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Piglet John!! Are you there? Or a very helpful plumber?

(17 Posts)
JoyceDivision Mon 15-Aug-16 19:20:52

Dh has realised the toilet cistern won't stop filling.... we're due to go off tomorrow so he's trying to find you tube videos to sort it out...

any idea what it might be or how to fix it?


PigletJohn Mon 15-Aug-16 19:45:07

open the lid and have a look inside. If you have a cistern with a button on the top make a note to buy a more sensible type when you come back from holiday. if it has been built into the wall or tiled over make a note to assassinate your bathroom designer.

You will see a float valve with a round or oval or small float. Perhaps it has sunk or fallen off the arm.

If you pull the arm up, does water stop flowing? A temporary fix is to tie the arm up with a piece of string.

Look at the pipe which supplies the float valve. It will either come through the side of the cistern, or up through the bottom, on a stalk which attaches to the float valve. On this pipe, outside the cistern but close to it, there might be a service valve with a large screw-head with a slot in it, or a plastic lever. Turn this so it the slot or lever is at right-angles to the pipe. This will turn the water off.

Failing that:
1) is the excess water running into the WC pan in a slightly tiresome but harmless way, or is it running down the side of the house, annoying the neighbours and leaving a wet mark which will eventually dry out and leave an ugly limescale mark? This will depend on the type of flush valve you have.

2) Have you got a water tank in the loft? What colour?

PigletJohn Mon 15-Aug-16 19:48:24

Also, ask him to buy you the Readers Digest DIY handbook for Christmas. AFAIK it is no longer in print but is found in most charity shops and similar places.

firewithfire Mon 15-Aug-16 19:52:00

Classic pigletjohn grin

RandomMess Mon 15-Aug-16 19:55:22

Love it!!!

PigletJohn Mon 15-Aug-16 19:56:51

A typical flexible connector with a service valve having a screw head (enlarge the pic). It is called a tap connector because the float valve has the same fitting as a tradition basin tap.

A typical poor-quality service valve that can be fitted to a copper pipe, with a screw-head. It is priced very cheap so you can throw it away when it leaks, and fit one of the remaining nine out of the pack.

A very fine-quality service valve with a lever.

DontBuyANewMumCashmere Mon 15-Aug-16 19:59:30

Are you my dad Piglet?! You sound lovely and helpful. star

RandomMess Mon 15-Aug-16 20:18:07

I want PigletJohn to come and have a family holiday here with us free for a few weeks just so I can get some decent plumbing advice and investigation!!!

JoyceDivision Mon 15-Aug-16 20:20:41

Hi PigletJohn!

Dh is the DIY-er... not me, I'll passon the handbook thanks!

DH just stopped wateroff til we get back, he says poss the valve, is there anyway to check if def the valve or a bigger prob?

JoyceDivision Mon 15-Aug-16 20:22:57

no water tankin loft, not running down on to walls... will dig dh out to read this star

trinity0097 Mon 15-Aug-16 20:34:25

At my last house we had a cheap flush and sometimes had to 'pump' the flush to get the innerds to realise that it had emptied and needed to close off. It felt loose when wrong and water would continue to go into the pan, but there was force to push agains when working right,

JoyceDivision Mon 15-Aug-16 20:35:31

Hello PigletJohn, JoyceD's DH here,

Thanks for the advice. Pretty sure it's the valve on the fill pipe (bottom-fill dual-flush push-button system, so the worst of all possible worlds.) Held up the float but still filling so poss. a worn washer/valve somewhere. Supply is isolated by appropriate joint close to supply inlet and, as you say, the overflow is internal so not really a big deal, just noisy. Down to screwfix for a 'flowmasta' tomorrow a.m., by the look of it. They worth buying?

Thanks for the advice.

unlucky83 Mon 15-Aug-16 20:35:56

If you have a more modern cistern and it likely has a fill valve rather than a traditional ball float.
It will be bottom or side fill depending on where the water pipe enters the cistern. Like this www.screwfix.com/p/fluidmaster-brass-shank-bottom-entry-fill-valve/47792
The black bit is the 'float' and moves up and down -equivalent of the ball valve. Pull that up and see if it stops the water...if it doesn't you may just need a new diaphragm - a washer thing that fits in the top of the fill valve -dirt cheap, couple of quid and easy to replace - worth trying first. Most DIY places sell them.
(Except if like me you have certain armitage shanks models - when you can only get diaphragms from them and they come in a kit which costs £10 . Luckily my WC was just over a year old and they sent me the kit for free -otherwise I would have replaced the whole fill valve (still quite straight forward DIY plumbing) with a new £15 one - that I could easily buy new diaphragms for...)

unlucky83 Mon 15-Aug-16 20:43:14

Cross post - I'd try a diaphragm first (unless it is AS they are pretty universal). It literally just fits under a cap on the top - it might even be a bit of grit or something in it - but it is likely ruined anyway...
It should be quite straight forward to change the whole fill valve - iirc even on close coupled you won't have to mess with the syphon or the doughnut etc.
If it is a trek I'd buy both and return the inlet valve at a later date. And I was told the one I linked too was ok quality wise...

PigletJohn Mon 15-Aug-16 20:45:32

The Fluidmaster is probably the best. The one with the brass shank is less likely to be damaged if you accidentally try to screw the nut on cross- threaded.

If you aren't sure if it is the flush or the fill, you may be able to get a kit with both. But to fit a new flush valve you have to take the cistern off, and preferably fit a new doughnut washer, plate and screws (grease the threads as they rust solid) which is a longer and often heartbreaking job.

I bought a pack of stainless coach bolts and nuts, I think they were M6.

unlucky83 Mon 15-Aug-16 20:45:54

(Most faffy thing - you might have to adjust the fill level on the float of a new/different one but it is easy enough)

Fallulah Mon 15-Aug-16 20:46:34

Mine did this - we're in a hard water area and scale was stopping the float from rising up the 'stalk' properly.

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