Mechanics of a Toilet

If you read our previous blog, “DIY How to Fix a Broken Toilet”, we taught you how to fix certain toilet problems without assistance from your plumber. However, we figured it’d be helpful to share with you the parts that make up a toilet and all of their specifics, so here they are:

Main Toilet Parts

Bowl – This is the easiest and most important term to remember. The bowl of your toilet is the round part of your toilet that holds all the waste and water.

Tank – This part is in the back of your toilet, above your bowl. It holds the water you use to flush, and it’s the central location of your operating toilet parts.

Stop valve – This piece looks like a knob you can turn and is typically located on the wall directly behind your toilet. Its function is to regulate the water supply to the toilet—you can turn this off manually.

Supply tube – This tubing connects to your stop valve (on the wall behind your toilet). It carries fresh water from your main water supply to the refill tube.

Toilet Parts in the Tank

Float ball – The float ball is a round ball that floats on top of the water in your tank. It signals your water supply, notifying it regarding when your tank is full.

Refill tube – This is the thin tubing located above the overflow tube inside your tank. When the float ball falls to a specific level, the refill tube fills your bowl and tank with fresh water. But when the float ball rises to the top of your tank, the water supply is turned off.

Overflow tube – This is the thicker tube that is located below the refill tube in your tank. It stops the water in your toilet from running over and is the tube that gets the drained excess water from when your tank gets too full.

Ballcock – Also known as the “fill valve”, a ballcock is the valve located at the top of your refill tube (inside of your tank). It automatically fills up your tank after liquid has been drained from it.

Float cup – This piece replaces the float ball in your tank and is the cup shaped piece found on the valve body—float cups are common on newer toilets. It climbs and drops with the water level and closes the ballcock valve on your refill tube when it reaches a certain height.

Trip lever – This is located on the inside of your tank that connects the handle you flush on your toilet with a chain leading to the flapper. When you press the handle to flush your toilet, this lever lifts the flapper.

Flapper – Inside your tank, this is the bell-like shape that is connected by a chain to the flush handle. When your trip lever lifts the flapper, suction is created, allowing the flushing action to happen within your toilet bowl.

Toilet Parts Below the Bowl

Wax ring – This is the wax donut shape under your toilet. It’s the piece your toilet sits on. When you set your toilet on the wax ring, the wax expands and tightly seals it.

Trap – This is the tubular pipework located under the toilet bowl. It separates the central sewage line from your toilet.

Closet bend – This is located under the bowl and is the rounded piece of pipe.  It’s the part of the sewage line that lets the waste materials in your toilet bowl exit your home.