trace of a foul odor to worry about.

Now You’ve Learned How Does a Toilet Work

We’ve answered your question of “How does a toilet work?” and you’ve gained a newfound appreciation for the impressive materials that go into creating this necessary household prop. Check out our website to learn more cool facts that you can use to improve your lifestyle. We’ve got plenty of good things in store for you!