A Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing a Cistern
A properly functioning toilet cistern is essential for our daily lives, but unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for issues to arise.
From leaks and constant running to weak flushing and strange noises, a faulty cistern can be a real headache.
But fear not. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to fix your toilet cistern and get it back in tip-top shape.
Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or just looking to save some money on repairs, we’ve got you covered. However, there are occasions when you should call a professional plumber.
So, let’s roll up our sleeves and tackle those leaking toilet cistern problems head-on.
Tools and Materials Needed
Before you dive into fixing your cistern, it’s important to gather the necessary tools and materials. Having everything prepared beforehand will save you time and frustration during the repair process.
Here’s a handy checklist to ensure you’re equipped:
- Adjustable wrench: This versatile tool will come in handy for tightening or loosening various fittings.
- Screwdriver set: Make sure you have a selection of screwdrivers, including flathead and Phillips head, as they’ll be needed for different types of screws.
- Pliers: A good pair of pliers will help you grip and manipulate small parts or tighten connections.
- Replacement parts: Depending on the specific issue with your cistern, you may need to replace washers, seals, fill valves, flush valves, or other components. Check your cistern’s make and model to ensure you have the right replacement parts.
- Clean cloth or sponge: You’ll need these to wipe away any excess water or debris during the repair process.
Remember, safety is paramount, so don’t forget to wear gloves and eye protection when necessary.
When working on your leaking toilet cistern, it’s important to prioritise safety. Here are a few precautions to keep in mind:
- Turn off the water supply: Before beginning any repairs, locate the water shut-off valve near the base of the toilet and turn it off. This will prevent accidental flooding and water damage.
- Handle chemicals and cleaning agents with care: If you’re using any cleaning agents or chemicals to remove stains or mineral build up, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and wear protective gloves. Avoid mixing different cleaning solutions, as they can produce harmful fumes.
- Electrical safety: If your cistern is connected to an electrical system, such as a bidet or an electric flush mechanism, ensure the power is turned off before starting any work. It’s best to consult a professional electrician if you’re unsure about electrical safety.
However, there are many occasions when it’s important to know your limitations when it comes to fixing a leaky toilet. That’s why you should recognise …
When to Call a Professional
While fixing a toilet cistern can often be a DIY project, there are situations where it’s best to call a professional plumber.
Here are a few instances when seeking professional help is recommended:
- Limited experience or knowledge: If you’re unsure about the specific issue or lack confidence in your repair skills, it’s wise to consult a professional. They have the expertise to quickly diagnose and fix the problem.
- Complex or extensive repairs: Some cistern issues may require intricate repairs or replacement of major components. If you’re dealing with complex mechanisms or unfamiliar parts, it’s better to let a professional handle the job to avoid causing further damage.
- Plumbing system concerns: If the problem extends beyond the cistern itself, such as issues with the main water line or drainage system, it’s essential to involve a professional plumber. They can assess the overall plumbing system and address any underlying issues.
- Warranty considerations: If your cistern is still under warranty, attempting DIY repairs may void the warranty. It’s advisable to check the terms and conditions and consult the manufacturer or a professional plumber authorised by the warranty.
Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Calling a licensed plumber ensures that the repairs are done correctly, minimising the risk of further complications and providing peace of mind.
Identifying the Problem
Before diving into fixing your cistern, it’s important to accurately identify the problem. Here are a few steps to help you pinpoint the issue:
- Observe common signs: Look out for signs like leaks, constant running, weak flushing, or unusual noises when the toilet is flushed. These indicators can give you clues about the specific problem.
- Visual inspection: Take a closer look at the cistern for any visible issues. Check for cracks, worn-out washers or seals, loose connections or mineral buildup. Sometimes, a visual inspection is all it takes to identify the problem.
- Troubleshooting techniques: Use troubleshooting techniques like jiggling the handle, adjusting the float or flushing with the cistern lid off to gather more information. These simple tests can help narrow down the potential causes.
