Home Improvement

The User’s Guide to How Toilets Work

You have a toilet in your house, but can you imagine living without one? Did you know that the first modern flushing toilet wasn’t invented until 1596 by Sir John Harington? Before this, you could find latrines with a constant stream of water being used by the Mohenjo-Dara and the Romans.

Do you ever wonder how toilets work? In this article, explore how toilets work to allow us to take care of business. Read on to discover and understand the internal workings of your toilet, and just how fascinating they really are.

What Is a Toilet Flush System?

This is the process your toilet uses to flush. Without a flush system, the waste wouldn’t move from its location. In this case, you would have a latrine instead of a toilet.

In ancient times, for example in Pakistan, they had the first flush system. In this system, a set of toilets connected to a sewage system. In this situation, people would drop water on the toilet.

Today, we have a flushing system that’s activated by touching a button, pulling a lever, or when the toilet senses waste. The flushing system is how your toilet gets rid of waste in the toilet.

Toilet Parts

First, your toilet has a toilet bowl. This is where people sit on the toilet seat and do their business.

Next, there’s a button or lever. This is what you press to have the water flow toward the bowl. This button or lever is normally connected right to the tank.

Next, is the inlet valve. This is what controls the water that goes into your tank. Once the tank is full, it stops letting water into the toilet.

Last is the water-level ball. It’s a plastic ball or another component that will know when the ideal water level is met. Once the tank is filled, it stops more water from coming in.

The Beginning

At the start of your toilet working, the flush handle will lift the flapper. This occurs when you press down on the flush handle. When your toilet doesn’t flush, you’ll want to consider having an expert come in such as these plumbing repair services.

When the flapper is lifted, this causes a release of tank water into the bowl. This is due to the larger siphon jet and rim jets.

As the tank empties, the float drops. This opens the fill valve as the flapper drops back onto its seat.

Picking Out a Toilet

If you decide to look for a new toilet there are different options such as an in-wall toilet or high-tank option. A common toilet you’ll find is the 2-piece toilet.


It comes in 2 pieces, the tank, and the seat. It’s normally the less expensive option compared to the others. This option is great when you’re needing to bring the items upstairs since you can hold them in 2 pieces.

The 2 pieces join together at the seam, but this location easily picks up dirt. If keeping your toilet clean is a top concern for you, this might not be the right choice.


These work the same way as a 2-piece option. The only difference is the tank is higher on the wall. It shows the plumbing between the tank and the seat.

If you’re looking for an older look, this is a good option. You can even consider getting a chain pull for a retro look. They’re a more expensive option since many into the design will choose them.

Integrated Base

You can find an integrated base toilet with both one-piece and two-piece options. This means that the bottom of your toilet is a full flush piece. The nook and cranny you find in 2 piece systems won’t be there.

Integrated-base toilets tend to cost more than the 2-piece. The nice features are that it’s a rounded style and smooth, plus easy to clean. It’s a great addition to both modern and non-modern bathrooms.

Toilet Repairs

If you decide to forego getting a new toilet and want to fix the current problem, there are certain steps you’ll want to take before beginning. First, take a look at your toilet to figure out whether the problem is due to unclogging the toilet or weak flushing.

Next, keep towels and a bucket handy to wipe up and catch any water. Before you begin a repair, you’ll need to turn off the water supply valve and then flush the toilet. Flushing it will empty the tank.

Next, disconnect the supplied link from the tank. Sponge the inside of the tank until it’s dry.

Leaking Toilet

If you notice a leaking toilet, you’ll want to check the water supply valve. Ensure that everything is attached tightly. Next, you’ll want to replace the flapper or valve.

If the leak is coming from where the tank meets the bowl, your gasket and bolts might need to be replaced. For leaks coming from the base of the toilet, it could be from the wax ring that connects the toilet flange to the drain opening in the floor. In order to replace the wax ring, in this case, the toilet will need to be removed.

Understanding How Toilets Work

Now that you’ve explored how toilets work you should have a better idea of what you’re working with and how to fix them. Would you like to read more lifestyle and news content? For everything from lifestyle to health, check out our other articles today.

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