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Introduction and Troubleshooting

Toilet Troubleshooting and Replacement: Chapter 1


Introduction and Troubleshooting


By the end of this module, you should be able to describe the following: What a toilet is, and Troubleshooting processes for a toilet. Skip to quiz!


Introduction


A toilet is sanitation hardware that collects human waste (feces and urine) for disposal. In urban areas, the toilet outlet connects to a sewer system leading to the wastewater treatment plant in isolated areas. In rural areas, the toilet outlet connects to a septic tank.


Toilet water is also known as blackwater. The two primary components of a toilet are:

  • Bowl’s purpose is to receive human waste when the human sits on it, and

  • The tank’s purpose is to store water and contains components for the water flushing mechanism.

Components


The 12 components of the toilet are:

  • Toilet Bowl,

  • Tank-to-bowl gasket,

  • Floor Flange,

  • Wax Seal,

  • Toilet Tank,

  • Handle,

  • Chain,

  • Flapper,

  • Flush Valve,

  • Float,

  • Fill Valve, and

  • Shut-off valve.

We’ll learn about each of the components soon.


A toilet bowl is a large base on which you sit and release human waste. Toilet bowls are commonly made of a ceramic called porcelain with a glazed finish of vitreous china. This outer layer of finish makes the material look shiny and more resistant to scratches and stains.


It has an oval or round shape and is where human waste is deposited. A C-shaped internal trap carries the waste away. It also keeps a small reserve of fresh water as a seal against sewer gases leaking into the house.


It is an O-shaped rubber washer/gasket that fits between the bottom of the tank and the top of the bowl. It prevents water from leaking out of the tank.


It is round metal or plastic bracket mounted over the sewer pipe and below the toilet bowl. It is attached to the floor firmly by screws or bolts. The toilet bowl attaches to the flange with T-bolts, as you can see in the image on the right.


A Wax seal, also known as a wax ring, is a conical gasket that fits between the bottom of the toilet bowl and the top of the floor flange. It prevents water from leaking from the base of the toilet. These seals can only be used once and can deteriorate over time.


The tank sits on the bowl and contains a reserve of water for when the toilet is flushed. The toilet handle is on the toilet tank. Manufacturers create toilet tanks using porcelain.


It is a lever on the toilet tank used to flush the toilet. A handle is attached to a long arm that extends into the toilet tank. The end of the arm pulls the chain that releases the flapper.


The lift chain is a short metal-linked chain that connects the handle to the flapper. When you use the handle to flush, the chain lifts the flapper.


A flapper is a rubber stopper inside the toilet tank that opens and closes to send the water into the bowl. The flapper is controlled by the handle on the outside of the tank. After the tank’s reserve water is empty, the flapper falls back into place and closes the tank's base to allow the tank to refill.


A flush valve is located inside the tank, and the flapper is attached to it. It is a self-closing valve that releases a large amount of water into the bowl when activated.


A float is a round plastic or aluminum ball floats on top of the water inside the toilet tank. It is responsible for managing the water level inside the toilet tank by telling the fill valve when to stop adding water.


A fill valve controls the water flowing into the tank. It adds water into the tank after the toilet is flushed and stays on until the tank refills. Recall that a float tells the fill valve when to stop adding water to the tank.


It is a valve attached to the supply line at the back of the toilet, which brings fresh water to the tank. The shut-off valve further connects to the fill valve at the bottom of the tank. The shut-off valve can turn the water supply on or off.



Troubleshooting


Toilet components are prone to damage due to regular usage. Next, we’ll learn common issues to help you identify what components might be causing the problem.


If the wax ring is cracked or improperly sized, it may result in the following:

  • Water leaking at base.

  • Unpleasant odor due to leaking sewer gases.

  • Wobbling toilet.

Let’s learn about the issues caused by a damaged tank-to-bowl gasket.


If the tank-to-bowl gasket is cracked or poorly installed, it may result in the following:

  • Water leaks below the tank.

  • Wobbling or uneven tank.

Let’s learn about the issues caused by a damaged flapper.


If the flapper is hardened or the seal is damaged, it may result in the following:

  • The toilet keeps running intermittently without being flushed.

  • Water bill higher than expected.

Let’s learn about the issues caused by a damaged flush valve.


If the flush valve is worn out, it may result in the following:

  • The toilet keeps running intermittently without being flushed.

  • Water bill higher than expected.

Let’s learn about the issues caused by a damaged fill valve.


If the fill valve is worn, it may result in the following:

  • The toilet tank does not refill properly

  • The toilet constantly runs without being flushed.

  • Water bill higher than expected.

In the next module, let's learn about the replacement procedures for various components.


In this module, you have learned about the following:

  • All components of a toilet, and

  • Issues caused by various damaged components.


 

Question #1: Why do we use a toilet?

  1. To collect trash

  2. To dispose of human waste

  3. To clean dust

  4. To cool a space

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Answer: To dispose of human waste

A toilet disposes of human waste.


Question #2: What is the purpose of a toilet tank? (Select all that apply)

  1. To dispose of human waste

  2. To store water

  3. To clean dust

  4. To supply water to the bowl

Scroll down for the answer...
















Answer: To store water

To supply water to the bowl

A toilet tank stores water and supplies it to the bowl whenever required.


Question #3: What is the purpose of a trap in a toilet? (Select all that apply)

  1. To keep some reserve water

  2. To supply water to the bowl

  3. To prevent water from leaking out of the tank

  4. To create a seal against sewer gases

Scroll down for the answer...
















Answer: To keep some reserve water

To create a seal against sewer gases

This trap keeps a small reserve of fresh water as a seal against sewer gases escaping the home.


Question #4: What is the purpose of a tank-to-bowl gasket?

  1. It prevents water from leaking from the toilet tank

  2. It regulates the water level in the toilet tank

  3. It prevents water from leaking from the toilet bowl

  4. It prevents water from flowing into the tank

Scroll down for the answer...


















Answer: It prevents water from leaking from the toilet tank

A tank-to-bowl gasket prevents water from leaking from the toilet tank.


Question #5: What is the purpose of wax seals?

  1. It prevents water from leaking from the toilet tank

  2. It prevents water from leaking from the toilet bowl

  3. It cleans stains on the bowl

  4. It regulates the water level in the toilet tank

Scroll down for the answer...
















Answer: It prevents water from leaking from the toilet bowl

A wax seal prevents water from leaking from the toilet bowl.


Question #6: What is the purpose of flappers?

  1. It allows the water to flow from the tank to the bowl

  2. It prevents water from leaking from the toilet tank

  3. It cleans stains on the bowl

  4. It regulates the water level in the toilet tank

Scroll down for the answer...
















Answer: It allows the water to flow from the tank to the bowl

A flapper allows the water to flow from the tank to the bowl


Question #7: What is the purpose of a float?

  1. It regulates the water level in the toilet tank

  2. It raises the flapper

  3. It cleans stains on the bowl

  4. It prevents water from leaking from the toilet bowl

Scroll down for the answer...
















Answer: It regulates the water level in the toilet tank

A float regulates the water level in the toilet tank


Question #8: What is the purpose of the shut-off valve?

  1. It prevents water from leaking from the toilet bowl

  2. It raises the flapper

  3. It allows the water to flow from the tank to the bowl

  4. It allows the water to be refilled in the toilet tank

Scroll down for the answer...
















Answer: It allows the water to be refilled in the toilet tank

A shut-off valve allows the water to be refilled in the toilet tank



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