This knowledge will guide you in selecting the appropriate steps to fix your cistern effectively.
Fixing a Leaking Toilet Cistern
A leaking cistern can waste water and lead to water damage if left unaddressed. Whether or not you can fix your leaking toilet cistern depends on the severity of the problem.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to fix it:
- Shut off the water supply: Locate the shut-off valve near the base of the toilet and turn it off to stop the water flow.
- Drain the remaining water: Flush the toilet and hold down the handle to drain the water from the cistern completely.
- Inspect and replace faulty washers or seals: Check the inlet valve, outlet valve, and flush valve (or float valve) for any worn-out washers or seals. Replace the water valve or any other components as necessary.
- Reassemble and test: Reassemble the cistern components, turn on the water supply, and test your toilet’s flush mechanism for leaks. Make adjustments if needed.
Fixing a leaking cistern is often a straightforward process that can save water and prevent water damage. Follow these steps carefully, and your toilet will be leak-free in no time.
Repairing a Constantly Running Cistern
A constantly running cistern not only wastes water but can also be quite annoying. Follow these steps to fix the issue:
- Adjust the float or water level: Open the cistern lid and locate the float mechanism. Adjust the float arm or float ball to ensure it’s positioned correctly and not too high or too low.
- Check and replace the fill valve: Inspect the fill valve for any signs of damage or blockage. If necessary, replace the faulty fill valve with a new one to restore proper water flow.
Follow these simple steps to restore the tranquility of your bathroom.
Weak or Inadequate Flushing
Dealing with weak or inadequate flushing in a toilet cistern can be frustrating. The last thing you want is nothing more than a trickle of water flowing into your toilet bowl.
Here’s what you can do to address the issue:
- Causes of weak flushing: Mineral build up, a clogged jet or a faulty flush valve can all contribute to weak flushing. Identify the specific cause to determine the appropriate solution.
- Cleaning the cistern and flushing mechanism: Remove any mineral deposits or debris from the cistern, including the flush valve and rim jets. Use a mixture of vinegar and water or a specialised cleaner for effective cleaning.
- Replacing or adjusting the flush valve: If cleaning doesn’t improve the flushing, consider replacing the flush valve or adjusting it to ensure proper water flow.
By tackling the causes and optimising the flushing mechanism, you can restore the flushing power of your toilet cistern.
Maintenance Tips for a Healthy Toilet Cistern
To keep your cistern in good working condition and prevent future problems, follow these maintenance tips:
- Regular cleaning and inspection: Clean the cistern and its components regularly to remove any build up or dirt. Inspect for any signs of wear or damage.
- Preventing mineral build up: Use a water softener if your area has hard water to reduce mineral build up.
- Preventing blockages: Avoid flushing items that can cause blockages, such as wipes or sanitary products.
- Ensuring proper flushing and water flow: Test the flush mechanism periodically to ensure it’s working smoothly. Adjust or replace any faulty components as needed.
By implementing these maintenance tips, you can prolong the lifespan of your cistern and minimise the risk of unexpected issues.
A Stress-Free Bathroom
Fixing a toilet cistern is a task that many homeowners can successfully tackle with the right knowledge and tools. From addressing leaks and constant running to improving flushing and implementing regular maintenance, you can keep your cistern in excellent condition.
However, it’s important to recognise that there are certain circumstances where calling a qualified plumber is necessary. If you’re unsure about the problem, facing complex repairs, dealing with plumbing system concerns, or if your cistern is still under warranty, seeking professional help is the best course of action.
Remember, the goal is to have a fully functioning toilet cistern that saves water and operates smoothly. With the right combination of DIY repairs and professional expertise, you can ensure a well-maintained cistern for a stress-free bathroom experience.
Is your toilet cistern leaking? Are you having to cope with a wet floor and you don’t know why. If you don’t have the experience to fix a leaking toilet cistern, contact the leaky toilet experts at Mr Emergency today. We’re available 24/7, every day of the year.
Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.