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How to access a concealed toilet cistern

How to access a concealed toilet cistern

Posted on 20 January, 2022

What is a toilet cistern?

A toilet cistern is a receptacle that is built to store water in a toilet. There are a variety of cisterns from large to small and in some cases can contain thousands of cubic litres. Due to a cistern’s role and the fact that it holds water, it needs to be durable and strong as well as being waterproof. Over the years, cisterns have developed to become more aesthetically pleasing and it’s for this reason that most modern cisterns look pristine in a bathroom or toilet. In some cases, such as public toilets, the cistern can be hidden behind a wall to save space. Cisterns come in many different forms and colours, meaning that it will match the environment in which it is based. For example, if you live in an older house some options can match the aesthetic whereas restaurants may require an alternative look.

How does a toilet cistern work?

A toilet cistern is a key part of what makes a toilet work effectively. The design is based around the cistern being connected to the water feed. This means that the space fills up with water. When a toilet is flushed, the controls inside the cistern activate and an outlet at the foot of the space will open, emptying the water into the toilet pan. When the cistern is empty the outlet will close and the cistern will begin to fill with water again.

What types of cisterns are there?

There are four popular variants of cisterns; close-coupled, concealed, high and low-level. A close-coupled cistern is the most well-known cistern as it can be found in many homes. The cistern sits at the back of the toilet seat and can be easily accessed by those living in the home. In commercial settings, close-coupled cisterns are less popular as they have less durability and constant use by the public could degrade the cistern quicker. Instead, a concealed cistern is used in these settings. This model tends to be hidden out of sight meaning they are protected against damage or tampering. In addition, they create a hygienic atmosphere which is vital for commercial spaces such as restaurants or coffee shops.

High and low-level cisterns resemble close-coupled cisterns but rather than being placed behind the toilet, they are positioned further off the wall. Low-level cisterns are connected to the toilet with a flush pipe. High-level cisterns have the benefit of using water pressure and gravity to drive water downwards. This greater pressure is ideal for toilets that are commonly blocked.

How do the controls in the cistern work?

A cistern will also include a control that allows the machinery to function. Traditionally this will be a handle, however, you may also find a lever or push button. In the 21st century, a popular sensory alternative has arrived with many commercial and public buildings using this option for hygienic purposes as the user doesn’t need to touch a button to flush the toilet.

Can I fix a cistern at home?

If your cistern breaks at home you may panic and ring a plumber immediately. Whilst this would be a sensible course of action as a professional could easily repair the cistern, you may want to research cisterns first as it’s not as difficult as you would imagine repairing. If you decide to do some DIY to fix the cistern make sure that you thoroughly research the topic so that you can properly analyse where the problem has arisen. The cistern is made up of several key parts therefore locating where the fault is will dictate the approach you should take. Potential elements that could be damaged include the float valve seal, the float mechanism and the flush mechanism. Locate the problem and then you will be more aware of how best to solve it.

Cisterns may be an item that you have rarely spent time thinking about but will most certainly notice once it breaks. For this reason, you should check the health of your toilet regularly to proactive prevent any issues from arising. If you have any questions about cisterns, how they work, how much they cost or even how to fix them please do not hesitate to contact the BC Profiles support team who are eager to provide you with answers and support, no matter your question.

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