It's a household item we all use on a daily basis and likely take for granted: the toilet. When a toilet is properly installed it can last for several years without needing to be replaced. Like any household appliance, however, a toilet will likely need a little work here and there thanks to normal wear and tear. Having a faulty toilet is never fun for anyone, but luckily, toilet repair can be pretty simple with just a little bit of insight and a few tools.

Modern white bathroom with toilet and sink
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How to Replace a Toilet Cistern

A Possible Problem

If you notice certain problems with your toilet, like if your toilet keeps running or your toilet won't flush, you may have a cistern issue on your hands. A toilet cistern is one of the main parts of any toilet. It works by pulling water from the tank and sending it into the toilet bowl every time you flush. When a cistern stops working, it may have become cracked or damaged and will need to be removed and replaced in order to get your toilet working properly again.

What You'll Need

While some toilet parts like chains can be repaired, the best bet for fixing a toilet cistern is to replace it with a new one. In order to remove and replace your cistern, you'll need some plumber's tape, an adjustable spanner, a wrench and a new toilet cistern, any of which can be purchased at most hardware stores.

Replacing Your Toilet Cistern

Before installing your new toilet cistern, flush the toilet and turn off the stop tap, which should be on the side of the toilet. To remove the old cistern from the tank, use a wrench to unscrew the inlet pipe to disconnect it from the bottom of the cistern, then unscrew the cistern from the back of the toilet. When you pull everything out, make sure you remove any washers, nuts, bolts and other toilet parts that come with it.

Now you can install your new cistern. First, check to make sure you have all of the cistern parts by taking a look at the instructions that came with it. Then, set the cistern in the tank where the old one used to be and make sure all of the holes line up, including the cone gasket and the hole at the back of the toilet bowl. Use the plumber's tape to wrap the new inlet, and reattach the cistern to the water inlet hose. When bolting your cistern in place, be sure to lay down a metal washer and a rubber washer before securing the bolts. Finally, turn the water back on, flush it once and keep an eye out for leaks. If all seems to be working well, give your nuts and bolts one final tightening before resuming use of your toilet.