Burke's Backyard

Fixing A Leaking Loo

Home Among Gumtrees > Making and Mending

Scott Cam demonstrated how to fix a leaking toilet by either replacing the perished washers or installing a new cistern outlet valve.

What to do

  1. Turn the water off at the tap just beside the pan.
  2. Flush the toilet to drain the cistern.
  3. Unscrew the button on top of the cistern and remove the lid.
  4. Look inside the cistern. In the middle you will see the cistern outlet valve, which is usually the source of the leak. You will either need to fit new washers, or install a new cistern outlet kit.
  5. Undo the nuts under the cistern (the bottom one is usually only finger tight, but you'll need a set of Stillsons or multigrips to undo the one at the top).
  6. Have a bucket or sponge handy to mop up any water that leaks out.
  7. Lift out the cistern outlet kit. Note down the name and model number of your toilet, then take the cistern outlet kit to a plumbing supply shop. They will tell you whether you will need to buy a new kit, or just replace the washers on the old one.
  8. Once you've replaced your washers or bought a new kit, you are ready to put the cistern back together.
  9. Slide the cistern outlet valve back into position and tighten the nuts underneath (make sure the one at the top is tight)
  10. Put the cistern lid back on; screw the button back in and then turn the water on.
  11. If you come unstuck don't hesitate to call the plumber.

Further information

Expect to pay around $1.50 each for new washers, and $40 for a new cistern outlet kit. They are available at plumbing supply shops.

Note: Some states require a licensed plumber to undertake all plumbing work in the home. Check with your state water authority.


Copyright 2014 CTC Productions