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How Your Toilet Works – Part 1

There are certain things around the home that we really don’t enjoy doing, such as cleaning and general maintenance, however, it’s important to keep up with these small jobs. If you leave everything to the last minute you might be caught short and be faced with unpleasant problems. Facilities, such as the kitchen sink, the shower and our toilet, must be maintained to ensure they function efficiently. When we become lax with our plumbing and overall care for the basics around the home, we can be faced with time consuming and troublesome issues.

Knowing how your toilet works could really be a lifesaver – especially if you have just the one in your home. The last thing you want to be doing is knocking on your neighbour’s door. Take it from the experts, a little knowledge can go a long way.

Toilet Bowl
Firstly, the toilet bowl is an open reservoir of water with an internal P-trap that sits below. The P-trap can be found within the ceramic fitting and, depending on your toilet structure, this might be fitted either to the front or back of the toilet bowl – but it really doesn’t matter which way yours is fitted.

The part of the trap that holds the water (when the bowl is full of water) functions by the upstream part of the P-trap. Which means the downstream section of the P-trap enables the water to flow and drain away.

This part of the toilet holds the correct amount of water your toilet needs in order to flush.

Bowl siphon
This part keeps the water in the toilet at the required level, no matter how many litres of water you pour down your toilet, it will never overflow. This is thanks to the bowl siphon, when the water in the bowl rises, the excess water immediately spills over the top of the siphon, down the tube and away into the drain.

Flush mechanism
The toilet tank is essentially a bucket of water that holds many litres of water. This takes up to a minute to fill once the flush has been pressed down. When you flush the toilet, the water in this tank is the released into the bowl in less than 4 seconds, forcing the waste down the bowl, over the siphon and straight into the drain.

Attached to the flushing handle on the side of the toilet tank, there’s a chain that keeps the valve covered. When you put pressure on the handle, the chain lifts, allowing the water to flow through the valve.

Siphon jet
The hole that is exposed when the flush mechanism is triggered is called the siphon jet. This is because it takes very little time for the water to enter the toilet bowl, usually less than 4 seconds. The high pressure of the siphon jet to ensure the waste is completely removed.

Refill mechanism – ballcock
This part is another valve that has the ability to turn the water off and on. The water is turned on when the ballcock drops because it can no longer float. The refill valve then carries water into two locations, into the tank and into the toilet bowl. Once the water levels start to rise in the tank, so does the ballcock. The ball rises until the tank is full and this turns off the water.


If you need a hand when it comes to your drainage and plumbing, call in the professionals at Jet Rod to provide you with first-rate services that’ll get your domestic or commercial property back up and running. Based in Macclesfield, we work throughout Warrington, Crewe and the surrounding area – so if you’re local, get in touch today!

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