How Toilets Work
No item in the American household is more ubiquitous than the modern commode or toilet. Perhaps no one item must be more immediately repaired if made non-functional to keep the home habitable. We will be identifying the 11 most common toilet tank parts. Should the need ever arise, you will be able to diagnose the problem with your toilet, identify the part requiring placement, and proceed with the required repairs thus saving time, money and aggravation. A plumber showing up to replace just one or two toilet tank parts will cost you at least $175.00. The price of those toilet tank parts could be as little as a few dollars. Having a plumber show up to replace those same parts at night, on weekends, or holidays, you can expect that price to double.
The operation of a toilet is somehow simple, yet complex. The function of the bowl, tank, flanges, fillers, rings, nuts, and levers work in unison to create the swirl and the flush to sweep waste from your house. The typical flush cycle actually works something like this:
One thing to keep in mind is that the actual toilet tank parts will vary in different commodes and new parts may have different designs incorporated into them. Regardless, there is enough commonality and interchangeability that repairs with different parts than the original are possible and even commonplace.
The flush cycle starts with pushing the flush lever which is mounted on the reservoir. This pulls the chain attached to the flapper valve and gravity causes the water in the tank to flow through the siphon and through the rim holes and into the bowl flushing away the waste. The mass of the water leaving the tank is sufficient, and as it travels the S-bend, it creates a siphon that evacuates the contents of the bowl into the main drain. As the water in the tank leaves, the float valve inside falls, activating the fill valve which opens to let pressurized water back into the reservoir tank. The flapper valve then falls back to the bottom closing the valve. As the water level rises, the fill valve switches off and the cycle is complete and ready to repeat as necessary.
The flapper is the barrier between the siphon and bowl and the reservoir tank. It is activated by the flush lever pulling the metal chain attached to it.
The flapper valve sits in this seat which provides a seal so that water does not leak from the tank past the flapper valve.
The flush lever is what activates the flush cycle by being depressed and pulling the metal chain which pulls the flapper valve away from the flush valve seat, allowing water to rush by.
1. Flapper valve
The fill valve has a plastic float surrounding it filled with air and as the water leaves the reservoir, the buoyant float drops down the body of the fill valve activating the valve which is under pressure. As the reservoir tank fills, the plastic float returns toward the top and then disengages the fill valve cutting off the flow when the proper water level is reached.
11 Toilet Tank Parts You Should Know About
This tube travels from the fill valve to the overflow tube.
The refill tube clip is attached to the refill tube and clips it in place on the overflow tube.
Common Problems and Repairs
The overflow tube serves as an open drain pipe should anything go wrong in the tank which would lead to an overfill situation and drains any water above the overflow tube directly away.