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How It Works: The Toilet

Posted by Bill Fenwick on Wed, Feb 27, 2019 @ 04:33 PM

bigstock-White-Toilet-Bowl-In-A-Bathroo-265919803Have you ever wondered about the different types of toilets or how they work? Choosing a new toilet for your bathroom may seem like a mundane task, but finding the right one is important. In fact, you might even be surprised by all the innovative changes in toilets if you haven't replaced one in a while.

Toilet Designs

New bathroom toilets have a more modern appearance and come in numerous styles, so it's easy to accommodate any size space. Whatever design you prefer for your bathroom, you'll find a variety of sizes, colors, seat heights, and energy-efficient features to choose from.

One-Piece Toilets

One-piece toilets have a tank and a bowl connected as one piece. They are smaller than two-piece designs, so they take up less floor space making them great for small bathrooms. The one-piece design also makes them easier to clean and install than two-piece toilets.

Two-Piece Toilets

Two-piece toilets have been around awhile, so most homeowners are familiar with them. The design has a water tank that fits into the bowl. Many homeowners opt for this style because the look is a bit more traditional and it is typically less expensive than other designs.

Wall-Mounted Toilets

Wall-mounted toilets are often used in commercial bathrooms, but many homeowners like the modern appearance. If your bathroom space is limited, a wall-mounted toilet can be hung from any wall in the room (as long as there is a water source), but requires a different layout for the drain and water supply.

Smart Toilets

Many home appliances, including toilets, now come equipped with smart technology that adds convenience and luxury to your bathroom. Smart toilets come with hands-free flushing, self-cleaning wands, dual-flush options, heated seats, and bidets.

Understanding How Your Toilet Works

Bathroom toilets are not complicated machines, but they do have certain operational features that make them more reliable and efficient. The last thing you need is a toilet that doesn't flush properly.

Gravity-Feed Toilets

Gravity-feed toilets have been around since the 1800s and are still the most common types of toilets on the market today. Gravity-feed toilets operate by pushing the water down to the drain line to empty the bowl each time you flush. After each flush, freshwater begins filling the tank again. As the water gets higher in the tank, a ball or float rises to stop the water when it gets to a certain level, so the tank doesn't overflow.

Older gravity-feed toilets used a lot of water, up to seven gallons with each flush. Due to federal energy-efficient regulations, newer gravity-feed toilets must use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush to conserve water.

Pressure-Assisted Toilets

Pressure-assisted toilets, the second most common operation, make a loud whoosh when you flush, because pressurized air forces water out of the bowl and into the drain line. Before you purchase a pressure-assisted toilet, make sure your home has at least 25 pounds of water pressure per square inch (PSI). This indicates water pressure from the main water supply into your home. If you're not sure what your PSI reading is, have your plumber check it out before you buy this type of toilet.

Vacuum-Assisted Toilets

Vacuum-assisted toilets use less than the regulated maximum of 1.6 gallons per flush, because they have a separate vacuum tank inside the porcelain outer tank. When you flush, a suction is created that pushes waste water through the drain line.

Dual-Flush Toilets

If you have to flush your toilet more than once to empty the bowl, a dual-flush toilet can help. Most dual-flush toilets are actually pressure-assisted toilets, but they have a lever or button that allows you to do a partial flush first for extra flushing power. Older toilets can be retrofitted with a dual-flush kit by a professional plumber.

Bill Fenwick Plumbing has been serving the Northeast Florida area for 50 years with our unparalleled signature Golden Plunger Service. We have the skill and experience to tackle any plumbing issue you may have. Contact us if you need to repair or replace your toilet, or if you have any other plumbing needs.

Tags: plumbing maintenance, Golden Plunger Service, water heater maintenance

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