Parts of a Toilet – Toilet Tank Diagram

DIY Toilet Repairs + Toilet Diagram to Identify and Replace Toilet Parts

If you’re unfamiliar with the Parts of a Toilet, or you don’t have a Toilet Parts Diagram, This guide explains and shows you both – along with DIY steps for How to Fix a Toilet yourself.

If you are dealing with a leaking toilet, a running toilet, or a toilet that doesn’t flush properly, this toilet repair guide includes diagrams for Toilet Tank parts and Toilet Bowl parts – so you can “see the problem” and repair it quickly.

Like you, when toilet problems used to happen at our home, I would call the plumber – and pay a hefty toilet repair bill. Once I learned the toilet part names and how toilet tank parts work, It was easy to buy the replacements and take care of any repairs the same day.

With a good “diagram of a toilet” and just a few tools, the homeowner can easily fix most toilet repairs.

You’ll need a few essential hand tools for these repairs, but you won’t need any power tools

“Toilet Parts Diagram”

Toilet Tank Diagram - Best Home Gear
Toilet Parts Diagram – BestHomeGear.com

Some Toilet problems require a professional plumber – But most toilet repairs do not and qualify as simple DIY jobs. The Toilet Diagram (above) lets you quickly identify any toilet’s main components.

Tools to Repair a Toilet:

In addition to studying the toilet diagram and learning about all the toilet parts,  it is essential to fix a running toilet. You will need to grab the right tools to execute these simple repairs.

Fortunately, toilets are relatively easy to work on and do not require anything that can’t be found in a standard home tool kit. Toilet Repair Tools include:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • 4- In -1 Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Vice Grips
  • Hacksaw (if you’re installing new flange bolts – That do not have EZ snap-off marks)
  • Shallow Water Bucket – To catch toilet tank water.
  • Soft towel or Sponge for the cleanup

While the specific tools will vary, most repairs can be done using an adjustable wrench and a screwdriver. However, you may have an older toilet in your bathroom. If so, you may find the toilet has rusted bolts.

In this case, you may also need a pair of vice grips to help you break them loose before removing them with your wrench.

How a Toilet Flushes, Check out this Quick Video:

Toilet Tank Parts:

Most parts of the Toilet are located inside the Toilet Tank.  Below we feature each Toilet Part that is located inside the Toilet Tank.

Some people refer to these toilet parts as the “toilet insides” – simply because they are inside the toilet tankNote: The Toilet Tank is the square water reservoir on top of the toilet bowl.

Inside a Toilet Tank, you will find Two Types of flushing mechanisms: 

One is theFlush Valve,” and the other is the “Fill Valve.”

All Toilet Tank Parts Include:

  • Toilet Tank
  • Toilet Tank Lid
  • Toilet Lever
  • Toilet Tank Fill Valve (Refill tube)
  • Toilet Tank Flush Valve (Overflow tube)
  • Toilet Flapper

If you need help identifying them, refer to the toilet parts diagram (Above) for a complete list of interior Toilet Parts.  (Incidentally, unless you need to replace your Fill Valve completely, the repairs below will not require any tools).

1)  Flush Valve (diagram)

 

toilet flush valve | Best Home Gear
Toilet Tank Flush Valve – Besthomegear.com

How a Toilet Flush Valve Works (Video)

 

The first step in making repairs to the parts of a toilet tank is to determine which toilet parts are causing the problem. The fastest way to do this is to look for the vertical white plastic tube called an “Overflow tube,” standing upright in the tank.

As a part of the Flush Valve mechanism, the Overflow tube acts as a safety mechanism to keep the tank from overfilling.

If you see the water flowing into the Overflow Tube, the problem is with your Fill Valve (see detail below) – which is not shutting off properly.  We’ll get to that in a minute.

However, If you find that the water hasn’t reached the top of the Flush Valve and is instead running out into your toilet bowl below, you may have a leaky Toilet Flapper (see details below)  

With that in mind, let’s look at each toilet part specifically:


2)   Toilet Flapper (diagram)

toilet flapper | Best Home Gear
Toilet tank Flapper – Besthomegear.com

The #1 component that wears out in a toilet’s flush valve is a piece known as a Flapper. The flapper is the rubber part connected to your flush valve that creates a seal between your toilet’s tank and bowl, allowing it to retain water until flushed.

