There are various types of toilets available on the market today. Toilets can be classified according to water consumption, bowl types, design and different other features. However, in terms of flushing systems, they can be classified according to pressure assisted and gravity flush types.
Just like their name, gravity flush toilets mainly work through the force of gravity impacting on the water. This means that they don’t rely on any form of pressure assistance. A gravity flush toilet works through 3 main systems. These are the bowl siphon, the flush mechanism, and the refill mechanism.
The Bowl Siphon
If you happen to be disconnected from your water tank and the only thing remaining in your bathroom was a bowl, you would still be able to use your toilet. As much as it lacks moving parts, it solves all the problems that a toilet needs to solve. This is made possible by the bowl siphon.
For example, if you fill a bucket with water, and pour it into the bowl, you will notice that the bowl flushes. This implies that almost all the water in the bowl is sucked out. The bowl then produces that distinct flush sound, as all the water disappears down the pipe.
What happens is that, the water you poured into the bowl, was fast enough to fill the siphon tube. As the tube was filled, the rest of the process was automatic. This implies that even if someone disconnected your bathroom water supply, you would still flush your toilet. All you need is a bucket filled with water.
The Flush Mechanism
The tank on the toilet system acts like a bucket of water that was previously discussed. You have to supply the bowl with enough water and fast enough, to trigger the flush mechanism or the siphon. If you attempt to do that using normal house water, for example piped water coming from a tap, the flush process would not occur.
The tank is more of a capacitor. It contains several water gallons, which takes around 30 to 60 seconds to fill up completely. Whenever you flush, the tank empties and the water hits the bowl in less than 3 seconds. This is similar to the procedure undertaken above, of pouring water into the bowl with a bucket. Your gravity flush toilet usually comes with a chain connected to the handle. Once you push the handle, the chain is pulled; it lifts the flush valve and reveals a 3-inch hole. This hole is the siphon jet.
The Refill Mechanism
Once you dump water into the bowl fast enough, it activates siphon. The purpose of the flush valve and the tank is to hold water and dump around 2 gallons very fast into the bowl. After the tank has emptied, the flush positions itself at the bottom of the tank, thus covering the drain hole. The work of the refill mechanism is to fill the tank fast enough in anticipation of another flush process. The refill mechanism usually comes with a valve, for controlling the level of water in the tank.
Gravity flush toilets are proven to work. They have been used for many years. Additionally, they are simple to use, maintain, and fix. Their parts are easy to obtain and cheap. Therefore, gravity flush toilets provide an affordable option for a toilet at home.