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Author Topic: Leaking Toilet - a woman's approach  (Read 1297 times)

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Leaking Toilet - a woman's approach
« on: June 28, 2012, 06:23:04 PM »
My ensuite toilet had been leaking from the cistern into the bowl for quite some time.  I had started hearing what I thought was the cistern filling noise - really low but couldn’t understand as surely the cistern must be full - I mean where was there for water to go?  I looked at the water in the pan and yes there was a trickle flowing but only so slight as to barely make movement on the water.

This then being appropriately ignored by me for several months turned into quite a flow until I received my ever escalating water bill.

Time now to fix the leaking cistern.  As near as I could figure it would be a seat gasket at the bottom of that centre plunger thingy that would be letting water through. Being a plastic fantastic Tamawood spec install toilet from 2001 the buttons were now discolouring from sunlight and the plastic was releasing that tired plastic smell - you know like kettles do after a while.

So I thought well maybe I should just replace the whole wall mounted cistern.  I mean how hard could it be :)

Off to Bunnings - my other home away from home.  I found the nicest man in the plumbing area.  Told him my issues and he concurred that it would indeed probably be more efficient to replace the cistern. Now cisterns come with new seats and skirt piece so that was a bonus as the seat was tired too.

I think it cost $79 for the box - cistern, seat, skirt, all seals, etc. a good deal when you consider the price of seal kit or seat alone.

OK so have all pieces to hand and time to pull out the old one and install the new one.  I pulled the box apart to see what I've to work with.

1.  Put towels down on the floor near the chrome wall fixings and turn off the water tight. There is no need to turn off the water to the house when replacing a cistern thanks to this isolation tap.

2.   Remove the cistern lid - sit it aside - flush the toilet and hold up the plunger so as all water runs out into the bowl.

3.   Unscrew the chrome pipe from the bottom of the cistern.  There is no need to unscrew anything back closer to the wall - just separate from the cistern.  Unscrew the large plastic ring at the bottom of the cistern that connects to the bend and into the back of the porcelain part of the toilet - I think this is called the key. You can now unscrew the two screws at the top of the plastic cistern and then you'll be able to pull it away from the wall in one piece.

4.  Remove the whole pipe that runs into the back of the porcelain base - including key seal. Sit it aside in the the old cistern. Remove seat and skirt with the two plastic screws and give toilet a clean like it's new again.

5.  Take the skirt outside and use it as a template to cut the new skirt down to size.  A hacksaw has the nicest cut for this.

6.   Wet the new key seal and slide onto the bottom of the new pipe as in the box. You'll know which end as one end will already have the round plastic ring ready to affix to the bottom of the cistern so common sense dictates the key seal goes on the other end. Ensure the key seal is on the right way round.  Check visually to the old one that you've uninstalled to mimic. Slide the key into the back of the porcelain base.  It will feel a little flimsy but wait.

7.  Now mount the new cistern on the wall in a way that it lines up with base key seal pipe + intake pipe and visually looks centred on the wall as your new cistern may not be the same size as your old one.  Line up as well so to hide paint lines etc. Oh and give the wall a wipe where the cistern was before mounting as there is usually a dirt line from dust from old one.

8.  Excitement!  Screw on the key seal pipe plastic ring until firm whilst ensuring that the key seal is seated properly.  Will still feel flimsy - as the seal is wet when it dries out it tightens. The action of sealing is by the depth of the pipe into the back of the toilet and held in place by the base of the cistern + nice big juicy seal so don't worry.  Now tighten on the in take pipe.  Turn on isolator tap. Hopefully the cistern will fill and there will be no leaks.

9.  Now finish off by placing lid on cistern.  Arrange skirt into the back of the seat and screw seat down.  Hint - arrange them together with the screws seated then slide forward into porcelain holes and tighten with base nuts.

Voila!  You have successfully replaced your own cistern.

Now off to the laundry for the dirty towels and old cistern /seat etc to the bin.


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