Sewerage is one of the most useful inventions of mankind, because it not only allowed us to live in more comfortable homes, but also increased the level of sanitation, protecting us from the spread of various dangerous diseases. A toilet bowl with a cistern is today considered an indispensable element of any adequate bathroom, and most people frankly frown if the toilet has any other configuration. At the same time, breakdowns in the flush mechanism of the toilet cistern happen quite often, and any such malfunction again brings us back, albeit for a short time, to the past centuries. So that this is no longer a terrible disaster, let's look at the topic in more detail.
What it is?
First, let's look at how the drain system works in general.… The tank itself is a reservoir, that is, a reservoir for the water that will be used for draining. The liquid enters the tank from a pipe through a special hole and a branch pipe or hose. It is not necessary to specifically shut off the water supply to the tank after filling it - this function is handled by the locking mechanism connected to the rocker.
At the end of such a curved armature, a float is fixed, which drops and rises inside the tank, depending on how much water is in it. While the float is at the bottom, the rocker device does not prevent water from entering the tank through the filling valve, but in the upper position of the float, the inlet pipe is completely closed.
The mechanism with a float is good in that it does not allow water to overflow in the tank through the top.
The drain itself is organized in a similar way, but a little differently. The connection to the faience plumbing is also made through a branch pipe, but already in the lower part of the tank and with an obligatory gasket - an elastic band that does not allow water to seep into the drain pipe between its walls and the outlet valve. The latter is connected to a trigger, which can be of different types, but in any case, when exposed to it, it opens the valve. After that, the water, under its own weight and at high speed, rushes down into the toilet, dragging the float along with it, which pulls the rocker - and water from the pipe can again flow into the tank.
Today, there are several configuration options for the drain mechanism, but the principle of operation is approximately the same for all of them. At the same time, in old models, you can still find separate flush units and overflow obstruction, although now stop valves are usually combined into one device.
Humanity has not worked out a single solution on how the flush mechanism of the tank should look like - there are several different systems that are successful to one degree or another. They can be classified according to a large number of criteria, but we have chosen only the most important and common ones, which will help a beginner quickly understand the topic.
By fastening method
By the type of attachment, the tanks are as hinged, and initially withconnected to the toilet… In the first case, it is a completely independent structure that is connected to the toilet with a plastic pipe, but cannot be held by it, therefore it is installed on hooks in the wall.Replacing this design is relatively simple, and you can freely experiment with the configuration by installing the tank in a lateral position relative to the toilet bowl, not on a straight pipe, but on an oblique pipe. Depending on the specifics of the free space, instead of the traditional horizontally oriented cistern, a vertical one can also be installed.
Otherwise, the tank is initially attached to the toilet, they make up a single set that is held together by their own mounts, not any wall hooks. Such a design a priori assumes that the cistern is relatively small, so as not to create unnecessary load and outweighing on the toilet, which is its basis.
The possibility of a separate replacement of the tank depends on how, from an engineering point of view, the manufacturer decided this issue, but on the other hand, the tanks themselves in this configuration are often made of more reliable materials than thin plastic.
The same classification can be attributed to how the water supply to the product is organized.… Most often it is implemented lateral insertion method - then the inlet is not really waterproofed, because water normally does not get so high, and access to all units for repair is relatively easy. There is also a variant with a lower eyeliner, wound across the floor - usually it is used in cramped bathrooms, where protruding communications would interfere with a small shower located in the immediate vicinity of the toilet.
This solution has another plus - when entering from below, the water creates less loud sounds, since it does not fall from a great height. The bottom connection is also considered more reliable, however, it is more difficult to repair such plumbing in case of a breakdown. Moreover, when choosing in favor of such a solution, maximum attention should be paid to the tightness of the entire system.
By way of activation
Modern cisterns sometimes even suggest automatic drain - if a motion sensor is provided in the product, then the unit will understand that you are leaving. However, this technique is still perceived to a greater extent as the technology of the future, and in our country it can only sometimes be found in public places. In ordinary apartments, to activate the drain, a certain action is still expected from the user, but it can also be different.
