Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Where's the ballcock??

Late last night disaster struck - the toilet wouldn't stop filling and there wasn't much that we could do except turn the water off!

Toilet internals have changed a lot in recent years. I used to be quite confident about replacing parts in the cistern, but until today I had no idea what was going on with the new, low volume, push-button flush systems.

It turns out that there are two major components in the new compact tank, the float valve (left) and the flush valve (right).

The float valve is a compact alternative to the familiar old ballcock. Ours has mysteriously broken internally and we've bought a replacement. However, the button on the our flush valve was also constantly getting stuck causing the flush to free flow, so we decided to take the opportunity to replace both parts.

Fortunately we now have a Screwfix store in Exeter which makes shopping for plumbing and building products as easy as a trip to Argos. The parts were £8 and £12 respectively and fitting was relatively straight forward.


  1. I sympathise. We had no end of problems with one of these in the last house we rented. I eventually learnt a trick about which bit to push down hard to solve the problem. It was actually counter intuitive as pushing down opened the valve further letting more water in, but actually seemed to stop it sticking when you let go. A really do love an old fashioned toilet system!

  2. Absolutely. Bring back the handle! The new parts are a lot better quality, it looks like MFI supplied us with cheap parts the first time.