After we’re done discussing our ‘business’, we still have to flush. Toilet flush valves are what make that all possible, and we depend heavily on them in our everyday lives. Although most of us take them for granted, there are actually several different types of toilet flush valves available on the market today, each with their own specific purpose and function.
The toilet flush valve was first invented back in the late 19th century, and has undergone several iterations and improvements since then. Little by little, the technology has become more and more refined, and today’s flush valves are some of the most efficient and effective plumbing fixtures in existence.
In this article, we’ll briefly explore some of the most popular types of toilet flush valves to give you a better understanding of how they work and what they’re used for.
Types of Flush Valve – Sizes and Options
First, we’ll be taking a look at the different types of flush valves available on the market. While there are dozens of different models and variations out there, they can all be classified into the following main categories:
1. Standard Flush Valve
Obviously, the most common type of flush valve is the standard model. This is the kind that you’ll find in most homes, businesses, and public restrooms. Standard flush valves are designed for basic flushing action and don’t have any special features or functionality.
They work by using a simple lever or handle to lift a stopper that blocks the water inlet. This allows water to rush into the bowl at high pressure, which in turn forces waste and debris down the drain. Standard flush valves are very reliable and easy to use, but they don’t offer much in terms of power or efficiency.
If you’re looking for a basic flush valve that is a reliable and affordable option, a standard flush valve is probably your best bet. However, keep in mind that these models are generally not as durable or long-lasting as some of the other types on this list.
2. 3-Inch Flush Valve
This next type of valve is very similar to the standard model, but it has a slightly larger water inlet. The 3-inch flush valve was designed for use in high-traffic areas where there is a need for a more powerful flushing action.
The increased size of the water inlet allows for more water to enter the bowl at once, which creates a stronger flushing action that can quickly and effectively remove waste and debris. These models are often used in commercial applications, such as office buildings, restaurants, and hotels.
If you’re looking for a reliable and powerful flush valve that can handle heavy usage, a 3-inch model is a great option. However, keep in mind that these valves generally require more water to operate, which can lead to higher water bills.
3. 4-Inch Flush Valve
How this differs from the 3-inch model is that it has an even larger water inlet, which allows for an even more powerful flushing action. The 4-inch flush valve was designed for use in very high-traffic areas, such as schools, hospitals, and government buildings.
The 4-inch flush valve is the largest of the flush valves, featuring a piston that advances up to allow water from the tank at 360 degrees. This flush valve is the quickest way to deliver water into the bowl, and requires very little water to create powerful flushing.
4. Tower-Style/ Canister Flush Valve
The next type of flush valve on our list is the tower-style also known as a canister flush valve. This type of valve is becoming increasingly popular in both residential and commercial applications.
Tower-style flush valves are similar to standard flush valves in that they use a handle or lever to lift a stopper that’s blocking the water inlet. However, instead of having the handle directly attached to the valve, it’s connected to a long rod that goes up through the center of the tank and attaches to the valve.
This design allows for a more compact tank that takes up less space in your bathroom. In addition, it provides a cleaner look and feel since there aren’t any exposed handles or mechanisms. Tower-style flush valves are also generally more reliable and durable than standard models.
If you’re looking for a flush valve that takes up less space and provides a sleeker look, a tower-style model is a great option. However, keep in mind that these models can be more expensive than standard flush valves.
5. Dual Flush Valve
A dual flush valve is a type of valve that allows you to choose between two different flushing options. The first option is a partial flush, which uses less water and is perfect for liquid waste. The second option is a full flush, which uses more water and is ideal for solid waste.
Dual flush valves are becoming increasingly popular in both residential and commercial applications due to their water-saving capabilities. In fact, some estimates show that dual flush toilets can save up to 40% more water than standard toilets.
If you’re looking for a flush valve that will help you save water, a dual flush model is a great option. However, keep in mind that these models can be more expensive than other types of valves.
