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All About Toilet Parts

Updated on August 30, 2013

Toilet parts and their functions

One of man’s most wonderful inventions just has to be the modern toilet! Let’s face it – this is something all of us use several times a day, but we really never give it a thought until it fails to function properly. When that happens, the plumber becomes not only our new best friend, but our knight in shining armor! Are you even familiar with the toilet parts in your porcelain throne?

Unfortunately, it seems like the toilet malfunctions at the worst times possible, like on Christmas Eve when you have a house full of guests. If you familiarize yourself with the toilet parts and how they function, you can make simple repairs yourself. You’ll no longer be at the mercy of a professional plumber, and you’ll save money by avoiding those expensive house calls.

Toilet parts

Bowl – This is the round part of the toilet that holds water and waste.

Tank – This is the back part of the toilet that holds the water used for flushing. It also houses the working toilet parts.

Stop valve – This controls the water supply to the toilet. It’s usually located on the wall behind the toilet. You can turn this off manually.

Supply tube – Connected to the stop valve, this carries fresh water from the main water supply to the refill tube.

Toilet parts within the tank

Float ball – Located in the tank, the float ball floats on top of the water in the tank. It signals the water supply, letting it know when the tank is full.

Float cup - On many newer toilets, the float ball has been replaced by a float cup which is located on the valve body. It rises and falls with the water level. When it reaches a pre-set height, it closes the ballcock valve on the refill tube.

Refill tube – When the float ball falls to a certain level, the refill tube fills the tank and thereby the bowl with fresh water. When the float ball rises to the top of the tank, the water supply is shut off.

Ballcock – A valve at the top of the refill tube.

Trip lever – When you press the handle to flush the toilet, this lever lifts the flapper.

Chain – The chain connects the trip lever to the flapper.

Flapper – When the flapper is lifted by the trip lever, suction is created, causing the flushing action within the toilet bowl.

Overflow tube – This stops the toilet water running over. If the tank gets too full, the extra water drains into this tube.

Toilet parts under the bowl

Wax ring – This is under your toilet. It’s what your toilet sits on. When the toilet is set on the wax ring, the wax expands, making a tight seal.

Trap – The trap is located under the toilet bowl. It separates the main sewage line from the toilet.

Closet bend – This is the part of the sewage line that allows waste materials from the bowl to exit the home.

Got it? Familiarize yourself with these toilet parts and study the diagram below the links. Bookmark the article if you need to. Then, the next time you have a toilet malfunction, maybe you can do the repairs yourself!


Basic toilet parts.
Basic toilet parts.

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    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 7 years ago from Georgia

      That's so true habee, we use the toilet on several occassions, yet never think about its function until it breaks down. Thanks for breaking the parts down for us - you have a great way of keeping us "in-the-know."

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 7 years ago

      I saw this title and laughed! Of course we need a toilet in the bathroom you've been designing for us!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      Habee,

      You are amazing you cook, you travel and you know all about toilets!

    • tony0724 profile image

      tony0724 7 years ago from san diego calif

      Habee I work for a large distributor of plumbing parts and I just wanted to say good job on this. We all know next to our computers a toilet is the most important part of the household !

    • tony0724 profile image

      tony0724 7 years ago from san diego calif

      Habee I work for a large distributor of plumbing parts and I just wanted to say good job on this. We all know next to our computers a toilet is the most important part of the household !

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Veronica!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      True, Sheila! So I guess I get to pick out our toilet!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Bpop, I can't really take credit - hubby is a general contractor!

      Thanks, Tony, for the kind words!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Whatever, next you come up with, habee? Congratulation, a super hub.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      I like to always keep readers guessing, HH! lol

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 7 years ago

      Well, I promised myself never to touch the plumbing again after replacing a faucet, but just in case I find myself staring at the toilet........... I will remember where to find this

      Thanks!

      Kaie

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Habee, You explained the toilet so even I could understand. Good hub.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Yes you are definitely a plumber on the quiet.Good info

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Yeah, Kaie, I always turn this over to Hubby!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for reading, Pamela!

      Funny, Ethel! I always turn that over to JOhnny!

    • alexandriaruthk profile image

      alexandriaruthk 7 years ago from US

      good and nice one

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 7 years ago from Southern California

      Habee, I'm waiting to see something that you're not good at. Very good hub as usual.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Central Oregon

      My blind guy could have used this a few months ago! I actually had to go on line and find a website that he could SEE with all the parts and email it to him. He lives about 5 hours from us - and then I sent over our friend just to be sure he got it back together without killing himself! I'll have to keep this for him for future reference - from penises to toilets....I guess we all know where our heads are today! Great info.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Glad you stopped for a read, Alexandria!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      FF, I'm not good with plumbing, but hubby is!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Audrey, I often find my mind in the proverbial gutter!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      you always find the great stuff become the idea in writing. I really appreciate. two thumbs up for you! good work habee.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Wow, I never had it broken down like this before. I felt a little flush reading this. :)

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Prsetio, I always appreciate your comments!

      Felt flush - good one, Sandy!

    • quildon profile image

      Angela Joseph 7 years ago from Florida

      Hi habee, I'm really getting a lot of new information from your product descriptions. Keep'em coming.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Quildon! I'm squeezing Hubby's brain for more!

    • profile image

      Chuck K. 6 years ago

      Need a flush valve for a wall mounted residential toilet but can't find one, do you have any suggestions where I could get one.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, Chuck. Hubby says a few Hope Depots have them. They're made by Sloan. You'll probably have to go to a plumbing contractor supply or search online.

    • profile image

      fafafaf 6 years ago

      thanx

    • profile image

      john 4 years ago

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    • profile image

      john 4 years ago

      www.toilet-valve.com

    • profile image

      Somone in Mr.g's class 3 years ago

      Thanx 4 the answers to my assighnment mwhahahahahahahahahahahhahahhahhahahahahahhahahah......cough....cough...."mom wheres the buckleys?"

    • profile image

      Cupid 2 years ago

      Very Good Information, Thanks Very Much.

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