Several decades ago, the most popular solution was to launch draining with a lever… He was on the cistern, which at that time was often carried away somewhere far up, because a chain or cord hung from the lever, which had to be pulled. Such a lever briefly lifted the plug inside the tank and allowed the water to flow out, but at the end it dragged the plug behind it and put it back in its original place, which was facilitated by the force of gravity.
The stock worked according to a similar logic. - another system for flushing water into the toilet, which by now has mostly gone out of wide use. In this case, the drain mechanism on the upper surface of the tank was represented by a rounded handle, which had to be pulled up - as a result, a valve opened in the bowels of the device and allowed water to flow out as intended.
To date, the undoubted leader in the method of water discharge is an ordinary button located on the tank lid… If the latter is hidden by a false wall, such a button, by means of simple engineering tricks, is displayed directly on the surface of the false wall. In this case, the button can be either single, that is, integral, or double. In the first case, by pressing the button, the contents of the tank are always drained in full.
A two-button tank is more economical - by pressing one of the buttons, you can drain only half of the water from the tank, and in some cases more is not required.
By the design of the water drain
The drain valve of a modern cistern can also be organized in completely different ways. Today, the most popular are the designs with the already mentioned float and membrane locking mechanisms. Although we described the float version above as assuming the presence of a rocker arm, in fact, the principle of operation of the device was not always the same. Today, the rocker arm causes the piston valve to move horizontally in place, pressing against the seat and shutting off the water supply. Previously, the float arm would typically push the piston vertically.
The diaphragm valve is also a component of the sliding mechanism, but instead of a piston gasket, it has a rubber or silicone diaphragm. It turns out that the piston, when closed, no longer beats against the wall of the tank, but only shifts the soft membrane to the right place - thanks to this, the operation of the mechanism turns out to be much quieter. Nevertheless, any impurities and impurities present in tap water easily settle on the membrane. If you don't have to hope for a water supply without impurities, then either a mechanical cleaning filter must be installed in front of the valve, or replacing the membrane will become a regular mandatory procedure for the owners.
It is also worth mentioning that sometimes you can find drain systems without a float at all.… However, inside such a structure there is a special chamber that resembles an inverted glass - it performs approximately the same functions, floating up and blocking access to tap water.
Contrary to popular belief, plastic is not an uncontested solution for the manufacture of drain mechanisms, although, of course, it remains the most common and widely demanded. Many consumers still believe that plastic is not the most reliable material, but let's not forget that its best examples are used even in rocketry. So in the case of plumbing - a cheap plastic mechanism is unlikely to be reliable and durable, but there may be no complaints about the expensive one at all. Being well-versed in brands, you can choose an inexpensive and high-quality product at the same time.
Plastic construction can be reinforced with bronze or brass - in this case, a filler valve is made of them. From such an improvement, the drain mechanism does not significantly increase in price, but it acquires improved characteristics in terms of durability, ease of repair, ease of installation and adjustment.
Note that the mentioned bronze and brass may be the only material of the entire mechanism, and not just of its individual components.
These metals are noticeably superior to a certain average plastic in terms of reliability and strength, they are immune to either corrosion or corrosive chemicals. Such a filling also looks specific and costs more, therefore it is usually found more often in designer models, on which it will definitely not be possible to save money.
As in the case with any other purchases, a beginner sometimes does not need to understand the slightest intricacies of a topic if he has heard a lot about popular manufacturers. A company that has received an excellent reputation is unlikely to neglect it, therefore it often really makes sense to trust an eminent brand. Among them, it is worth highlighting several of the most recognizable ones that produce and drain mechanisms for cisterns.
