Knowing the parts and components of your toilet can help you diagnose an array of problems that might go wrong with it. If your toilet is running constantly, you can look inside and determine where the problem is, which will clue you in to what is wrong. So let’s take a look at the different parts of your toilet and see what they do.
Starting from the bottom, the toilet itself is usually attached to the floor by a flange. A simple wax ring inside the flange creates a water-tight seal. The flange bolts the toilet down on either side. If you have a toilet that feels more like a rocking chair, your issue could be old, worn-out bolts, or it could be a in need of a new flange. If you notice water pooling around the base and it is not coming from the tank, it could be that you need to replace the wax ring inside the flange.
Coming from the back of the toilet is a thin hose that connects to a pipe in the wall. This hose is the supply line. It connects to the water shut off valve for this toilet. If you have a leak at any point, it is wise to turn off the water at this shut off valve in order to prevent any water damage to the floor or other bathroom surfaces.
Inside is where things really get interesting. When you flush the toilet, it moves the flush handle and chain up which in turn lifts a rubber or plastic stopper called the flapper. When the flapper is open, it allows the tank water to flow into the bowl, washing away anything inside and taking it through the trap and out into the sewer or septic system. If nothing happens when you flush, check that the flush handle, chain, and flapper are all properly connected to each other.
Once the tank is empty, the flapper falls back into place. You’ll notice that as the water level dropped, so did the float, the ball or cup that aptly floats on the surface of the water. This lets the refill system know that it is time to refill the tank. The water supply valve opens and, if the shut off valve is open, fresh water flows back into the tank and bowl. That is, until the float reaches the set height in the tank. If your toilet runs constantly, check that the flapper closes fully. Also make sure that the float rests on the top surface of the water.
These are the basic parts of your toilet and how they work. We at Conyers Plumbing are available to help you with all your plumbing needs. Give us a call to find out all the ways we can help.