Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

Contact us on email!

The More You Know: How Does a Toilet Work?

The concept of flush toilets has been around for thousands of years. However, this fixture that we tend to take for granted has only been widely used since the turn of the last century. You may have asked yourself: how does a toilet work?

If you are a homeowner, landlord, or property manager, a basic knowledge of how toilets function lets you fix small problems on your own. And if you need to call Sanitary Plumbing for assistance, you can better describe the issue. Then, we can bring the right parts and know what to expect.

Read on for a description of how toilets operate. It will help to have a diagram of a toilet handy as you read. Also, lift the lid on your toilet tank and watch the flush cycle for a better understanding of the moving parts.

How Does a Toilet Work? A Step-By-Step Explanation

The flush handle activates the flapper

The flush process starts when you press the handle on the outside of the tank. This lifts the flapper, which is the rubber seal at the bottom of the tank. The flapper separates the tank from the bowl.

Water then flows from the tank into the bowl. Usually, the flow is from both the large siphon jet near the bottom of the bowl and the multiple rim jets around the top of the bowl.

Gravity assists with flushing

Next, gravity steps in to help with the process. Water is forced into the trapway leading out of the bowl, and this carries waste from the bowl through the trapway into the main, where it can be expelled from the building.

A siphon effect is created when this happens. Simultaneously with the rush of water, the flapper returns to its seat at the bottom of the tank once the tank has emptied completely. The resulting suction hastens the removal of water and waste away from the trapway.

You may have noticed the effect of gravity in a toilet without even activating the flush mechanism. If you dump a bucket of mop water into the bowl to dispose of it, for example, you’ll create the same gravity-assisted emptying of the bowl that occurs with a flush.

The tank refills

The closing of the flapper once the tank has emptied starts the refill process. Water enters the tank via the fill valve, which is connected to your water supply. The refill tube sends a bit of that water down into the bowl via the adjacent overflow tube, resulting in a small amount of fresh water in the bottom of the bowl for the next use.

A float in the tank rises as water refills the tank. When it reaches a certain level, it shuts off the fill valve, and water stops entering the tank. The flush cycle is complete, and the fixture is ready for the next flush.

Pro Tips for Common Toilet Problems

The toilet keeps running

A running toilet is not just a nuisance; it can result in a high water bill and cost you money. Here are a couple of common causes and solutions:

  • Flapper problem: this is the most common cause of a running toilet. Either the valve is old and cracked or inflexible, or the chain connecting the handle to the valve is caught underneath it, preventing a tight seal.
  • Float arm is set too low: if you have this type of float system, raise the float arm with your finger. If that stops the running, you’ve found the problem. Replace or adjust the ball, or raise the float arm.

The tank won’t fill

There are several reasons a toilet tank won’t fill and accordingly, a few different solutions you can try to fix the problem:

  • No water supply: check the supply valve for the toilet fixture, as well as to the property. If your water is on, the problem may be with the pipes supplying the bathroom.
  • Low water pressure: this is usually due to a water pump failure or a clogged pipe.
  • Broken trip lever: the connection between the handle and the inside of the toilet tank is broken and needs repair or replacement.
  • Fill valve needs adjustment: usually, this can be adjusted with the control screw or valve clip to allow more water into the tank.
  • Malfunctioning float ball or arm: these parts can be adjusted or replaced to restore the proper fill process.
  • Cracked toilet bowl: this can result in water leaking and eventually, massive water damage. Shut off the water supply to the toilet and call a plumber immediately to replace the toilet.

If you have problems with your toilet and can’t fix them yourself, we’re happy to make a service call to help. Call Sanitary Plumbing at 212-734-5000, or use our easy online form to schedule an appointment.

Our Privacy Policy

Omnia Mechanical Group(the “Company”) strives to ensure the highest standards for property listings and customer information privacy. Please review the following statement to learn about our company practices and policies. Please be aware that our Privacy Policy is subject to change at any time.

1. Purpose.

This Privacy Policy (“the Policy”) provides information on how the Company uses your personal information. By agreeing to the Policy, you agree to our collection and use of your personal information as described in the Policy. This Privacy Policy is effective for all new users of

2. Personal Information.

You can browse some areas of (“the Website”) without being a registered user. However, certain activities do require registration. (You consent to the transfer and storage of your information by registering with

3. Use of Information.

Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe and user-friendly experience. For example, the Company may use your personal information to:

  • Improve our services and the Website’s content and layout;
  • Provide the services and necessary customer support you request;
  • Resolve disputes, collect fees, and troubleshoot problems;
  • Track and record customer satisfaction with our services;
  • Protect the Company against error and fraud;
  • Inform you of special promotions and announcements;
  • Enforce our agreements, terms, conditions, and policies; and
  • As otherwise described to you at the time of collection.

We may occasionally ask you to complete optional surveys. These surveys are used to improve and customize your experience with

The Company always provides you the ability to opt-out of further communication such as promotions and surveys; see the Opt-Out section below.

The Company does not share any of your personal information with outside organizations, companies, individuals, etc. The only exception to this standard is if such a disclosure is reasonably necessary to respond to any and all legal processes.

4. Links to Other Sites.

The Website may have links to other websites that may collect personally identifiable information about you. The Company is not responsible for the privacy practices of the content of those linked websites.

5. Safety & Security Precautions.

The Website has strict security measures in place to protect you and your information from fraud. Once your information is provided to Omnia Mechanical Group, we strive to ensure the confidentiality of your identity and information.

6. Opt-Out.

The Company provides you with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving promotional and other non-essential, marketing-related communications from Omnia Mechanical Group. If you would like to opt-out of these select communications, please see any of the Company’s email communications and follow the directions indicated.

7. Account Protection.

Your password ensures the security of your account. When choosing a password, the Company suggests using various characters. It is highly recommended that you do not disclose your password to anyone. (If you do disclose your password or your personal information with others, you are responsible for all actions taken in the name of your account.) If the security of your password is compromised for any reason, please contact the Company immediately.

8. Accuracy of Information

The Company does not guarantee the accuracy of information for any and all of its properties on the Website, and is not responsible for any errors or misrepresentations (made by Renters, the Client, or otherwise).

9. Cookies

The Company may place a small cookie on your computer’s hard drive. This allows us to personalize your use on the Website. In order to maximize the functionality and usability of the Website, you must set your browser’s preferences to allow both permanent and temporary cookies.

10. Changing Your Personal Information.

Should your personal information change, please immediately update your information on the Website. This will ensure the accuracy of our records. The Company does retain personal information from closed accounts in order to comply with law and collect and disburse any fees owed.

11. Third Parties

This Privacy Policy addresses only the use of information we collect from you. Since does not control the privacy policies of third parties, you are subject to the privacy policies of those third parties. It is advisable that you consult with the management of third parties before you disclose your personal information to others.

12. General

We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended terms on the Website. All amended terms are immediately effective after they are initially posted on the Website.

13. Privacy Policy Questions & Concerns

Questions and/or concerns regarding the Policy should be emailed to the following email address: