(Last Updated On: December 25, 2021)

If you are curious enough to know about “How the toilet flush system works?” then hold on tight as we explain it to you in detail.

At a glance, the toilet looks like a simple piece of equipment having a bowl and water tank or cistern. But all the magic happens inside, where some mechanical components work to refill and empty the water tank.

You might have noticed that the water tank of your toilet never overflows its mark. And the water level inside the toilet bowl doesn’t change when you pour in water or flush it. The water tank doesn’t flood because it has some mechanical parts to refill and stop the flow automatically. While the water level inside the bowl is maintained due to the S-shape of the trap way.

So let’s find out “how the toilet flush system works?” and what are the different flushing systems available.

Parts of a Toilet

Toilets generally consist of two main components: the bowl and the water tank or cistern. The two-piece toilet has a separate bowl and tank mated together, while a single-piece toilet arrives with a tank attached to the bowl. As the gravity-fed flush is the most common type, that’s why we will discuss it here.

The water tank or cistern has the following parts:

  • Flush handle or trip lever to initiate a flush.
  • A refill tube delivers water directly to the bowl after a flush.
  • Fill valve that allows water inside the tank.
  • The float drops when the tank is empty and triggers a refill.
  • The overflow tube delivers water to the bowl directly after a flush.
  • The flush arm is connected to the handle to initiate a flush.
  • A flapper chain is connected to the arm to lift the flapper.
  • The flapper releases the water down the bowl to create a flush.
  • The flapper seat is where the flapper rests before opening for a flush.

Although the water tank or cistern has many small mechanical parts, the bowl is totally different. At the end of a toilet bowl, there is an S-shaped trap way. This curved pipe holds water inside to block any odor or solid mass from getting back inside.

Thanks to its simple design, the water inside the bowl always remains constant. Every time a toilet is flushed, the refill tube delivers water inside the bowl, maintaining the same level as before.

What happens when a toilet is flushed?

Let’s take a stepwise look at what happens when a toilet is flushed.

  • After using the toilet, when the flush handle or trip lever is pushed, the flush arm connected to the flapper via chain lifts upwards.
  • Once the flapper is lifted, the water rushes down towards the bowl. Water is released through rim holes or a water channel into the bowl.
  • When the water tank empties, the float drops and allows water to refill the tank. The flapper, at this point, shuts the opening to prepare the tank for another flush.
  • The water from the tank flows downwards due to gravity; that’s why it is called a gravity-assisted flushing system.
  • When the water is rushed through the trap, it creates a siphon action. Through the siphon, action waste is carried away with the water from the bowl. After the waste is flushed, air rushes through the trap, ending the siphon action.
  • After the flush cycle is completed, the tank starts to refill from the water supply line. While at the same time, the refill tube sends water to fill the bowl.
  • Once the tank and bowl are filled to their normal levels, the float lifts up and stops water inflow. Now the toilet is ready for another flush cycle.

Types of Flushing Systems

Now you’ve become familiar with how a toilet flush system works, it’s better to know about various flushing systems. It shouldn’t be surprising for you to know that different flushing systems exist. Let’s have a brief look at these.

Gravity Flushing System

As the name suggests, this system works by creating a flushing pressure with the weight of the water. This happens when the flush valve inside the tank is opened to let all of the water present inside go directly into the bowl to initiate a flush.

Gravity flushing systems are commonly used and have been around for a long time. The simplicity of this system and the fact that very few moving parts have kept the gravity flushing in modern toilets.

The gravity flushing toilets are known for their superior performance because they clean the bowl and remove waste properly. This quick and quiet system lets you flush without waking anyone.

Pressure Assisted Flushing System

The pressure-assisted toilet works on the same principle as the gravity flushing system. But there is another feature that sets them apart. This type of flushing system has an air-filled pressurized system that forces the water with extreme force to create a quicker flush than a gravity system.

The air-filled container is pressurized every time water fills the tank. Due to the immense pressure created to flush the toilet, it is louder than the gravity system. Still, it requires less water to remove the waste.

Dual Flushing Toilet

The dual flushing toilet can be used according to the type of waste that requires flushing. These types of toilets are more modern and designed for water conservation. A dual flushing toilet can initiate a partial or complete flush with buttons or a dual-action lever.

The partial flush is used to clear liquid waste that consumes roughly one gallon of water. While the full flush is initiated for solid waste and consumes the total capacity of the water tank.

Rimless Flushing Toilet

The rimless toilet technology is very recent and is a revolutionary design. Instead of a bowl rim, two holes deliver water through a channel. This water delivery system creates a vortex which not only flushes the toilet but scrubs the entire bowl in one go with less water.

So now you know “how toilet flush system works?” and different types of flushing systems.

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