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What happens after you flush?

What happens when you flush your toilet? Fixed Today Plumbing explains how your toilet works, what happens when you flush and everything else you might find interesting about toilets.

You don't take much notice of how your toilet system works when you are using it. And seeing as a person uses their toilet on average between 4 and 10 times per day, It is one of the things in your property that you just expect to work.

What Happens When You Flush

Your toilet system has many components and works in a way to keep you and your household free from disease and a toxic environment.

If you can smell a foul odour or your toilet seems blocked, it is important to unclog your drain using various DIY methods or contacting your local plumber. Without a fully functioning toilet, your human waste and things like toilet paper will have nowhere to go. This is a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause illness. The toilet flush process works together with your sewer pipes and sewage pipes.

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How does my toilet work?

The main parts of a toilet are,

  • Flush handle or button
  • Cistern (tank)
  • Bowel
  • Lid

The cistern has internal parts, such as,

  • Float ball
  • Float rod
  • Inlet valve
  • Inlet tube
  • Piston
  • Siphon
  • Flush handle or button

Your toilet system uses gravity and pressure. That is the main way that it gets its 'power'. When you press the flush button or handle, the connected piston is pulled up and allows a small amount of water through the siphon.

There are holes in the rim of the cistern which release water when you use the flush. And the pressure along with gravity sends the water and waste down the pipes and pass an S Trap.

This goes down from the main drain to the sewer drain. The cistern empties and takes the float ball down where it activates the float rod. This opens up the piston and refills the cistern up with water to the correct level.

Where does stuff go after you flush it?

Once you press the flush handle or button, the water and waste will swirl and begin to be pushed down the toilet opening. This travels down your sewer pipe.

Water from washing and cooking will also be collected and taken down the pipes. These wastes are collectively known as sewage.

Waste from other properties are collected and it travels through the sewerage pipes. The final destination is the sewage treatment plants.

What happens to raw sewage?

Water Treatment Plant Photo

After you flush the toilet, waste from your drains eventually gets taken to a wastewater treatment plant. This is important as this process involves cleaning the water and removing bacteria and harmful germs and toxins. This is done with special chemicals and various processes. If you notice sewage in your yard, block off the area and get in touch with a professional plumber.

Items are also removed such as toys, jewellery and other objects that get flushed down a drain. Once the water has been processed at the treatment plant and fully clean and after rigorous testing to ensure it is environmentally safe, it is then released into the ocean or local river. Or even turned into recycled water!

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