If your toilet is running continuously and the culprit isn’t your fill valve, the flapper is likely the source of your problem.

The easiest way to tell whether or not your flapper has gone bad is to press it down from inside the tank with your hand. If additional pressure closes off the tank and stops the toilet from running, the flapper probably needs to be replaced.

Like any other moving part, flappers wear out over a while, eventually preventing them from sealing properly.

How To Replace Toilet Flapper:

You may not need to replace the toilet flapper. It may be dirty, and the toilet flapper won’t seal tightly if there is any lime, slime, or hard water build-up where your old flapper seats are against the flapper seat on the flush valve.

Use a scouring pad to carefully remove any film or grime from the toilet flapper, and make sure that the new flapper forms the best possible seal with the flush valve it comes in contact with.

However, If your toilet flapper is worn out (hardened rubber, deformed), replace the toilet flapper with a new one. This is a very inexpensive toilet part.

To replace the toilet flapper, start by turning off the water to your toilet and draining the toilet tank. After this, you should be able to reach inside, grab the old toilet flapper and carefully remove it by pulling it off the flush valve tabs that secure it on either side.

Next, detach the flapper from the chain that connects to the toilet handle.

To complete the toilet flapper installation, attach the new toilet flapper to the flush valve tabs, and reattach it to the chain from the toilet handle.

Next,  turn the water back on and test the new flapper for leaks.  It should seal properly and allow the toilet tank to refill easily.

Note:  If the chain between the toilet flapper and the handle arm is too loose or too tight, it will prevent the toilet flapper from seating correctly.

If the toilet flapper chain appears unusually loose or so tight that it prevents the flapper from sealing against the flush valve, adjust the length of the chain itself.


3)    Toilet Fill Valve (diagram)

 

Toilet Fill Valve | Best Home Gear
Toilet Tank Fill Valve – BestHomeGear.Com

Suppose your toilet Flush Valve and Toilet Flapper are operating correctly, and your toilet is still running. In that case, It’s most likely due to a problem with your Toilet Fill Valve—or, more specifically, the Toilet Float.

How A Toilet Fill Valve Works (Video)

 

Check that your Float is adjusted correctly to fix a toilet fill valve. Once you determine if you have a float “ball” or a float “cup” (newer design), you can adjust it accordingly to “Raise” the water level or “Lower” the toilet tank water level.

With a Float “Ball,” – you turn the Ball clockwise to tighten, allowing the Fill valve to add More Water into the toilet tank.  Conversely, turning the Ball counterclockwise will “extend the ball” and allow Less Water into the tank.  

With a Float “Cup” – You will Use a Phillips screwdriver to adjust the +/- indicator, forward or backward, to raise or lower the toilet tank water level.

With either Float design, adjust the Float to allow the toilet tank water level to stop approximately 1″ below the top of the Overflow valve.


Additional Tips on Fixing Toilet Bowl “Float”:

If the water stops after temporarily lifting the float, the water level isn’t rising properly as it fills your tank. Many toilets will have a simple screw at the top of the valve assembly that can be used to adjust the float cup.

If your toilet doesn’t have this feature, slightly bend the float arm or gradually unscrew the float ball counterclockwise. This will adjust the position of the float ball in the tank and cause the water to shut off at the fill valve.

If the float isn’t the problem,  inspect the toilet fill valve assembly itself to see if it has become jammed with lime deposits from your water. If the fill valve is stuck, remove and clean it, or, likely, replace it.


4)   Toilet Fill Valve “Seal” (Washer)

 

toilet fill valve seal | Best Home Gear
Toilet Fill Valve Seal (Washer) – Besthomegear.com

The small Fill Valve Seal/Washer inside the FIll Valve will wear out on rare occasions. This is a very inexpensive part and easily be replaced. You will know this is the problem when the float stops, but the toilet fill valve fills the tank with water.

How to Fix Toilet Fill Valve Seal/Washer

If you believe that your toilet fill valve “washer” is worn out, remove the top cap of the Fill Valve and inspect the rubber washer on top.

