Whether you refer to it as just the restroom, the toilet, commode, john, porcelain throne, or loo, no matter what you call it, all homes come with one. A working toilet is an essential function in removing human waste from the home to the main sewer line. If you have ever lifted the top to the tank of your toilet, you may have noticed that there are many working pieces in the interior of the tank. The mechanics inside the toilets tank work together when the handle is pulled to send water to the tank, flushing the tank of its contents on to the drain pipe. In the toilet’s tank you will find components such as the flush valve (flapper), refill valve, overflow valve, float, and chain. Each of these components must function accurately when the handle is pulled so that the toilet will “flush” and empty its contents to then refill with adequate water for the next use.
When a toilet functions correctly, flushing is initiated when handle is pushed. Inside of the tank, the handle pulls on the chain releasing the flush valve (flapper). The flush valve lifts and the water in the tank begins to empty, siphoning through the flush valve to toilet bowl. The power of the siphon sucks everything that is in the bowl down into the drain. As the water siphons out of the tank, the flush valve returns to its original position, sealing the opening to the toilet bowl. As the flush valve returns to original position, the fill valve is initiated, and the tank begins to refill. As the tank refills, water fills from the bottom of the refill valve as well as streams from the top of the valve into the overflow valve, allowing water to travel into the toilet bowl, refilling water capacity in the bowl. As water in the tank rises, the float also rises. When the float reaches the required level, the water refill valve will shut off. It is important to note that if the flapper does not close correctly after initiating the flush, the water in the tank will continue to run until the issue is resolved. Likewise, should something go wrong and keep the refill valve running, the overflow valve is designed to eliminate water into the bowl, keeping the tank from overfilling.
Additionally, it is important to know that the mechanisms in the tank are not the only parts of the toilet that need to remain in working order. It is equally important to ensure that your toilet is flush with the floor and the flange and wax seal are functioning properly. The flange is a plumbing connection that allows the toilet bowl to be attached to the sewer line. When hooking the toilet to the flange, a wax ring is utilized to make a seal between the sewer line, flange and toilet, keeping water flowing within the pipes without leaks. If the toilet is not flush with the floor, it will rock. Rocking of the toilet can and will compromise the toilet, the wax seal, and the flange this can cause leaks and damage to the property. Wood shims (very thin pieces of wood) can be used to help level and stabilize a toilet when the floor and toilet are not flush.
When there is a malfunction in any of the mechanisms of the toilet whether in the tank or near the flange you will want to resolve the issue quickly and correctly. Failure to resolve issues can cause further issue needing repair or could lead to damage due to backups or leaks. If your toilet does not seem to be working correctly or if you have any additional questions, give your licensed Omaha plumber a call today 402.298.5414.