Episode 4 - Toilet Experiment and Facts

You can make your toilet flush without pushing the flush lever!

The project in this episode is:


Everyone has one. Everyone uses them. But, do you really know how a toilet works? Join Ingram and Everett as they demonstrate the science behind Thomas Crapper's contribution to modern civilization.

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  • 1 large pitcher/bucket of water
  • 1 toilet


  1. Quickly pour the water from the pitcher into the bowl of the toilet.
  2. The toilet will automatically flush!

* If your experiment doesn’t work the first time, try changing the amount of water (you may need more water) or try pouring the water into the toilet more quickly.
* Doing this experiment may cause the airlock in the trap of your toilet to open. If a foul smell comes into the bathroom after doing this experiment, just flush the toilet regularly to fill the trap again with water.


Toilet Facts:

  1. The ancient Romans were some of the first people to create public toilets. The smell of ancient civilization was quite different than what we are used to today.
  2. Sir John Harrington, a British author, invented the first flushing toilet in the late 1500s. He called it the Ajax. Harrington was the godson of Queen Elizabeth I and installed a prototype in her palace.
  3. In the late 1800s, another British inventor, Thomas Crapper, improved on the flushing toilet. Crapper invented several types of valves that are still being used today. Most importantly, he figured out how to make a toilet siphon, or suck, everything out of the toilet bowl.
  4. There are some toilets called squat toilets. They are like a fancy hole in the ground. When you flush it, the water washes everything down, like a sink.
  5. There are outhouses. They really are just a hole in the ground, usually dug several feet into the earth. People put lime in the hole to make the waste dissolve. The lime also helps keep the outouse from stinking.
  6. There are also compost toilets. They use micro-organisms to turn the waste into usable fertilizer.