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This is how airplane toilets work

This is how airplane toilets work

Many people must have thought how we can get the same comfort as if we were at home even at an altitude of thousands of meters. However, the smooth operation of aircraft is not a simple process at all. How the heavy machine rises and stays in the air is an engineering marvel in itself. Not to mention, the more mundane the activity, the more difficult it is to do it in the air, on a plane.

Maybe few people know this The plane toilet does not flush with water But how does it work and what makes the air so clean? Even behind such an everyday thing there is extraordinary scientific knowledge.

Safety, sustainability and comfort

Any operation of an aircraft is incredible Designed with ergonomic precision. All this is no coincidence, because it is almost up in the air Weak difficulty in solving and implementing it Tasks that seem so simple on Earth.

Airlines do everything they can to ensure passenger comfortAnatolia/Getty Images Hungary

When it comes to flying, one of the most important things to ensure is a safety. There is another very important driving force and motto for airlines sustainability, Which focuses on making flying as less harmful to the environment as possible. But safe and environmentally friendly flights must be solved in a way that does not affect the passenger experience. Almost nothing should be missing during the flight: This is in the fundamental interest of all airlines if they want passengers to choose them next time and not their competitors.

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It is a particularly important ergonomic aspect, especially during flights lasting long hours, where ergonomic toilet use can be solved even in the air.

Instead of water, they flush the plane's toilet with it

Perhaps few people know how to clean airplane toilets Do not use water. This is because the plane has a strict weight limit so it can take off and stay in the air. Thus, adhering to the laws of physics on planes rather than water Air is used to flush the toilet. Thanks to a process patented in 1975, the plane's evacuation system uses the difference in air pressure to flush the toilet.

The plane's toilet is flushed with air, not water. Getty Images Hungary

The plane's toilet is flushed with air, not water. Getty Images HungaryGlowing pictures

The stool that enters the toilet is the first enters the waste container, Which varies whether it is located on the back or the front of the device. When you press the flush button, a valve opens at the bottom of the toilet bowl, which connects the bowl to a pipe. This tube is with the waste container under pressure So when the valve opens, A vacuum is created, Which sucks the contents of the toilet bowl.

It's like vacuuming.

By pressing the power button, we open the valve, which begins the suction, and then closes the valve. This vacuum effect continues while the machine is in the air. But when the plane hits the ground, The pressure difference disappears Because the pump that creates the vacuum in the tank to flush the toilet stops. But as the plane takes off and the pressure difference in the tank increases, a vacuum is automatically created.

Unlike toilets used in daily life Airplane toilets feature a special layer of Teflon. So nothing gets stuck in it, it doesn't leave any traces, and it doesn't need a lot of pressure to keep it clean.

Blue Ice: Sometimes stool comes out of the machine

After landing, of course Tanks must be emptied Even if it's not completely full. This process is always carried out by the units that serve the airport, and also takes care of preparing the contents of the container.

Waste that goes into the toilet always goes into a collection container

Waste that goes into the toilet always goes into a collection containerGetty Images Hungary

The official name for wastewater collected on board aircraft is… Blue snow. It gets its name from the color of the disinfectant used in clumps of frozen urine that fall from airplanes. It is formed when a Toilet tank seal damaged, The contents of the container begin to leak. Water droplets freeze at high altitudes, and over time larger and larger pieces of ice form. During descent, as the outside temperature rises, these blocks disintegrate, melt and sometimes separate from the machine.

Neither now nor in the past have airplanes intentionally released toilet waste into the atmosphere.

However, if a pressure pipe leak occurs at temperatures below freezing All released liquids freeze automatically, And it falls. Although strict It is regulated and prohibited by law, To take off in the event of any leakage in the aircraft's toilet system, yet accidents still happen. For example, in 2021, near London Heathrow Airport, a passerby was covered in feces falling in this way.

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If you want to know how What are the risks of flying in shorts? Then read our article on this topic.

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