Like it or not, the toilet is a big part of our everyday lives. A huge blessing too! Sounds like such a weird statement to make though doesn’t it? However, while no one likes to publicly proclaim their fondness for their toilets or washrooms, the fact remains that preceding the advent of the toilet, our basic needs for everyday were quite a disgusting chore.
That being said, it is easy to understand why each and every one of us prefers that their toilets be functioning properly. However, as a simple man-made invention, it too hits snags, and one of the most common sources of problems is the toilet cistern.
Out natural instinct is to immediately run to dial up a repair man, and while this may be necessary in some instances, the fact is that many of the simpler issues with cisterns can easily be resolved at home! No need to call up a repair man and then wait around for him to appear and fix our issues. This particular knight in shining armor isn’t always required.
Single & Dual Toilet Cisterns
So before we can go off fixing our problems, let’s attempt to understand them first. In this case, learning about the difference between single and dual cisterns is important. Remember, knowledge is power!
Simply put, the function of a cistern is to store water. They come in various sizes. Given that the function of a cistern is to store water, it logically follows that it must be made of sturdy and waterproof materials such as galvanized steel, polypropylene or glass reinforced plastics.
The basic difference between single flush and dual flush cisterns is that the single flush toilets have a one flush mechanism which flushes out all waste with the same amount of water. The dual flush toilets have two flush mechanisms and typically consume less water.
Common Issues & How to Resolve them
The first step in fixing any issue is troubleshooting to determine where the problem lies and then assessing the steps needed in order to solve the problem.
· Overflowing Toilet
An overflowing toilet is quite a common problem and can be rectified pretty easily. Simply turn off the water cutoff valve which will immediately stop the water from refilling into the tank and hence the bowl. If it’s not overflowing but slowly rising, reach into the tank and change the position of the ballcock(float) to horizontal.
· Clogged Toilet
A clogged toilet should be addressed immediately as it can also lead to other problems such as an overflowing toilet. The tool for rectifying this particular problem is a plunger. The key is to get as much of coverage as possible.
· Constant Dribble from the Tank
This again is a fairly common problem. The flush valve is usually the culprit behind this issue. The flush valve is located together with a vertical overflow tube that extends into the tank from the base of the flush valve.
It serves to prevent water from constantly dribbling into the bowl and also to prevent overflowing. The flush valve is located in the center of the tank and operates with a rubber or neoprene flapper. Make sure this is positioned correctly to avoid the aforementioned problems!
· Noisy Toilet
This particular problem is one I think is quite funny!
It is an irritating one too though. So the reason your toilet is flushing noisily is a faulty fill valve. A loud noise at the end of the toilet cistern fill cycle signifies that the valve needs to be replaced and can be done easily enough at home by having the correct spare parts at hand.
However, since most of us don’t have a complete set of toilet spare parts at hand, the fill valve can easily be found at most hardware stores.
· Leaking Cistern
Holes or cracks in the concrete can cause your cistern to leak. This problem is usually easily identified when troubleshooting. The remedy too is comparatively simple and easy.
All you need to do to fix the problem is apply a patch of concrete where the leak has developed. This can be done quickly and easily in the same manner as a concrete repair for anywhere else around the home.
· Replacing the Cistern
While most minor issues can be easily detected and repaired, sometimes the problem is larger. Troubleshooting and plugging the water cistern can bring to light most faults and enable you to fix them easily enough. However, in extreme cases the entire cistern may need to be replaced.
This should be considered only if all minor issues have been addressed and still problems keep springing up or they aren’t resolved completely despite being repaired by a professional. Some things to consider when opting for this last reserve are the age of the cistern, the extent of problems that have been uncovered and whether the repair attempts were successful.
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