How to Replace A Toilet Cistern? [2021]

Table of Contents

How to change or remove a toilet cistern? | Toilet cistern vs toilet pan | Should a plumber replace a toilet cistern? | Does the water inlet pipe need to be changed along with toilet cisterns? | Is toilet cistern replacement expensive in Australia? | Interesting facts about a toilet cistern

A toilet cistern is a container or vessel for storing fluid (most frequently water).

A toilet cistern, also called a tank or urn, is a receptacle for storing water that enters the bowl from the vertical supply pipes. The included float ball (connected to an overflow pipe) regulates the level of water in the tank, preventing flooding.

A toilet cistern is typically connected to and housed within a U-shaped pipe beyond which it’s not possible to pass through without breaking something or getting wet. The top part of that “U” contains nozzles that distribute water into individual flows called jets (or spouts).

How to Change or Remove a Toilet Cistern?

A toilet cistern will need to be shut off by turning the lever at the bottom of the tank. Once this is done, it’s time to remove any obstruction blocking access to the tank. The next step is to disconnect and unscrew the old overflow pipe (and its ball float) from the tank. If you’re replacing a broken overflow pipe, make sure there is a sealant (silicone) on both ends of the new pipe when you install it.

The new overflow pipe should have been greased before installation. The new brass ball float will need a hole drilled in it for a threaded hose connection that attaches to a WC siphon jet underneath the toilet bowl rim.

Finally, attach the new water supply to the cistern and then fill the tank with water. This will require opening the inlet valve of the toilet’s “U” pipe to allow water into it. Turn on a nearby tap while you’re doing this to avoid flooding around your feet while waiting for all the air bubbles to work their way out.

Remember that most toilets have built-in floats which regulate whether or not water is admitted through pipes connected to them. As soon as you turn off a tap, the siphoning effect will cease at once and cause an overflow if there is no float present (or improperly adjusted) in your WC system.

Toilet Cistern vs Toilet Pan

A toilet cistern & a toilet pan are both important parts of a toilet.

A toilet cistern, also called a tank, is connected to the vertical pipes which are connected to a bowl. The tank is filled with water and the water level can be regulated by a ball float or siphon-jet overflow pipe.

A toilet pan is used to collect urine and feces that are deposited during urination and defecation respectively.

Should a Plumber Replace a Toilet Cistern?

A toilet cistern

A plumber is someone who installs and repairs pipes, fittings, fixtures, and other devices that carry liquids or gasses within a building to ensure they meet sanitary standards. A plumber will be needed when replacing a toilet cistern.

Often the care of one’s plumbing system is neglected and this leads to floods in the building as well as high water charges at home due to excessive use of water for washing clothes and dishes (not to mention all those higher rents landlords charge because there are no tenants).

Does the Water Inlet Pipe Need to be Changed Along with Toilet Cisterns?

You may only need to change the toilet cistern, overflow pipe and ball float if they are being changed. If they are just being repaired and not replaced you may not need to change the water inlet pipe.

Is Toilet Cistern Replacement Expensive in Australia?

The average price for a replacement toilet cistern in Australia is about ~$300

The most expensive part of the job is likely to be the cost of materials, such as PVC pipe, which costs around $25 per meter in a typical hardware store such as Bunnings. The material costs will depend on how much work needs to be done and how many parts need replacing (i.e., old or new overflow pipes, any ball float system).

Any qualified plumber should know what these costs are. There may also be other factors that could affect the price. For instance, if you will need a part fabricated or a custom fitting made, this can bring the cost up considerably. Plumbing tape may be used for fixing holes or leaks that may exist in the cistern.

Interesting Facts About a Toilet Cistern

These are targeted at specific parts of a seated person’s anatomy when clothes inhibit their interactions with them by design. It should be noted that there’s some question about whether this is part of its original design.

The original design of Western bowls is that the seat contains a hole to enable a standing person’s penis (erect or not) to enter, and it seems more than likely that this was intended for urination rather than defecation.

The earliest designs had an outlet over which one could stand, with no provision for sitting, until about 1884 when an Englishman named George Jennings introduced “the sit-down toilet”.

This enabled urine to drain into the cistern, but still provided enough room for a standing male to perform his business. It wasn’t until about 1922 that Thomas Twyford invented a unit where both functions were possible at once without fouling oneself and/or the furniture around him.

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