It’s essential to understand the parts of a toilet so you can do repairs as needed. Toilets are basic machines that use a simple lever system and gravity to flush waste and water away.
Learn about toilet components, how much toilet parts cost, how a toilet works, and several toilet diagrams with plumbing names for reference.
Parts of a Toilet Diagram
Although the mechanics of a toilet are relatively simple, several parts are involved, as seen in this toilet parts diagram:
This diagram of the inside parts of a toilet shows every single piece, part, and hardware involved, but there are a few main functions that you need to be concerned with.
Main Parts of a Toilet
There are three main parts of the toilet system:
- Toilet tank – the toilet’s upper holding tank that rests atop the toilet bowl. It holds about 2 gallons of reserve water. Installation is separate.
- Toilet bowl – the elongated round vessel that holds the water and waste. When the tank flushes, it swirls the water around the bowl and removes waste through gravity.
- Toilet seat – the seat comes with a lid and hinges and bolts to the toilet.
The parts must be water-tight for the gravity system to work. Any pieces and parts that lose their water-tightness will cause the toilet to leak, not flush or fill.
Let’s break down this toilet parts diagram into each section for a closer look at the parts of a toilet.
Parts of a Toilet Tank
The toilet tank parts are responsible for initiating the flushing mechanism and house all toilet flushing parts.
Toilet Tank Parts Diagram
This toilet tank diagram gives you a brief overview of the parts without being too complicated.
Toilet tank parts are plastic and rubber, except for the flushing chain.
Outside Parts of a Toilet Tank
There are a few exterior components to a toilet tank. The rest are on the inside of the tank.
- Toilet handle – a simple lever that starts the flushing process
- Cistern tank – holds the water that flushes the toilet and houses the flushing parts
- Toilet tank lid – sits on top of the cistern tank and is secured with hinges
Parts Inside Toilet Tank
The inside parts of the toilet tank have the most moving parts. Many water pressure and filling issues originate from broken parts in a toilet tank.
- Flush valve – the rubber stopper that seals the tank from flushing
- Trip lever – plastic or metal bar that connects to the toilet handle and chain
- Lift chain – attaches to the trip lever and lifts the flapper when the toilet handle lifts
- Fill valve – also known as the ballcock valve, is responsible for refilling the tank after the toilet is flushed and attaches to the water supply
- Float ball and rod – floating ball that attaches to fill valve and causes the valve to close once the water reaches maximum level
- Refill tube – controls how much water flows into the bowl and prevents the tank from overflowing by directing extra water into the bowl
- Overflow tube – evacuates water if the fill valve or float ball and rod fail
The anatomy of a toilet tank is compact, yet has enough space to hold sufficient water for flushing the toilet.
Parts of a Toilet Bowl
The components of a toilet bowl are built into the structure and don’t have any moving parts. This lower half of the toilet uses gravity to move waste through the toilet traps.
This simple toilet diagram shows how the toilet bowl function works.
The toilet bowl diagram shows how the water flows through the internal plumbing and down the trap into the main sewer drain.
Inside Parts of Toilet Bowl
None of the inside parts of the toilet bowl move. They are all built into the structure of the toilet.
- Flapper valve gasket – the connection between the tank and the bowl where the flapper valve rests
- Rim holes – tiny holes along the rim where water comes out that rinses the sidewalls of the toilet bowl
- Siphon jet – a large water jet located alongside the rim that flushes the water through the main trapway
- Trapway – the route of the water through the bottom portion of the toilet before it enters the toilet trap
- Outlet – the base of the bowl where the toilet flange connects to the floor plumbing
- Toilet flange – a rubber ring that connects to the drainpipe and mounts the toilet to the floor; flanges require a wax ring for a complete seal
Exterior Toilet Plumbing Parts
This plumbing includes the parts involved in how the clean water connects to the toilet and how the dirty water exits the toilet.
- Fresh water hose – runs from the wall that connects the fresh water line into the fill valve
- Shut-off valve – the valve closes the freshwater hose and is a way to shut down the toilet if there is leaking
- Main drain – where the used toilet water exits into the sewer plumbing and is located right below the toilet flange
This basic diagram identifies the parts on the most common toilet seats.
Toilet Seat Parts:
- Lid – covers toilet seat and keeps things from falling into the toilet
- Seat – attached to the bowl and is where the user of the toilet sits
- Hinges – connects to the toilet and allows for the seat and lid to move up and down
- Bolts – hold the hinges to the toilet
- Bolt covers – plastic pieces that cover the bolts from getting wet
Toilet Parts Costs Table
This table gives you a ballpark idea of how much parts of a toilet costs. These prices are the average for standard midrange toilet parts.
|Toilet Part||Average Part Price|
|Toilet tank lid||$40|
|Float ball and rod||$8|
|Toilet flange wax ring||$2|
|Toilet fresh water hose||$10|
How a Toilet Works
Learning how a toilet operates will help you understand how all the parts of a flush toilet work together.
Push the Handle
This lifts the flush valve and allows the water to escape from the toilet tank.
Water Fills the Bowl
The water flows through the rim holes and swirls around in the bowl. The siphon jet pushes water from the rim to the trapway.
Waste Flushes Through the Trapway
Gravity forces the water to move down the trapway, carrying away the waste.
Suction moves the Water Down the Drain
Suction happens from the force of the water and gravitational pull. It forces the liquid through the trapway, which flushes the water down the main drain.
Toilet Refills with Water
The fill valve activates and refills the holding tank. The refill tube sends water to the overflow tube and refills the bowl with water.
Float Valve Rises
The tank then fills with water until the float valve rises to the full position, telling the fill valve to shut off.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
Are toilet repair parts universal?
There are universal toilet repair kits that work for most toilets and replace broken parts in the tank. You will need a few tools to install the parts, including an adjustable wrench.
How much does it cost to replace toilet tank parts?
A toilet repair kit costs around $20 and comes with all of the parts and pieces needed to replace tank components. You can use the parts you need and save the rest for backup parts.
Where can I find toilet parts?
You can find standard generic toilet replacement parts at the big box hardware stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot. Walmart also carries some replacement parts.
Can you repair a cracked toilet flange?
You can repair a toilet flange. Purchase a PVC or ABS flange that will be resistant to cracking. If your toilet flange is too low, you can get a flange extension. However, a sagging subfloor could be the issue, requiring floor repair or replacement.
How much does it cost to repair a toilet?
If you hire a plumber, expect to pay north of $100 per hour with about two hours of repair time. If you do it yourself, all it costs are the parts. A universal repair kit costs around $20, and a modern flange and seal is around $30.
Parts of a Toilet: Conclusion
There are several toilet fixes that you can do yourself, without having to call a plumber. If your toilet is clogged, you can use a plunger or a plumbing snake. If your handle is wiggling and nothing is happening, reconnect the chain to your handle or fill valve.
If water is pooling around the toilet base on the floor, you may need to replace the wax ring seal. It could be a cracked flange if it isn’t the wax ring. Wax rings are one-size-fits-all and cost about $5.
Replacing a cracked flange can be a challenging DIY repair, so calling a professional plumber may be best. If you decide to tackle the cracked flange repair, you can purchase a toilet flange kit that will come with complete installation instructions.
If your tank or bowl cracks, you can replace either component without purchasing an entire toilet, although sometimes the components cost just as much as a new toilet.