Alcaplast - a manufacturer from the Czech Republic, whose products can be called a consumer's dream, because it is a quality product at a low price
Geberit - a Swiss company, whose drain mechanisms will work long and reliably, like a Swiss watch
Gustavsberg Is a Swedish company that has been successfully producing sanitary ware for almost two hundred years and has consistently enjoyed the trust of customers
Cersanit Is a relatively young Polish company that has existed for only a quarter of a century, but is already well recognized
Siamp Monaco - being based in a tiny principality, whose name is reflected in the name of the enterprise, this company is known all over the world today
Nuances of choice
In theory, the tank drain mechanism consists of a set of smaller parts, each of which can be replaced.… If you are purchasing an expensive kit, it is important to make sure that small parts are sold for it, otherwise you will not do without a full replacement of the entire mechanism. In the case of inexpensive plastic solutions, few people bother with the search for individual specific parts - it is better to buy a new set as a whole, it will be inexpensive and will ensure that the breakdown does not come out somewhere else in the near future.
Even if you are ready to change the entire drainage mechanism, you should choose it wisely so that it simply fits into its place inside the tank. You need to pay attention to several required parameters:
- the location and size of the inlet;
- the diameter of the drain hole;
- overall dimensions of the mechanism.
The drainage mechanism is usually either integral or with separate drain and fill systems.
The second option takes a little more time during installation and configuration, but in the event of a breakdown, there is a chance that you will spend less money on fixing it. When purchasing a valve, pay attention to the reliability of the product and its weight. - it must be heavy enough to block the opening by gravity. Check if all its nodes are moving smoothly, if there are no obstacles in their movement. In no case should the valve stick in your hands, otherwise the same problem will be observed after installation.
For the drain mechanism, ideal physical integrity, without the slightest traces of mechanical damage. Correct geometry also does not hurt - the same float should in no case hang freely at the end of the rocker arm, its position relative to the lever should remain stable. It is better not to save much on the drain mechanism - there are no miracles, a high-quality product of this type cannot be bought for a penny at all.
When deciding on gaskets and seals, remember that silicone, compared to rubber, are considered much stronger and more durable. Check each piece by bending and squeezing it in your hands - if the product is good, it will return to its previous shape after loosening the grip. Deformation and cracking means that you definitely do not need such products. If you initially claim the highest quality, ask the consultants for sealing elements with the addition of rubber.
A modern person is unlikely to need instructions to use a toilet cistern, but the owner of a home with a bathroom should understand how to make an elementary adjustment of the drain mechanism - sometimes such a step allows you to do without calling a plumber and replacing the filling of the cistern. If a leak is observed under the tank, you should first of all find its source and adjust the clamps by tightening them tighter - as a rule, the leak appears exactly at the place of their attachment. If the cause of the leak is the formation of a crack, then replacement of parts is indispensable.
Tank flush adjustment with single and double buttons is carried out by adjusting the water level at which the inlet valve closes. The rocker arm consists of several fragments connected by screws - unscrew them, change the shape of the rocker arm and twist it again so that the valve closes exactly with the amount of water in the tank that you think is sufficient. A metal rocker arm can be made from a single piece of thick wire - then it must be bent in the right direction. It happens that a potential overflow is due to a jammed filling valve - check with your hands if it is sticking, and if a jam is found, change the part.
Remember that the normal water level should be about 3 centimeters below the overflow hole.
As mentioned above, when a leak is detected, it is necessary to understand where it comes from. For example, if all the clamps are tightened, and all the nodes are intact, it may turn out that the lever or rocker is askew, and the water does not shut off in time, flowing out through the overflow hole. In such a situation, the drain button also does not work well or does not rise. If the button does not return, but there is no overflow, this still indicates a skewed lever that needs to be aligned.
It so happens that in the mechanism diaphragm or inlet valve worn out, and in principle they cannot normally shut off the water supply - then they will have to be changed. If the tank leaks from the bottom after flushing and only then, it means that the clamp is poorly tightened at the junction of the pipe with the toilet.
Another common problem occurs if the cistern constantly flushes water down the toilet and causes crazy utility bills. Here the reason is obvious: the outlet valve or the seal around it has lost its tightness and needs to be replaced.
Finally, it can be annoying when the water in the tank is drawn too slowly. The reason for this may be a too narrow inlet, a "curved" valve design, or a weak pressure in the water supply system. If all three options are not suitable, then it is worth replacing the hose through which water enters the tank - deposits have accumulated inside it, which reduce the clearance.
For information on how to replace and adjust the fittings of the toilet cistern with your own hands, see the next video.