If the fill valve washer appears cracked, not pliable, or worn out – replace it with an identical washer available at any hardware store. This could be a straightforward and cheap fix to stop your fill valve from running continually.

Note:  If all remedies fail to fix the toilet fill valve, you can remove the entire fill valve assembly by removing the bottom nut holding it to the tank and replacing it with a new one.

This solution is a bit more labor-intensive than the others, but it will fix any issues you have relating to a fill valve.

If you aren’t sure what kind of replacement valve you need, bring the old valve assembly with you to the hardware store so that you can ask a plumbing representative to help you find an adequate replacement.  


Note:  If you are not into “Troubleshooting” every toilet part and want to go the safe route and Replace All the toilet parts at once – use the list below to pick up all the toilet replacement parts you’ll need.

I recommend taking the existing Toilet Fill Valve, Flush Valve, and Flapper to the Hardware Store to compare your existing parts to new toilet parts.

Complete List of Toilet Tank” Parts:

  • Fill Valve Assembly 
  • Flush Valve assembly 
  • Flapper (if not included with flush valve assembly)
  • Toilet Handle, chain, and retaining nut (only If necessary)
  • Note:  Make sure to replace toilet parts that will fit your toilet – Ask an expert if you’re unsure.

Toilet Tank Fill Valve Designs:

We’ve included a Toilet Parts Diagram below for a more “Detailed Look” at the different Toilet Tank Fill Valve Designs you may find in your home.

These toilet part diagrams show the two different types of toilet fill valves, including the Newer “Float Cup” design (invented in the 1950s) and the older “Ball Cock” toilet fill valve design.

When replacing your fill valve, most people will replace their existing ball cock design, with the modern “float cup” toilet filler valve – (ball cock fill valves are not considered as useful).

“Float Cup” Fill Valve Toilet Tank – Installed in modern toilets and for use when replacing newer toilet tank parts:  

Toilet Tank Float Cup Design - Best Home Gear
Toilet Float Cup Fill Valve – Besthomgear.com

The Toilet Tank Diagram below shows an “older” “Ballcock” fill valve design – with a “Float Ball” is hardly ever manufactured anymore; if you have an older home, it may have this toilet float design.  We recommend replacing the Ballcock design with a Float Cup toilet fill valve design.

Ball cock toilet diagram - Best Home Gear
Ballcock Type Toilet Diagram – Besthomegear.com

“Toilet Bowl” Parts:

Once you get past the Toilet Tank parts, the parts of the Toilet Bowl are simpler to repair and quicker.

“Toilet Bowl” Parts Include:

  • Porcelain Toilet bowl
  • Toilet Seat
  • Wax Ring (The Seal below the toilet bowl) with Floor Bolts included
  • Toilet Floor Flange 

The entire principle of toilet operation is quite simple. From the Toilet bowl, water is flushed down a bent flow in the toilet bowl casting. The Toilet tank is refilled and is ready to complete the process again.

The Toilet Bowl itself seals with a Wax Ring on top of the PVC Floor Flange, with the main waste line beneath it.  Make sure you position the Floor Bolts shown below at the same time as the new wax ring before setting the toilet back in place.

“Toilet Bowl”

Toilet Bowl Illustration - Best Home Gear
Typical Toilet Bowl – Besthomegear.com

How to Replace a Toilet

If you’ve decided to replace your entire toilet, not just a few toilet parts, don’t worry – it’s not as difficult as you might think.

Check out this video from This Old House on “How to Change a Toilet.”

Now that you understand how the basic components of a toilet work, you will be able to quickly determine the parts of a toilet that have gone bad and then repair or replace them, and in case your toilet overflows, grab your wet/dry shop vacuum to get it cleaned up quickly.


Toilet Seat

how to replace toilet seat - besthomegear.com
How to Replace Toilet Seat – Best Home Gear

How To Replace Toilet Seat

Replacing a toilet seat is one of the simplest DIY repairs.  Toilet seats are offered in two different shapes (Oval or Round), different sizes, and materials (plastic or wood), but all toilet seats attach to the toilet bowl using the same method – with two toilet bolts.

