How to fix a toilet cistern

How to Fix a Toilet Cistern | Common Problems and Replace Cistern Guide

how to fix a toilet cistern

As you may know, a common idea among most households is that fixing up your toilet cistern is something that a plumber of some kind or a professional has to do at some point. But, as you have realized by now, it’s a great idea to learn to do it yourself rather than spending hundreds of dollars on a simple plumbing job when you can do it yourself.

Well, learning how to fix a toilet cistern is not something that’s hard to do if you take the right approach while putting your mind into it. And of course follow these easy to follow steps I’m giving you below in order to learn this useful plumbing job.

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Step 1

Step one is to take a good look inside your cistern in the form of an inspection. In case you were wondering, you actually don’t need to be a repair technician to do. A thorough investigation although you might think so.

But, it’s a good idea to equip yourself with an adjustable wrench, a pair of gloves, a sponge and rags.  As cleaning material just like a fully-fledged repair technician before getting down to fix a toilet cistern.

Upon investigation you will discover that there will be a possibility that toilet cistern having handle of the flush or a defect in the flashing system. It could be due to malfunctioning of the flushing diaphragm itself.

Step 2

This is where things get exciting because, this is where you’ll actually learn how to fix a toilet cistern fully. Let’s take the lid off first, give a few downward pushes to the ball valve to check It’s efficiency and most importantly make sure that the flush handle is unbroken or is not fallen from its original place first.

If you feel that it’s worn out, then it’s a good idea to replace it with a new flush handle because old and malfunctioning flush handles are quite common issues. You may have to use a wrench in order to separate the handle stem from the cistern. Note: It is also a good idea to take the exact measurement of the handle kit for later use now that you have already opened it.

Step 3

If all this is clear and if the flush handle passes these tests and seem to work fine with everything intact. It’s time to take a look at the flush diaphragm. This is where the original manual comes in handy so it might be useful to have it in your hand.

At this point to help you understand the assembly in case if you feel overwhelmed. You might feel that way if you have opened up a toilet cistern for the first time. But, If you can’t find the owner’s manual don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. Just tag along with this article and you will get things sorted out pretty soon.

Step 4

Now we come to the flushing diaphragm, this is the largest component of the cistern. Where water gets collected and flushed out systematically. You will have to press the flash handle quite a few times in order to flush out all the water out of your toilet cistern. And make sure that the water supply is completely cut off.

But it’s advisable that you wait till all drops of water have left the cistern before proceeding further. Keep in mind that you can also use a sponge to speed up this process. There will be two screws underneath the toilet cistern. Here’s where you will have to meddle with some unscrewing and once again the wrench will come in handy for this job as well.

The top part of the cistern is held against the wall with two more screws. Just use a screwdriver and unscrew it fully and this time it’s ready to come off. Now you are ready to lift up the cistern just like a plumber that has no problem. Figuring out how to fix a toilet cistern no matter how old or how complicated your cistern looks because technically they are all the same.

Step 5

Okay and now you are ready to do the final fixing. Now we can remove the cistern from all of the joints holding it so that you can leave the cistern in a safe place. Remove the rubber washer at the bottom of the cistern and the metal cover with on it. Your adjustable wrench that’s protecting the Syphon from the outside. Now switch over to the top part of the cistern again and notice that the Syphon is now lose for you to meddle.

Now you can slowly remove the Syphon from the hook that’s attached to the cistern. Once you take it out yourself and Instigate by turning around. You can see what’s wrong quite easily. At this point of fixing a toilet cistern, it’s also important to know how the Syphon works.

In short, this is what happens when you push the flush handle down to flush. The water gets into the Syphon from the flap which is located right at the bottom with an upward movement till it means the downward bend and flashes out the water.

So, if your toilet cistern is broken and if everything else seem to be fine, then that means that this flapper at the bottom of your Syphon is the final culprit you need to take care of.


Remember I mentioned about keeping a note of measurements and specifications earlier for future benefits. The same rule applies here when going for a replacement of some sort whether you have to do a replacement of the flap or the Syphon itself. Well, in my experience I have to say that in most cases you will have to replace the Syphon and the best part is that it will take care of it smoothly. And now it is all about fixing and screwing the cistern back to its original position

so that’s it, that is what you need to know on how to fix a toilet cistern yourself. Finally, after doing the repair work of the toilet cistern keep in mind to do a flush test while the toilet tank’s lid is still open.

If you just can’t find a flapper that seals, consider replacing the entire toilet overflow tube/flapper. On most toilets (two-piece), this means removing the tank. It’s not difficult and you don’t need special tools. It’ll take you about an hour, and you’ll avoid that expensive plumber service call.

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