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jennyjoan | 13:08 Tue 14th Sep 2021 | Home & Garden
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Am looking to see if you are on site.

I have always had problems with the flush of my toilet ie not strong enough and I am ending up having to pour water into bowl to flush.

I have been told by some plumbers that the water in the cistern is filling up ok to the "standard" limit and due to this bloody water saving energy thing - that is all the cistern is holding but it is not enough to flush. Can anything be done? Thanks for your answer.


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Have you checked if the flapper has been damaged?
If you have put a water saving device in the cistern this could be the problem. Our water company now call them Buffaloo Cistern Bags which limit the water that flushes as these things stay full so less water is released. If it is one of these try taking it out and flush without it and see how it goes.
Some toilets are poorly designed and dont flush properly.

Given the choice I now recommend and install Ideal Standard to clients as I have found them to be very good at sending ones inheritance to the beach.
I was just passing, Jenny.

First off... big respect to Redhelen's flapper. The thing is, you don't see so many of them these days. Modern flush-valves have something similar, but are more of a valve that lets the water out.

You say it's ok if you just give the pan an extra bucketful?
That suggests the pan outlet design is allowing things to get away successfully.
The first thing I would look at is the water level in the cistern.
Modern inlet valves are adjustable. Often you just slide the "float" up and down to change the finished level. They really are pretty easy.

I'm assuming you have a modern type. Or... is it the old arm-type with a round ball (float) on the end?
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I am typing this on the computer - but will look shortly at the toilet via ipad - well first of all - of all the DIY I have done or used to be able to do - I never interfered with the plumbing.

I don't know what a flapper is first of all.

And I wish I could take photos but can't - when I take the lid off - there is a big "ball cock" if that's the right name.

I do know over the years that when you press the cock it makes the water flow quicker but even at that not quick enough. I do also know that the water level in the cistern really can't go any higher as there is no more room and it would overflow.

I don't know if this is anything useful but I just heard yesterday that I had an overflow pipe that went outside into the yard since I lived here and if I had an overflow this water would have come out through this overflow into the back of house. - I was happy with this as it meant overflow water came out safely.

Now I just heard this plumber has blocked the overflow pipe completely some years back and so he has said that the "overflow" water now comes back into the toilet. Has that caused problems.

ok - have examined the insides of the cistern and personally the water level definitely could go higher. But when I hold the big ball thing - water comes out of water bit but what happens - the water starts to into the bowl slowly. I put my hand down to the bottom of cistern and found like a rubber ring (is that the flapper) and it seems secure -

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yes builder - the arm type with the fat floater inside the cistern.
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just thought of this - this is a wee Youtube of what I have

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and looking at it - I may have to call another plumber in - I couldn't do all that.

Oh yes, that's the old type alright.
Usually, the only way to raise the water level is to bend the arm up so that the float (round thing) rides higher. This lets the level rise higher before it shuts the valve off.

I don't want to get too personal JJ, but it could be you have a floppy diaphragm. ;o(
(It sits inside the flush valve (outlet valve.))

Honestly not worth the trouble of fiddling with.
Best bet is to have a plumber or handyman fit a new inlet valve AND a new flush valve assembly.
Modern ones can cost as little as £10-12.
It means taking off the seat from the pan, which can be fiddly.
A plumber would quickly identify the type you need, and tell you roughly how much it would cost to do the job.

(The new type doesn't need an overflow.)

Just noticed you have a "side entry" inlet valve.
So you would need that PLUS a new flush valve.
I've seen them for around £20 or so, for the pair.

Plumber will advise.
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Thanks Builder for taking time - that's what's worrying me I have had and paid 2 plumbers and both just say - energy saving blah blah.

I put my hand back down to where I think you are mentioning the "flapper" - would it be like a big round rubber ring. I tried to clean under the flapper and seemed to clean a little bit of black clog but couldn't access a bit of the flapper but what I could feel it seemed to be a little bit of "wear" ie like thinner.

When you mention the arm - what would be the arm as there are 2 or 3 metal arms but of course when I tried to "bend" them - they would be sort of stainless steel and I would not have the strength to bend.

I always did think that the higher your cistern was in any house the flush was fabulous as it was in my very old home of 40 years ago.

However was in friend's house the other day and she had a little toilet put in under her stairs had the "button" flush (which i'm not too fussed on) but the flush for to be so low down in the house was fabulous.

Do you think I would need a "buttony one" toilet and cistern - would it make any difference and I've also been advised that perhaps I would be better with one of these (against my will with the debris and financially)
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^^^And perhaps to find out if I got one installed the flush would be still the same.

Sorry Builder for being so long winded but even my American friend who stayed two weeks ago thought the flush was chronic LOL
Since it's the old-type system JJ, there's nothing "water-saving" about them. That's just blah.

Yes, go for a modern system. Definitely buttoney. The buttons will fit into the hole in the front that was for the lever.
Do get an estimate first. There may be problems that I can't see from here. Though I doubt it.

NO... you don't want a "high-level" one!
Too much faffing around getting the water up there ;o(
Look in again when you've had a price :o)
American flush valves are awesome! Very powerful.
They do tend to do plumbing better over there ;o)
At a high point in the cistern there will be an overflow, a pipe, possibly going out through an outside wall - this is in case the of malfunction of the mechanism & to stop it flooding your loo.

The water level should be just under & as close to that as possible, as builder says, get hold of the copper arm close to the hinge with your right hand & gently bend it up a small amount with your left, flush & leave for a few minutes & see where the level is & if necessary repeat until the level is just under the overflow outlet.

There was a craze back in the 70s for everyone to save energy: switching off lights and capers such as putting a brick in the WC cistern to use less water, now unheard of.
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thanks Khandro for your answer but would you believe that the last plumber sort of improvised and where there should be a copper arm it is a very hard plastic arm of which I can't get a grip. Also the big ball thingmajig is extremely big - that last plumber did tell me about the big ball thing and said it was fine but am wondering is it too bloody big.

I have a handyman coming to me on Friday about some other work and I will ask him what he thinks.

Last question of the day lads - if and when I get the buttony cistern - do I need a new toilet because the floor that was put down was extremely expensive.

Or do I need to buy the heap ie buttony cistern and toilet - I think I should know that answer.

Also will the buttony new toilet definitely give me a better flush. Thanks guys again.
That's why I wanted you to get someone to have a look first JJ
I would say that in the great majority of cases, you would keep your existing cistern & pan. You would just have your innards replaced ;o)
We shall see.

As for the flush... if the water level is set as high as possible, then you will have as good a flush as anyone else :o)))
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oh ok Builder - that would be great.

I;m just after ringing my handyman to see if he knew a little about plumbing and he said "yes" right away so hopefully my "innards" will just have to be replaced.

He is coming over to do the garden and a bit of joinery - at first he thought it would be the joinery but then I rang him and warned him he was coming into a disaster area. Anyway thanks Builder for your time - it was much appreciated.
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oh forgot to say that as I was browsing (before call to handyman) - I was sort of looking at new cisterns and pans etc - when I came across a site (house probably) but saying they were Toilet Cistern Repair Specialists, so hopefully happy days and I will be flushing my innards forevermore. LOL
JJ; Sorry, I thought the pic at 14:33 was your actual WC cistern - as perhaps builder did - If it is a 'very hard plastic arm' then there must be some method of adjusting the water level, it isn't rocket science, I hope your handyman can see it.

Very old joke; 'Confucius he say, "When chain still swings, seat still warm" ' :0)

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