Last but not least, we have flushometers. Flushometers are a type of valve that is often used in commercial applications, such as office buildings, restaurants, and hotels.
Flushometers work by using a handle or lever to open a valve that releases water into the bowl directly without the need of a tank. The amount of water that is released can be adjusted to create a powerful flushing action that can quickly remove waste and debris.
If you’re looking for a reliable and powerful flush valve for a high-traffic area, a flushometer is a great option. However, keep in mind that these models generally require more water to operate, which can lead to higher water bills.
Common Toilet Fill Valve Types
Another important component of your toilet is the fill valve. The fill valve is responsible for refilling the tank with water after each flush. There are a few different types of fill valves that you may encounter, so let’s take a look at some of the most common.
1. Plunger/ Piston Fill Valve
The first type of fill valve on our list is the plunger, or piston, fill valve. This type of valve uses a rubber gasket to seal the water inlet and prevent water from leaking out. When the handle is lifted, the gasket is pulled away from the inlet, allowing water to flow into the tank. Once the tank is full, the gasket automatically seals the inlet again.
Plunger-style fill valves are one of the most common types that you’ll find in both residential and commercial toilets. They’re relatively simple and easy to install, and they don’t require a lot of maintenance.
2. Float Cup Fill Valve
Another common type of fill valve is the float cup. Float cup valves work by using a float to regulate the flow of water into the tank. The float is attached to a rod that goes up to the inlet valve. When the handle is lifted, the float drops, opening the valve and allowing water to flow into the tank. Once the tank is full, the float rises and seals the valve again.
Float cup valves are similar to plunger valves in that they’re relatively simple and easy to install. However, they do require a little bit more maintenance than plunger valves since the float can become stuck or damaged over time.
3. Floatless Fill Valve
This type of valve uses a rubber diaphragm to seal the water inlet and prevent water from leaking out. When the handle is lifted, the diaphragm is pulled away from the inlet, allowing water to flow into the tank. Once the tank is full, the diaphragm automatically seals the inlet again.
Floatless fill valves are similar to plunger valves in that they’re relatively simple and easy to install. They also don’t require a lot of maintenance.
4. Diaphragm Fill Valve (brass body)
Cast brass body fill valves are designed for long-term, trouble-free service and extra durability. They feature an adjustable float arm that can be easily adjusted to control the water level in the tank.
5. Diaphragm Fill Valve (plastic body)
Plastic body diaphragm fill valves are similar to brass-body valves, but they’re made with a plastic body instead of a brass body. A more modern option of the previously mentioned type.
FAQs Frequently Asked Questions
Are all toilet flush valves the same?
No, there are a few different types of toilet flush valves on the market. The most common type is the plunger valve, but there are also float cup valves and diaphragm valves.
How do I choose a flush valve?
When choosing a flush valve, you’ll want to consider the size of the valve and the type of toilet that you have. You’ll also want to think about how much water you want to use and how often you’ll need to replace the valve.
How do you replace a toilet flush valve?
To replace a toilet flush valve, you’ll first need to turn off the water supply to the toilet. Once the water is shut off, you can remove the old valve and install the new one.
Can I replace a toilet flush valve myself or do I need to get a professional plumber in?
It all depends on your experience and confidence to take on the job. It will require you to remove the tank and remove the mechanism from within the tank and replace parts. If you don’t feel totally comfortable then it may be better to get a professional to handle it.
How much will it cost to get a plumber to replace a toilet flush valve?
Typically it can cost anywhere from $80 to $250. Plumbers tend to charge by the hour so if your tank is difficult to remove or any other issues arise then it can potentially drive the cost up.
There are a few different types of toilet flush valves on the market, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. When choosing a valve, you’ll want to consider the size of the valve, the type of toilet, and how much water you want to use.
You’ll also want to think about how often you’ll need to replace the valve. We hope this article has helped you learn more about toilet flush valves and how to choose the right one for your needs. Thanks for reading!
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