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2014

How a toilet works

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Toilet is designed to seal out gas and sewer odors

The water inside bowl acts as trap, just like P-trap under each sink.
Each faucet, tub, drain and toilet must have a trap.
If there is no trap, or trap is empty of water, then sewer odor will enter home.
Explosive Methane gas will also enter home if traps have no water

S-trap Water in toilet acts like S trap to seal out gas and odors

Water inside bowl stays at same level

If water is poured into bowl, then the water level rises
When water level rises, water pours over the trap
Then water level returns as before.

Water from tank fills rim of toilet

Rim is hollow
When flush begins, rubber flapper opens and lets water pour into rim of tank

Tank rim is flooded with water

Water drops through holes under bottom edge of rim

Tip:
If toilet does not flush as well as it did before, then pour several cups CLR down into overflow tube.
The CLR will remove sediment deposits that build up around holes located under rim.
Once the holes are cleaned out, then water can enter tank quickly
The flush depends on water filling bowl quickly

Water in bowl is higher than trap

Water begins to pour down drain

Whirlpool is caused by siphon

Water fills trap and drain
Water moving downward inside any filled tube causes siphon effect
Siphon effect pulls water from the bowl
This action causes whirlpool

Siphon pulls water out of bowl

Siphon will pull all water out of trap and empty entire bowl

Tank overflow tube begins to refill bowl

After flapper closes, the tank begins to refill
Ballcock valve has a tube that sends water down into overflow tube
Overflow tube empties into rim
Water begins to trickle down sides of bowl

Siphon ends after water drains

Siphon will pull all water out of trap and empty entire bowl
When air reaches trap, the siphon is broken

Tank overflow tube is refilling bowl

Water inside tank is rising
water inside bowl is refilling

Flush is over

Tank and bowl are filled
Ballcock turns off water when float rises to set point.
No more water enters bowl or tank
If ballcock is out of whack, water will continue to rise and then fall down overflow tube
This dribble of water will flow into bowl and over trap and down into drain
Toilet
Larger image

Original image

Removed toilet for bathroom repairs
Then set toilet in front yard next to car.
That night, the outdoor light was shining on toilet
Snapped 5-6 photos using digital camera, getting camera low to show profile.
Background was naturally black in rural area.

Wanted to write a page explaining how toilet acts as a trap to seal out sewer odor, and why water stays same level inside bowl.
Toilet photos offered perfect opportunity to write page.
Illustrations above were done in Photoshop Elements 11
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This image was made in photoshop 11
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Resources:
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