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Slow filling cistern
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Old 22-04-2005, 12:33   #1
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Slow filling cistern

Any plumbers out there....

I've been at the in-laws recently, and they have 3 toilets in their house - and all of them take an age to fill up after they have been flushed. Looking inside the cistern, the water just trickles out from the pipe.
They doesn't seem to be a water pressure issue in the house, most of the time - it's just the cisterns that seem to have serious issues.
They're approaching about 20 years old...

Any suggestions ?
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Old 22-04-2005, 12:36   #2
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Re: Slow filling cistern

Sounds like chronic furring of the pipes to me, thanks to your horrible hard southern water. I didn't live in the Southeast long enough to get round to researching how to fix this problem though, so I don't think I can be much more help.

Having said all that, have you checked to make sure the main stop cock tap is opened far enough? At our house in Hemel Hempstead it was only open a fraction, ironically because round our way the water pressure was if anything too high.
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Old 22-04-2005, 12:37   #3
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Re: Slow filling cistern

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_love_monkey
Any plumbers out there....

I've been at the in-laws recently, and they have 3 toilets in their house - and all of them take an age to fill up after they have been flushed. Looking inside the cistern, the water just trickles out from the pipe.
They doesn't seem to be a water pressure issue in the house, most of the time - it's just the cisterns that seem to have serious issues.
They're approaching about 20 years old...

Any suggestions ?
Some toilets have 'quiet' fill systems - i.e. they fill slowly to keep the noise down. Others have the ball-valves badly adjusted, so that they don't open up properly. Typically, when the washer starts going some people will bend the float arm to force the valve to shut off. This also reduces the opening on filling.

Now I think that toilets are normally fed off mains pressure water - wonder if these are being fed by a header tank? That's pretty low pressure.

Alternatively, are there stop-cocks for the cisterns? Maybe these haven't been fully opened in an attempt to regulate the relatively high mains pressure?
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Old 22-04-2005, 12:40   #4
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Re: Slow filling cistern

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScaredWebWarrior
Some toilets have 'quiet' fill systems - i.e. they fill slowly to keep the noise down. Others have the ball-valves badly adjusted, so that they don't open up properly. Typically, when the washer starts going some people will bend the float arm to force the valve to shut off. This also reduces the opening on filling.

Now I think that toilets are normally fed off mains pressure water - wonder if these are being fed by a header tank? That's pretty low pressure.

Alternatively, are there stop-cocks for the cisterns? Maybe these haven't been fully opened in an attempt to regulate the relatively high mains pressure?
These ones used to fill up fast, but now they don't, and they make a lot of noise whilst doing it.

It probably is like Mr T says, and the pipes are just clogged - I was just hoping there would be a simple solution, cos it's doin' me head in!
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Old 22-04-2005, 12:42   #5
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Re: Slow filling cistern

At my new house if you flush its done in about 30seconds.. mega quick.....

I agree I spoke to my father brieifly on the phone who agrees this is likely due to a furring of the pipes. A simple clean up by a plumber if your not upto it would probally sort this out.
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Old 22-04-2005, 13:16   #6
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Re: Slow filling cistern

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_love_monkey
These ones used to fill up fast, but now they don't, and they make a lot of noise whilst doing it.

It probably is like Mr T says, and the pipes are just clogged - I was just hoping there would be a simple solution, cos it's doin' me head in!

quite possibly something jammed in the valve

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewJames
At my new house if you flush its done in about 30seconds.. mega quick.....

I agree I spoke to my father brieifly on the phone who agrees this is likely due to a furring of the pipes. A simple clean up by a plumber if your not upto it would probally sort this out.

furred up ppes dont get cleaned out easily
and anyway it would affect the whole house not just 1 toilet
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Old 22-04-2005, 14:17   #7
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Re: Slow filling cistern

in the valve theres a rubber disc and this slimes up and sometimes sticks to the inlet, sometimes you also get a piece of lime stuck in the valve too.

My advice would be to turn the water off to the house and dismantle the valve. If you dont find any thing in there, turn the water on slowly and check the rate at which the water comes out of the pipe. If the flow is ok either refit the old valve and check it or nip out to Wickes and get a new one. They cost less than a fiver if its a plastic one.
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Old 22-04-2005, 14:43   #8
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Re: Slow filling cistern

The first thing is what type of ballvalve are you looking at, if it the normal type with a ball at the end, after turning the water off remove the valve and at the end that screws to the cistern you will find a plastic insert they come in two types high pressure and low pressure. The first thing is to check a high pressure insert has not been fitted to a low pressure system ie the cistern is fed from a F&E tank in the loft (low pressure) the other thing to check for is the insert has not been blocked with small stones or scale. The problem is that when you purchase a new ball valve it is fitted with the high-pressure insert normaly white, the low pressure one are red. But just to confuse you I carry three sorts and they are all white.

Hope this all makes sense, donââ‚ ¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢t think you will have a problem with scaled pipes as this a problem for hot water pipes and as far as I know Letchworth area has the hardest water in the UK 21/22 deg Clark
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Old 22-04-2005, 15:05   #9
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Re: Slow filling cistern

So basically I have to take it apart, then put it back together and see if it still works.....interesting
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Old 22-04-2005, 15:25   #10
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Re: Slow filling cistern

We had the same thing happened on all the toilets when we moved into this house which was newly built. They were OK to start with but got slower and slower after a few months. Nothing at all to do with pipes furring up. The site plumber stripped the flushing mechanism down, cleaned everything up, put it back together and everything was sorted.
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Old 22-04-2005, 19:25   #11
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Re: Slow filling cistern

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_love_monkey
So basically I have to take it apart, then put it back together and see if it still works.....interesting
Yup itâ₠¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢s the only way. The good news it will be the same up in the loft if you have lots of small stones in the reducer of the toilets ball valves. I take it that the toilets are filled via mains water?
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Old 22-04-2005, 19:32   #12
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Unhappy Re: Slow filling cistern

the same thing was going on here . found to be furring in the pipes , you have to love water in surrey .
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Old 17-04-2009, 17:06   #13
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Re: Slow filling cistern

Hi Guys,

I have the same problem, it's a push button type system, but it only started very suddenly, one day it was quick, next it takes about 20 mins. There are two valves, one on the copper pipe, then linked with a flex pipe to the cistern....Is it just a case of shutting off the water, taking the pipe off and seeing if it needs replacing? Ive never really played with this stuff but am pretty handy once i know roughly what im doing.

Thanks

Ian

---------- Post added at 16:06 ---------- Previous post was at 14:21 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by southwell View Post
Hi Guys,

I have the same problem, it's a push button type system, but it only started very suddenly, one day it was quick, next it takes about 20 mins. There are two valves, one on the copper pipe, then linked with a flex pipe to the cistern....Is it just a case of shutting off the water, taking the pipe off and seeing if it needs replacing? Ive never really played with this stuff but am pretty handy once i know roughly what im doing.

Thanks

Ian
Scratch that, took it all apart and the filling mechanism has a split seal, can't find any though
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Old 17-04-2009, 17:33   #14
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Re: Slow filling cistern

Don't waste your time trying to repair old ball valves, they are not expensive, just replace them.

If not already fitted try to install an isolator while you are at it. Your installation will now comply with regulations and your future servicing needs will be simpler to complete.
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Old 17-04-2009, 18:13   #15
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Re: Slow filling cistern

It sounds like high pressure ball valves. They only have a small jet to let the water through. They have a habit of getting clogged up. It means you have to remove the ball-valve to clear the jet on the outlet. It's a quick job for those who know what to look for. Low pressure ball valves have a much larger hole for the water to come through so you don't get the blocking so much.
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