In basic terms, the modern toilet has three components. You have the toilet bowl, the toilet seat, and the toilet tank. The back of the toilet is called the “tank.”
The tank is where water is retained so that users can engage the flushing mechanism after they have finished using the toilet. A handle or button is on the exterior of the tank and this is engaged. Once that happens, the interior components of the tank begin to work so that the toilet bowl can be flushed clean.
Here is a look at some of those internal components.
Fill Valve: This is the valve responsible for filling the toilet tank with water. It receives water from the supply line and sends it into the toilet whenever the float arm or cup is in a lowered position.
Flapper: This holds the water in the tank. When a flush occurs, a chain is pulled and the flapper is pulled upward, allowing water to rush out.
Float Arm: This mechanism extends across the tank and has a ball attached to it. As water levels rise, the ball rises, causing the float arm to rise. When it reaches a predetermined height, it causes the fill valve to shut off.
Float Cup: Small toilet tanks use a float cup that is above the fill valve instead of a float arm that extends across the tank. As water levels rise, the float cup rises too, eventually disengaging the flow of water from the supply line.
Overflow Pipe: This upward structure in the tank is connected to the flapper. If water levels get too high, then it will flow into this pipe, bypass the flapper, and go into the bowl. A running toilet may have the float arm or cup too low, causing too much water to enter the tank, which is when this component would be used.
Supply Line: This sends water from the plumbing system to the toilet tank.
Tank Lever: This is attached to the button or handle on the exterior of the tank. The chain for the flapper is connected to it as well.
The back of the toilet might be a “generic” component, but the interior of the tank provides intricate mechanics that support multiple daily flushes for several years. Taking care of the tank and its components is the easiest way to prolong the life of a toilet.