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Some of the most common plumbing issues in a home are caused by toilets. Clogs, malfunctioning flushing mechanisms, or any other concern range from irritating to hazardous to your health.

Understand how your toilet works in order to prevent or diagnose problems as they arise. Here’s a basic overview of how a toilet works and some important parts to know.

Parts of a Toilet

The most important section of a toilet is the toilet bowl. This key component doesn’t have any moving parts but will work with or without power, water, or any other outside factor. A toilet bowl is made of these basic parts:

  • Bowl: The lower area of a toilet where the seat is mounted.
  • Rim holes: The holes which allow water to refill the bowl from around the edge.
  • Jet hole: Some bowls also include an opening near the bottom that increases the flushing pressure.
  • Outlet: The opening at the bottom of the bowl that leads to the trap.
  • Trap: Just like other fixtures, your toilet needs a water trap to keep sewer gases from escaping.
  • Siphon tube: After the trap, the siphon tube is an empty piece of plumbing that angles downward and is empty between flushes.
  • Sewer pipe: Waste and water flow through the siphon tube into the sewer pipe each time you flush the toilet.

Flushing Your Toilet

Thanks to the siphon tube, your toilet can be flushed even without access to running water. In the event of a malfunctioning flushing mechanism or a lack of running water, simply fill a bucket with approximately two gallons of water. Pouring water directly into the toilet bowl will cause the water level to rise.

More water will create a vacuum in the siphon tube which empties the toilet bowl. The rush of water and gurgling sound let you know that your toilet is flushing correctly.

Overflowing Toilet

There are a few instances where your toilet can overflow. Thanks to the fill valve in the tank, the tank will only be filled with enough water for a single toilet flush. If your toilet bowl is clogged, don’t continue to flush it until you’ve unclogged the bowl.

Draining Your Toilet Bowl

Whether you’re looking to clean or replace your toilet, you may have to drain your toilet bowl. The siphon tube makes it tricky if you aren’t sure how to drain a toilet bowl.

The most important step is your safety. Use care when coming into contact with water in your toilet bowl. When in doubt, let the professionals handle it. To begin, turn off the water supply valve to your toilet tank. Flush the toilet, holding the lever down until it is completely drained.

Once the water is drained from the tank, there are a few ways you can drain it from the bowl. A five-gallon bucket of water poured quickly into the bowl can cause much of the water to be pulled through the siphon tube. The remaining water must be cleared using either a sponge, wet/dry vac, or a towel.

Complete Plumbing Services

From repairs and replacements to removing clogs and routine maintenance, Whipple Service Champions can provide all the plumbing services you need for your toilet or any area of your home. If you’re ready for fast and friendly professional plumbing services, contact us today. Although you now know all the necessary parts of a toilet bowl, some toilet issues are best left to the pros.

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