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A toilet consists of two general kinds of parts, the china, which is made of glazed clay, and the movable mechanical parts. The movable parts allow the user to flush the toilet, and they regulate the amount of water that fills the toilet bowl. These two types of elements work together to store water in the toilet and facilitate the intake and outtake of water and waste.
The china toilet parts are the tank, tank lid and bowl. Most of the moving toilet parts sit inside the tank, which empties and then fills with water when the toilet is flushed. The tank lid is a fitted piece with an overhanging rim that sits on top of the tank. It covers the tank but is not sealed or secured.
The bowl sits at the base of the toilet. There are holes for water intake and release in the bottom of the bowl and under a rim that sits at the top of the bowl. The rim holes include small holes around the bowl for water outtake and a large hole in the back for water intake. The seat rests on the bowl and typically is hinged in the back to that it can be raised or lowered as needed.
Outside the toilet tank is a trip lever or handle, which is used to start the flushing process. This lever usually is situated in the top left front of the tank, but there are some push-button styles that are located on the top of the tank lid. The trip lever is connected to a group of interconnected toilet parts inside the tank.
The toilet parts inside the tank facilitate the intake and outtake of water in the tank and bowl. The water control parts include a vertical tube for transporting water, a water inlet valve at the bottom of the tube and tank and a trip lever that stops water from entering the bowl when it is filled. The flapper valve is a disc made of rubber and is connected to a small chain that controls the flow of water into the tank.
When the toilet is flushed, the disc lifts, breaking its tight seal. This allows water into the tank. The flush valve, also found in the bottom of the tank, moves water out of the tank and into the bowl.
There is another set of toilet parts to control how much water comes into the toilet tank after it is flushed. The refill tube works with the flush valve to allow water back into the tank after a flush. There also is an overflow tube that manages any excess water than might make it into the tank.
There also are a couple of toilet parts that help to prevent overflows. In many toilets, especially older models, a floating ball connect to a metal arm called a lift rod moves the device up with the rising water. The rod is connected to a fill valve, which shuts off when the float ball has risen to the appropriate water line. Many modern toilets have a float that rises up the center of the fill valve.
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