Toilet leaking clean water at tap connector valve

(9 Posts)
CorrinnaChapman Wed 06-May-15 04:49:22

So, yes, there are better ways to be woken up than padding into puddles of water on the bathroom floor.

Have mopped up, stopped the cistern from refilling and now need to fix the leaky bit. The cistern fills normally and should shut off, but then starts leaking from the tap connector (http://www.screwfix.com/p/flexible-tap-connector-15mm-x-x-300mm) nearest the cistern.

DIY novice. So, can I just buy a spanner when the shops open and tighten it all up? Is it a more serious problem?

PigletJohn Wed 06-May-15 09:47:19

how long has it been doing that? How old is the WC? Has it been getting gradually worse? Has it been recently fitted, altered, or repaired?

Does the filling pipe enter through the bottom of the cistern, or the side? Is it white plastic?

Some photos would be nice.

CorrinnaChapman Wed 06-May-15 12:08:21

Installed about a year from new. No problems until last night. No recent repairs.

Filling pipe is metal and links to something plastic-looking on side of the cistern close to the bottom.

PigletJohn Wed 06-May-15 13:04:49

the inlet of a cistern is usually on the bottom (newer) or at the side near the top (older and less likely to leak because it is above water level).

The leak might be from a crossed thread or missing washer where the metal connector screws onto the plastic shank; or it might be a loose or perished washer where the shank passes through the cistern; or it might be the plastic securing nut holding the shank on the outside of the cistern is loose. Or it might be overfilled with the water level too high.

Did the leak stop when the cistern was empty, or when you turned off the supply?

Can you open the cistern lid and photograph inside?

Mightbesherlock Wed 06-May-15 15:14:54

Your flexypipe is connected to the cistern inlet pipe with the metal nut onto a plastic pipe (think shower hose to shower head)
As it's probably mains pressure, the water is finding it's own way out.
Tighten the metal nut with a spanner BUT YOU MUST hold the plastic cistern filler pipe INSIDE THE CISTERN at the bottom to prevent it turning.
JUST hand-tight
Gently does it
Good luck

CorrinnaChapman Wed 06-May-15 20:07:39

I will try (carefully) Sherlock's advice. Yes, the cistern fills, doesn't overflow, but the water is coming out at the seal between the cistern and the pipe.

Photos for pigletjohn who's already been so helpful, so thank you.

PigletJohn Wed 06-May-15 22:10:17

decide if it is the joint where the metal nut goes onto the threaded plastic shank, or if it is coming out round the white plastic nut that retains the plastic shank in the cistern. If it's the metal nut, it will leak more when the cistern has stopped filling and the valve is closed (pressure in the pipe will be higher). If it is the plastic nut it will drip all the time the cistern has water in it, even if you shut off the supply. It is very unlikely there is anything wrong with the metal connector, although it has a washer that might have been lost or damaged during installation.

You can tighten whichever it is, but:
the metal nut is often cross-threaded onto the plastic shank. Tightening it if cross threaded will just damage the plastic, not cure the leak. Superior filling valves are now sold with a brass shank to reduce this risk.

if it is leaking round the plastic nut, then the rubber washer round the shank (inside the cistern) might be perished. Its life will be shortened by disinfecting chemicals put into the cistern.

CorrinnaChapman Fri 08-May-15 20:09:37

Thanks - little investigation has confirmed it is leaking between the the plastic nut and the washer. The problem is that I can't quite reach it to tighten it or unscrew it to check the washer. I'll call on a second pair of hands.

It has never occurred to me to tip disinfecting chemicals into the cistern.

If I can't fix this, how much would a plumber reasonably charge?

PigletJohn Fri 08-May-15 20:37:11

I use Bleach Blocks in the cistern, the washers seem to last about 10 years, which I don't mind. I think the washer might last about 20 years with pure water. With a side-entry cistern filling valve, the washer is not immersed in water, so it doesn't matter and will not leak or drip.

If the plastic nut just needs tightening, or a new washer, it should be less than an hour's work, so the plumber's minimum charge would apply. Perhaps £50 depending where you are.

You could try a basin wrench but it is quite awkward.

In the event that the filling valve needs replacement for some reason, ask for a Fluidmaster with Brass Shank. The retail price is about £38 and it is very good and quiet. It is cheaper at a trade supplier.

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