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Anatomy of a blocked toilet

We can help you understand how toilets work and when to call a professional. There are a few basic plumbing things you can do yourself! There are several things you can’t – like fix a blocked toilet, or install a hot water system BUT we know you can feel slightly more at ease when things go wrong. Not overwhelmed or panicky. Like when you are faced with a blocked toilet. It’s natural to panic if you have a blocked toilet. Maybe your toddler unravelled an entire roll of toilet paper in to the pan. Or decided that what they really REALLY wanted to do with their day was drop a dozen toys and household items in to the water and press the flush button five times. However the blocked toilet happened, it needs immediate attention! Don’t keep reading, CALL US NOW!

Or, keep reading for some toilet and plumbing basics every person should know.

Anatomy of a toilet

Water flows from a tap in the wall, in to the cistern, which is then flushed in to the pan and down the waste pipe.

Know how to control this flow of water, it can only be beneficial. If water is filling up in the pan and not flushing down, you really want to know how to turn it off quickly. We want to avoid floods. The water tap can be on the wall beside your toilet or hidden inside the cistern. Turning it off at the wall is easy. If it is in the cistern then you need to investigate.

anatomy of a toilet

The toilet cistern

• The majority of cistern lids will just lift up. Which is handy in an emergency situation where the water tap is inside and you need to turn it off.

• A minority of lids will need to be unscrewed. Do this by lifting up or turning the flush buttons – they may need to be prised up – to reveal the screw. This is also something to consider when buying a new toilet. Do you want to have to unscrew the lid? It can be tricky.

What you see inside your cistern will depend how old your toilet is.

• Really old toilets have many parts, such as a flush valve, flapper and ballcock. (Yes! Ballcock!)

• Modern toilets have less parts. They are more streamlined with a plastic cylinder which performs all the functions.

All cisterns, no matter how old or new, have a float. The float controls the water level. If your toilet is continually ‘running’ then have a look at your float. There could be something caught in it or it could be loose.

Being familiar with the anatomy of your toilet may help you in an emergency. If the toilet is blocked, has water leaking or is continually running, call us! Flowtec Plumbing and Gas are here to help.

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