Today’s most popular toilet seat is the Oblong, Plastic, Self-Closing toilet seat. Measure your toilet bowl, determine the shape, and then choose the seat that best matches your toilet bowl size, preferences, and budget. 

To Replace a Toilet Seat – begin by removing the existing toilet seat. To do this, start by gripping one of two bolts underneath the toilet seat with pliers, and turn the top screw counter-clockwise.  Repeat by removing the second toilet seat bolt and screw, then remove and discard the old toilet seat.

To install a new toilet seat, set the new toilet seat in place, then install two new bolts and screws, and secure the new toilet seat tightly.  

Note:  Most Modern toilet seats now employ a toilet bolt design, with snap-on (flip-up by using a flat-head screwdriver) or twist-on bolt covers (no tools) to conceal the toilet seat bolts. A much more sanitary design vs. exposed toilet seat bolts.


The Wax Ring

Whether you’re looking at American Standard toilet parts or other manufacturers, A typical wax ring toilet repair kit includes floor flange anchors, nuts, and washers.

Toilet Wax Ring - best home gear
Wax Ring – Besthomegear.com

 

The “Floor Flange”

The Toilet Floor Flange (shown below) is connected to your Toilet by way of the Wax Ring (shown above)

Toilet Flange
Toilet floor flange – besthomegear.com

  Together, these “Toilet floor parts” create a completely waterproof seal between the toilet commode itself and the drain pipe that carries water and waste away, preventing it from leaking out on the floor.

If water is seeping out of your toilet and pooling around the bottom, the problem is an almost certain failure of the wax ring. Purchase a “Universal Toilet Bowl Wax Ring,” which works on 99% of the modern toilets manufactured.


How To “Replace Toilet Bowl Wax Ring”

Many homeowners panic a little when they see used toilet water seeping from under the toilet during flushes, but don’t worry; you won’t need a toilet plumbing diagram to make this simple fix.

In reality, this is a more common repair than you realize.  The issue is simple, the toilet repair is less than $5.00 and easy for most homeowners by following these ten steps:

1) Turn off the water supply to the toilet.

2) Disconnect the water supply line near the rear base of the toilet.

3) Remove the floor anchor Nuts that connect to the bolts at the base of the toilet

4) Empty the water from the toilet bowl – as much as possible.

5) Lift the toilet straight up, remove it, and set it aside.  

6) Remove the old wax ring. Clean, thoroughly scrape, and remove all leftover residue.  If you see any damage to the PVC flange (mounted to the floor), remove and replace the floor flange to match the size of your drain pipe (this type of damage is very uncommon).

7) Hint:  It’s a good idea to install the New toilet anchor bolts with washers (which are included with the new wax ring) to the toilet flange (illustration above).  Install them in the same toilet flange slots as the original bolts.

8) Gently position the New Wax Ring (the flat side is down) and center it on top of the PVC flange (on the floor).

Note: In the last few years, Fluidmaster has developed a “Wax-Free” Toilet seal which is hugely popular. You can order a wax-free toilet ring  (illustration below)

waxless toilet bowl gasket - best home gear
Waxless Toilet Gasket – BestHomeGear.Com

8) Position toilet bowl bolts in place and carefully set the toilet on top of the new wax ring, allowing the toilet bolts to slide through the bottom side of the toilet.  (Be careful not to manipulate the wax ring too much when setting it on top of the flange, as bending it may prevent it from forming a complete and tight seal).

9) Use a hacksaw to cut toilet anchor bolts for length (some are snap-away bolts – if so, use pliers to snap them off to the proper length)

10) Reconnect the water supply and check for leaks at the toilet bowl’s base.

11). Highly Suggested:  Waterproof the Toilet bowl.  To do this, apply a thin bead of clear or white caulk around the toilet bowl where it meets the flooring.  Use Outdoor/Silicone caulk for this waterproof application.

This step is especially essential for toilets or bathrooms that are on upper floors and sit above finished living spaces.

