Last February, the United Nations declared November 19th as UN World Toilet Day in an effort to raise sanitation awareness. You may have missed the declaration this year, but it is never too late to appreciate the benefits of the modern toilet to households around the world, including, of course, those in Saskatoon. Thanks to developments in plumbing through the centuries, everyone now enjoys the convenient disposal of basic wastes with just a push of the flush lever or button.


Have you ever wondered how the toilet really works? Chris Woodford at Explain That Stuff explains it in seven steps; but first, a little history.

Not Just One Inventor
Toilets are an ancient invention, Woodford explains, and their coming cannot be credited to any individual. Early toilets were simple bowls manually washed with water prior to the invention of the flushing mechanism in the late 16th century.

How It Works
The traditional toilet consists of two parts: the bowl and cistern. Most of the components can be found in the cistern, which is responsible for releasing water into the bowl to flush waste matter down the drain and clean the bowl in the process. The flush lever or button is connected to the flapper, or the release valve, in the cistern.

As the water level inside the cistern drops, the float attached to the cistern drops as well. In the process, the float opens the intake valve, which refills the cistern until the float achieves enough height to shut the intake valve. An S-trap deep in the bowl makes sure there’s enough water in the bowl. The water prevents sewer gases and germs from entering the toilet.

Simple Mechanism
It only takes one action (i.e. pushing the lever) to trigger a series of actions (i.e. release the water, drain waste materials, refill the cistern). Given this, one malfunctioning component can render the entire system non-operational. On the bright side, it makes Saskatoon plumbing repair much more efficient.

If the bowl water refuses to go down, something is probably blocking the S-trap or outlet. If the flush lever is unresponsive, there might be a problem with the mechanism that opens the valve. A trusted Saskatoon plumber diagnoses problems according to the symptoms, such as those described, and comes up with solutions based on his years of training and experience.

While the repair process may seem simple enough, it very seldom is for amateurs without the right tools and knowhow. In many occasions, do-it-yourself plumbing fixes have led to disastrous results. Professionals from services like Perfection Plumbing & Drain Cleaning should be called in to ensure your toilet is always in good working condition, for reasons of convenience and sanitation.

(Source: How toilets work, Explain That Stuff, November 10, 2014)