The Anatomy of Your Toilet & How It Works

The Anatomy of Your Toilet & How It Works

No doubt about it: your toilet is one of the most important fixtures in your house. Without a toilet, your home wouldn’t be very livable! It’s surprising then that many homeowners don’t know much about how their toilet works, or how to properly maintain their toilet.

In this article, we’ll give you a quick tour of your toilet, highlighting the most important parts, and then we’ll provide you with information about how to keep your toilet in good condition.

Tour of Your Toilet

Your toilet is made up mostly of parts that you can see. We encourage you to remove your toilet’s lid and inspect the tank’s interior. Flush the toilet. Watch how it works. It may fascinate you!


The tank of the toilet contains the parts that make flushing possible, including the:

  • Fill valve, that refills the tank every time water evacuates into the bowl
  • Toilet flapper, which lifts up to allow water out of the tank and into the bowl
  • Flush lever, which lifts the toilet flapper
  • Flush valve, the pathway through which water exits the tank and enters the bowl


The bowl is the part of the toilet you’re likely most familiar with because you sit on it multiple times daily. The bowl contains water. When the water from the tank enters the bowl, it flushes the contents of the bowl into your home’s main line, which either connects to your city sewer or to a septic tank.


The wax ring is the seal that connects the toilet to the main line, preventing leaks. The wax ring is located underneath the toilet.

Signs Your Toilet Needs Maintenance

Now that you understand the parts of your toilet, it should be easier to understand some of the maintenance issues that your toilet might experience.

Ghost Flushing

A “ghost flush” is a problem wherein the toilet flapper no longer forms a water-tight seal in the tank. Water leaks slowly from the tank until the fill valve activates to refill the tank. In other words, the toilet seems to flush on its own. This is essentially a water leak that can waste a lot of water over time.

To fix your tank leak, replace one or all of the parts from the toilet tank. Sometimes replacing your toilet flapper is good enough. Sometimes, the entire internal system needs to be replaced. You can replace these parts with an inexpensive kit sold in hardware stores.

Bowl Mildew

The bowl of the toilet is constantly filled with water and thus can develop mildew over time, especially around the water line. The best way to avoid a problem is to wash your toilet bowl weekly with a toilet bowl brush and toilet bowl cleaner.

Leak Around Exterior

Eventually, the wax ring can lose its effectiveness, causing a leak around your toilet bowl. Replacing the wax ring can fix this problem.

Easy Toilet Replacement from ToiletKing

You don’t need to be a toilet expert to buy a toilet. ToiletKing sells top-of-the-line toilets and provides simple installation and removal of your old toilet. Call today to order your next toilet.

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