This step should keep the overflow of toilet water contained without damage to lower floor ceilings, and this is one of the best preventative steps you’ll ever do for your home.

caulking toilet bowl bottom - besthomegear.com
Caulk around the toilet bowl

Alternate Wax Ring Install Method: “New” Toilet Installation:

Note:  If you’re installing a new toilet, the preferred method for installing a wax ring will be to mount it to the underside of the toilet itself, Before seating the entire toilet bowl to the PVC toilet flange on the floor.  This method is illustrated below:

 
Wax Ring mounted to toilet - Best Home Gear
Install wax ring on a toilet – bethomegear.com

Here’s Another Good DIY article we wrote For Homeowners – How to Wire a 3-way Light Switch


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What are the Parts of a Toilet Called?

A:  The two main parts of a Toilet are the Toilet Bowl and the Toilet Tank. These parts contain the working mechanisms to maintain a properly running toilet.

Q:  Why Is My Toilet Running?

A:  A toilet will continue to run after flushing for one of two reasons. 1) The water level is set too high, causing water to drain into the overflow pipe of the drain valve. (Adjust the water level by resetting the float).  2) The toilet flapper is old or worn out (Replace the toilet flapper).

Q:  Is it Hard to Replace Toilet Tank Parts?

A:  Every Toilet Tank Part is designed for easy replacement. For most homeowners with average DIY skills, replacing Toilet Tank Parts is relatively simple. 

Once you gather the right tools and have a Toilet Diagram to identify toilet parts, you can access what is leaking or isn’t working properly.

Q:  What Tools Do I Need To Fix a Toilet?

A: Toilets are relatively easy to work on, and don’t require anything not found in a standard home tool kit. Toilet Repair Tools you need include:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • 4- In -1 Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Vice Grips
  • Hacksaw (if you’re installing new flange bolts – That do not have EZ snap-off marks)
  • Shallow Water Bucket – To catch toilet tank water.
  • Soft towel or Sponge for the cleanup

Q:  What Is a Toilet Diagram?

A:  A Toilet Diagram illustrates all the parts of a Toilet.  The diagram includes Toilet Tank Parts (parts that make a toilet flush), as well as a diagram for Toilet Bowl Parts.

Q:  Where Can I Find a Toilet Diagram?

A:  See our article at Best Home Gear: “Parts of a Toilet – Toilet Tank Diagram” – to view a complete Toilet Diagram including Toilet Tank and Toilet Bowl Parts.

Q:  How Do You Replace a Toilet Bowl Wax Ring?

A:  You can replace a toilet bowl wax ring in 4 simple steps. 1) Turn off the water supply to the toilet, 2) Remove the water supply line to the toilet, 3) Remove the toilet bowl, and 4) Replace the wax ring.

Q:  How Do You Replace a Toilet Seat?

A:  To replace a toilet seat you first need to expose the bolts that hold it to the toilet bowl. Lift any tabs covering the (2) toilet seat bolts, And turn the toilet seat bolts counterclockwise (left) to loosen them. 

You may need to use pliers to hold the nut below the toilet bowl while removing the bolts.  Reverse this process to install a new toilet seat.


Conclusion:

If you want to save money and time by waiting for (and paying for) a plumber, consider doing an easy DIY project out of your toilet repair the next time it starts running continuously or leaking.  

With a bit of reading and some basic tools, you now know how to get your toilet back in working order, quickly eliminate the risk of flooding, and simultaneously avoid costly damage and keep mold from occurring.

Have some additional tips on repairing toilets?  Leave us a quick comment below – we would love to hear from you.

Thanks again for visiting BestHomeGear, and good luck with your own DIY toilet repairs!

Additional Reading & Resources:

Kevin Carroll
Kevin Carrollhttps://www.besthomegear.com
Kevin is the author and editor for Best Home Gear, and uses his 25+ years experience in Commercial and Residential Construction Management to author and publish the work for this website. In addition to publishing Best Home Gear; Kevin enjoys the outdoors in Michigan and Arizona, hiking, cycling, fishing, golf, and completing DIY projects at his Home and Garden.

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Image of Kevin Carroll, author and publisher @ Besthomegear.com
Author and Publisher for Best Home Gear

Kevin is the Owner, Author, and Publisher @ Best Home Gear, which he began In 2018.

As a Professional in Construction, Real Estate and Property Management, Kevin uses that experience to publish Useful Articles, and help homeowners improve (DIY) their own homes, lawns, and outdoor spaces.

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