While looking into buying a new toilet or other bathroom appliance, you might come across the term “siphon jet”. In this article, we will talk about siphon jets and explain what they are, what they do, and how to clean and maintain them in your own bathroom.
What are Siphon Jets?
To start, siphon jets are used during the flushing process of your toilet. Therefore, to understand what a siphon jet is, we should first talk about other types of flushes. For example, a basic flush that most standard toilets have is designed with an air pocket that allows it to create a vacuum. When you pull/push the lever, a valve in the tank releases the water into the bowl. Due to gravity and the vacuum pocket, the water pushes all the waste down the drain.
Old-fashioned toilets used to use around 5 gallons of water with each flush. In the 1980s, water conservation efforts began, with new regulations that toilets could use only 1.6 gallons of water or less per flush. Toilet manufacturers had to find ways to effectively remove all waste with less water or else users had to flush multiple times with each use, consuming almost as much water as before.
This new age of flush technology is where the siphon jet comes in. Basically, a siphon jet is a molded pocket positioned in the front of the toilet. It holds some water until the flush starts, pointing directly into the trapway. When you activate the flush, the stored water is pulled by vacuum, which directly increases the pressure. That way, the toilet is able to create a powerful flush with much less water. These days, you will find siphon jets in almost all modern toilets.
Siphon Jets | Cleaning and Maintenance
Whether you already have a toilet with siphon jets or you’re considering a new toilet purchase, it’s important to keep in mind how to maintain the jets along with the rest of the toilet. Below we share 5 different cleaning and maintenance steps to keep in mind. For all of these, the basic materials you’ll need include: bleach or another cleaning agent; gloves; a small mirror; baking soda and vinegar; a spray bottle; and an old toothbrush.
You may be interested in our homemade toilet bowl cleaner review.
1. Getting Rid of Bacteria
Bacteria in a toilet is never good. It can cause stains, lead to bad smells, and impact overall hygiene. While toilets are prone to bacteria, regular cleaning with a cleaning solution is an effective way to prevent any bacteria build up.
It’s almost important to keep in mind that bacteria easily grows in places where there is water. Ensuring your toilet flushes properly and that the water doesn’t run when it shouldn’t are two keep steps to also keep bacteria at bay.
If you do have some bacteria build up that you need to remove, look for a strong cleaning detergent. You can also use bleach or homemade solutions like vinegar and baking soda to clean the bowl. If your toilet has a special surface finish, you may want to select a more gentle cleaner. Either way, regular cleaning and disinfectant will keep your toilet, and jet siphons, bacteria-free.
2. Cleaning the Outside of the Jets
You can also directly clean the siphon jets as needed. Before you start deep cleaning specific toilet parts however, it’s essential to remove water from the toilet bowl. To start, turn off the valve that allows water to reach the toilet, and then flush the toilet to remove any water in the bowl and tank.
Next, you can use a small mirror to look under the rim of the bowl. This approach will allow you to see which areas need more attention when cleaning. We recommend applying a baking soda and vinegar paste to the area you want to clean. Let the paste sit for about 30 minutes and then wipe away the cleaning paste and any bacteria. Finally, check again with a mirror to make sure everything is clean. Don’t forget to turn the water supply valve back on once you’re done as well.
3. Cleaning the Inside of the Jets
When it comes to the inside of the jets, you should perform a much deeper cleaning. Again, you first have to remove the water from the toilet, which will expose the jets. With a wire brush, scrape the inside of the jets to remove all dirt. However, be careful to avoid causing any damage to the porcelain.
After you finish scrubbing the jets, apply bleach around the toilet rim. Let the bleach sit for 15-20 minutes before using a toilet brush to clean the bowl. Check if you have cleaned everything properly, and repeat the process until the toilet surface is fully clean.
4. Getting Rid of Mineral Deposits
If you live in an area with hard water, sooner or later you will notice mineral deposits in your toilet. Even if you clean it constantly, hard water will produce stains in your toilet bowl. The easiest way to solve this problem is to buy a water softener.
To clean mineral deposits, you can follow the same procedure as the above. However, note that mineral deposits tend to form hard layers, which will make cleaning more difficult. Before you start cleaning, treat the jets with vinegar to loosen hard layers. When it comes to using vinegar, you can use a spray bottle to evenly distribute the liquid. Because the mineral deposits may be harder to clean, you might need to let your cleaning liquid soak for longer, look for a stronger detergent, or repeat the process a couple times to remove everything completely.
5. Fixing a Bubbling Siphon Jet
If you notice that your siphon jet is bubbling, one of the most common reasons is that the waterway is obstructed in some way, and thus the jet needs to be unclogged. To resolve this issue, put on a pair of gloves and start by placing a small mirror to check where exactly the jets are clogged.
Once you’ve identified the block, put a thin wire into the clogged jet to scrape the debris, making sure not to scratch the surface of the bowl. Scrub under the rim using a brush and a bowl cleaner, then check the water flow by flushing the toilet. If you were able to effectively clear all debris from the jet, your bubbling problem should be solved.
Siphon Jet vs. Gravity-Fed Toilets
Since these two flushing technologies are most popular today, let’s discuss some of their main differences. To start, siphon jet toilets provide a very powerful flush which leads to cleaner bowls and very little maintenance. They are also effective because they remove waste quickly to avoid any odors. On the other hand, siphon jet toilets can be prone to clogging, and they also might take up more space than gravity-fed toilets. Finally, although most siphon jet toilets use a low amount of water, there are still many units that use up to four gallons per flush.
When it comes to gravity-fed toilets, a major benefit is that they are almost impossible to clog, which gives them a major advantage over other toilets. Gravity-fed toilets are also water-efficient and tend to take up less space than siphon jet toilets. On the other hand, they don’t clear waste as efficiently and can thus leave some stains and odors during use. Ultimately, based on their unique strengths and weaknesses, you should select the toilet that best suits your preferences.
Read our knowledge article of the differences of siphon jets and gravity-fed.
As you can see, siphon jet toilets are quite powerful, making them an excellent long-term investment. While they do sometimes take up more space in your bathroom compared to other options, they consume less water than standard toilets without compromising on performance. With the maintenance steps outlined here, you can be sure that your siphon jet toilet will last a long time.