South Devon Plumbing – How Does Your Toilet Work?

The “smallest room in the house” happens to accommodate one of the most vital pieces of plumbing equipment that you will have in your property. The toilet is the plumbing mechanism through which the waste matter that the occupants and visitors to the house produce is expelled into the mains sewage system. If the toilet breaks down there can be some very expensive (and unpleasant) consequences. In this article, we explain how the toilet works, so that you can be alert to any sign that repairs may be required.

How The Toilet Operates
The operation of the toilet is quite a straightforward process, involving several parts that are pretty much standard for all units. The first of these is the one that is used to operate the system: the flush handle. When the handle of the toilet is pushed or pressed down it causes either a chain or a lever inside the tank to raise a flapper or valve on the bottom surface of the tank. When this happens, the water that has been stored in the toilet’s tank is released into the toilet bowl.

The sudden influx of this volume of water from the tank into the bowl creates two effects. Firstly, it displaces the waste and dirty water out of the bowl and into the waste pipe that transports the effluent to either the mains sewage system – or to a septic tank if the property is not connected to the mains sewage system. When the tank empties, the flapper that we mentioned earlier, closes again to make sure that the tank is once again sealed so that it maintains the barrier between tank and bowl. This is important because, after the flush, the tank will begin filling up again, as described below.

South Devon Plumbers

The conventional mechanism governing the refilling of the tank has been in existence for many years. The process is governed by a float that is located inside the water tank. When the toilet is flushed, thereby emptying the tank, the float sinks to the bottom of the tank. The float is connected by a branch to a valve that governs the entry of water into the tank. The depression of the float opens that valve, which is also known as a ball cock, and water is allowed to run freely into the tank. As more and more water enters the tank, the float begins to rise and this gradually closes the ball cock before the tank overflows. This completes the cycle and the toilet is ready to be flushed again. In certain more modern toilets, the float is replaced by a special type of ball cock which has a sensitivity to water pressure. When the tank has been flushed, with the resultant fall in water pressure, the ball cock will open, releasing water into the tank. Once the tank is filled and the required pressure is reached, the valve will close.

Toilet Plumbing Issues
Our Torquay, Newton Abbot and South Devon Plumbers deal with many plumbing problems associated with the toilet’s operation. One of the most common is a sticking ball cock. We also have to deal with floats that become stuck, preventing the re-filling of the tank after the toilet has been flushed. Once of the least pleasant jobs is to unblock the toilet, which usually occurs when something is flushed down it that shouldn’t have been. Emergency repairs include remedying any leaks that occur either going into or exiting the toilet. As you might imagine, a leaking toilet is one of the most urgent of plumbing matters for our domestic customers and always ensure that that repairs to the humble toilet are always given the attention and priority that it deserves!

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