How To Replace A Toilet Cistern In 7 Simple Steps

how to replace a toilet cistern

Without a fully functioning cistern, your toilet can do little more than collect (and store) waste – yuck! The cistern, of course, is the part of the toilet your back typically acquaints itself with as you’re reading a book on the loo. Its primary role is to hold the water that is released into the toilet once you hit the flush button, as well as the bits that make the flush happen. When yours is playing up, it might just be time to learn how to replace a toilet cistern.

First, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is your cistern really old?: If your cistern looks (and performs) as though it should have been replaced in an entirely different generation, that’s reason enough to replace the toilet cistern.
  • Are you having toilet troubles?: Often, the cistern and its workings are so simple that you can generally tinker around with it yourself. But if you’re having constant problems like a leaking toilet cistern, or if the cistern has given up the ghost (for example with a physical breakage), it may be time to learn how to install a toilet cistern.

While basically all household plumbing tasks require the qualified assistance of a licensed local plumber, learning how to change a toilet cistern is simple enough that you are able to handle yourself with some basic skills and tools. All you need to do is follow this easy 7-step process:

1. Be confident

If the paragraphs above taught you the difference between the bowl and the cistern, bear in mind that it’s a quick, simple and inexpensive job for an experienced plumber. So if you’re not confident, don’t risk it.

2. Check the new cistern

‘Cistern’ is a word that is like ‘car’ – in other words, there are a lot of different kinds! So before getting into how to change a toilet cistern, double and triple-check that your new one is fully compatible with your toilet and your space.

3. Let’s learn how to replace a toilet cistern

Before you get started, turn off the toilet’s stop tap and the water mains, and then hit the flush button. That should ensure the rest of the job doesn’t leave you and your bathroom soaking wet.

4. Remove the old cistern

At the bottom of a typical cistern is an inlet pipe that is easily undone with a wrench. The entire cistern will then be held in place by the remaining few nuts and bolts.

5. Replace toilet cistern

Perform Step 4 … in reverse! If you chose your replacement cistern well, the cone gasket and the attachment hole should line up.

6. Use your plumber’s tape

If you’ve ever wondered why plumbers use plumber’s tape, you’re about to find out! By applying it to the thread, it ensures the connection is fully sealed and lubricated – and all ready should you ever need to easily replace the cistern yet again in the future.

7. Tighten & test

Pick up your wrench yet again and double-check that everything is flush and done up tightly. It’s then a matter of turning the mains and stop tap back on, hearing the shiny new cistern fill up with water, and crossing your fingers that neither a torrent or a trickle is leaking. Hit that flush button … and marvel at your amazing DIY skills!

Something gone wrong? Call Adelaide’s cistern specialists

But if something has gone horribly wrong with a giant, sodden, spraying mess, rush back out to the mains … and then relax. Rest assured, we’ve fixed up every type of failed toilet cistern installation here at Fawcett Plumbing, and our toilet plumbing experts are always just around the corner with speedy services at a fair price. Get in touch today, and be back sitting snugly on your toilet before you know it.

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