HomeHack: fixing a leaking toilet cistern

This is actually a post about something I did long before I had a blog. My toilet had started to have a perpetual leak of water from the cistern into the bowl. The valve on the water inlet was no longer sealing off properly.

I went out to my local B&Q and bought a replacement mechanism. At least I thought it was a replacement. It turned out that my cistern is a special narrow type for space saving. The mechanism I bought was for standard width, and as such the arm which provides pivoting force against the valve close was way too long. Additionally the kit provided didn’t include a float. Of course as is always the way, you discover the problems half way through, and once the shop is shut.

So after a bit of thought I came up with this:



What is that? Well… I cut the overlong arm so that I could bend it to fit in the tank. Then I took an empty water bottle and strapped it by the neck to the arm using some telephone wire. The bottle provided a nice wide air pocket to give the floatation lift. I then cut the bottom off the bottle so that it would fit under the lid.

Ok so this is a really sketchy hack. However, it has now been operating flawlessly for over 4 years. So I consider this a big win for creative hacking.