What to do when the toilet cistern is leaking: an overview of possible causes and repairs

Even a small leak in the bathroom is a reason to carefully check all pipes, connections and containers that could leak. A certain part of the trouble is associated with the cistern. This is quite understandable: fittings, bolts and gaskets wear out, sanitary ware can leak, and connecting fasteners have a habit of unscrewing. That is why, before repairing, you first need to find out why the toilet cistern is leaking, and then take action.

·        Overflow: 2 causes of breakdown and their elimination

If water begins to flow out through the overflow, the next utility bill will increase sharply, so it is urgent to find the cause of the leak and take measures to get rid of it. Most likely, the matter is in a malfunction of an armature or valve, so there are two options for solving the problem: buying new equipment or repairing the old one yourself. What can you do on your own if the toilet cistern is leaking and there is no way to buy new parts yet.

·        Why does the toilet flush button not sink to the end and you have to hold it to completely drain it?

Previously, when you pressed the toilet flush button of the flush tank fittings, the button sank to the end and the entire volume of water in the tank was drained. Now the water is drained partially, only for the period of pressing and holding the drain button. To completely drain the water from the tank, you need to hold down the drain button for a few seconds. How to fix toilet flush button and how is the standard mode of water drainage and described above regulated or established?

Expert response

To eliminate the cause of the malfunction, you will have to remove the tank cap. Most often, it does not have additional fasteners and is kept from displacement with only one button, which must be unscrewed counterclockwise. After accessing the interior, carefully inspect the drain actuator. Unfortunately, you did not specify its type, so we will try to describe a way to fix the problem using one of the common constructions (see the figure below).

Very often the malfunction described by you arises from the spontaneous displacement of the pressing rod. In the figure, it is represented by a red part. In addition, excessive force when pressing the button could cause the retaining ring to shift (blue round detail). Less often, this type of trouble happens when you move the drain mode switch tab (it is indicated by an arrow).

In this case, it is easy to repair the drain mechanism – just fix the stem one or two divisions higher, install the stopper in the recess on the body of the inner pipe, and put the tongue back in place. If the malfunction is caused by damage to the parts of the drain fittings, then they can be tried to be restored with epoxy resin or the entire assembly can be replaced. Fortunately, the drain mechanism has a low cost, and you can find it in any building market.

·        Option # 1 – float repair / replacement

The float arm may have misaligned, moved to the side, or bent. It is enough to remove the tank cap and fix the problem in just one movement. The normal position of the float is just below the inlet of the pipe through which the water enters. Sometimes liquid gets inside the float and it stops functioning properly. Take it out of the tank, drain the water, dry it, seal the hole with glue (for example, epoxy), and put it back.

The best way out is to simply buy a new valve and install it instead of the old one, because the old, worn-out instance will no longer function fully. The replacement takes place in the following sequence: remove all liquid from the tank; disconnect the part connecting the valve with the supply pipe; remove the float arm; unscrewing the nuts, remove the old valve and install a new one in its place (if necessary, replace the fasteners); return the float lever to its place; fill the tank with water; adjust the lever in height.

·        Option # 2 – replacing the siphon membrane

 The membrane is a small rubber piece that prevents water from flowing from the cistern to the toilet. To fix the cause of the leak, that is, to replace the worn-out element with a new one, it is necessary to pick up an analogue in the store that is fully consistent in size and material. Otherwise, the replacement will be useless, water will still leak.

To change the membrane, you need to drain the water and fix the float arm in such a way that the valve closes the hole and water does not enter the tank. To do this, instead of a lid, you can put a small block on the sides, and tie the rocker to it. Then disconnect the siphon by loosening the nuts and coupling, and replace the membrane with a new one. After that, it is necessary to put everything in place in reverse order. At the end of any replacement, a control drain.