A Look at the Important Parts of a Toilet

A Look at the Important Parts of a Toilet

Homes today often have multiple bathrooms to accommodate the needs of growing families. Toilets specifically serve the important function of constantly refilling with clean water and flushing away waste. Knowing how the parts of a toilet work allow homeowners to have a better grasp on what should be replaced in the face of water leaks and damage. Here are the important parts and pieces of a toilet and how they regularly function.

Shut-off Valve

This part is located at the bottom of the supply line and is often a lever or knob that can be easily turned. The shut-off valve controls clean water flow to the tank and can be turned off in an instant for regular maintenance or repairs. This part is inexpensive and easy to replace.

Supply Line

The water supply line is the flexible, braided tube that connects the main water line to the toilet’s tank. It is consistently filled with new water after every flush, which it then releases into the tank when it requires a refill. This part is inexpensive and can be adjusted to make room for additional lines for bidets and other additions.

Refill tube

This tube is inside the tank and is responsible for dripping water into the tank to bring the float ball to the right level. Refill tubes are often flexible and made of plastic. This part can often wear down and begin to cause leaks. There are many types of repair kits and replacements available at hardware stores and plumbing sites.

Float Ball

This is the round, lightweight ball that floats at the top of a tank. It may be hard to spot its purpose, but its function is related to maintaining the overall water level. The float ball will sink when the toilet is flushed, which prompts more water to be poured in until it reaches the appropriate level.


The flapper is at the bottom of the tank and opens to let water into the bowl after it has been flushed. The handle is attached to the trip lever inside that lifts the flapper lid to let the water pour in. This part can harden after some time and will lose its ability to seal properly, causing potential leaks and an increased water bill.

Wax Seal or Ring

Moving outside the tank, the wax seal or wax ring seals the bottom of the toilet to the flange below it. This type of seal can only be used once and is incredibly sticky. They’re often replaced when switching out a toilet for a newer model or for repairs. If this part begins to crack or show damage, it can cause leaks at the base of the toilet. This is easily dealt with by fully removing the old ring and replacing it with a new one.

Floor Flange

The floor flange is a metal or plastic seal that rests above the entrance to the sewer pipe. This part adds security to the toilet and makes sure the sewage pipe is sealed without any leaks. Water damage to the area around the floor flange can cause the toilet to be uneven and shaky. Replacing this part and the wax seal can often help to fix issues.

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