The Different Parts of a Toilet and What They Do

Every specific part in a toilet plays a specific role in helping your toilet work properly. When one part goes down it can prevent the whole toilet from functioning properly. We know toilet jargon is only known among professional plumbers so it can be very difficult to communicate what’s actually wrong with your toilet with a plumber when things aren’t functioning properly with your toilet. We thought we would spend a few moments to educate you on all of the parts in a toilet, and the purpose each part plays. Once you understand each toilet part and what it does, you’ll be able to communicate the problem to a professional plumber with clarity.

One important thing to understand about toilet parts is that the name of the parts are not universal. For example a plumber in Florida might use the word ‘float ball’ when referring to the float ball, where as a plumber in California might just say ‘ball’ when referring to the same part. Mainly in situations like this you just want to pay attention to the main keyword that identifies the part. This will help in your toilets communication skills.

The Main Toilet Parts

  • Toilet Tank – The biggest part of the toilet is the toilet tank. The toilet tank holds ‘the brain’ of the toilet. It holds 2 gallons of water at all times. The toilet tank water is either used to push the waste water down the main sewage pipe, or to fill the toilet back up with water. Once the 2 gallons of water is used the refill mechanism kicks in, and the tank fills back up with water.
  • Float Ball –The float ball is designed to turn off the water from entering into the toilet tank. Once the water hits a specific level, the float ball rises to a point where the angle will close the flapper or ballcock. If your toilet is running, chances are the float ball is off and the toilet tank is still adding water, while letting some water go. Simply just work on the float ball, fix it, and your running toilet will stop.
  • Cold Water Supply Pipe – In every bathroom there should be a small valve sticking out of the wall right next to the toilet. This valve is called the cold water supply pipe. It supplies the entire toilet with water. The pipe coming out of the wall should be a hard metal. At the end of the pipe there should be a soft hose that connects to the toilet tank. By turning the valve on and off you’ll be able to control the water supply to the toilet.
  • Ball Cock –The ball cock prevents overflow and backflow of water into the toilet tank. The ball cock is placed right on the flush tube and is connected to the chain. Once someone presses the flush handle it picks up the chain, which lifts up the ball cock. All of the water in the toilet tank then falls down into the flush tube which ends up pushing the sewage down the main sewage pipe.
  • Fill Valve –The fill valve is connected to the water hose and is responsible for bringing water back into the toilet tank. The fill valve also sends water through the bowl fill tube, which is responsible for filling the toilet back up with water.
  • Siphon –Every toilet has a small siphon. The siphon is the miraculous way the toilet is able to flush. The siphon creates a force with the water by being shaped upwards, then downwards. By the gravitation of energy, when water is pushed through the siphon it creates an energy. There’s an equation on how the siphon works.
  • Lift Chain –The lift chain connects the flush valve and the ball cock. It pulls the ball cock up which pushes the water down the siphon. If the lift chain is broken the toilet will not flush.

Summary – Conclusion

Toilets are very simple but can seem very complex. Once you understand all of the parts and their purpose, you will be able to understand how the toilet operates. Once you understand how the toilet operates, you’ll be able to understand how to fix a toilet when things aren’t working properly. If you can’t seem to figure it out, give us a call.