DIY Guide: Replacing a Toilet Cistern with Confidence

Replacing a Toilet Cistern
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Is your toilet cistern on the fritz? Don’t fret! We’ve got a comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to know about how to replace a toilet cistern. Not only will you save some cash on plumbing, but you’ll also get a sense of satisfaction from this DIY project. So, read on and master the art of cistern replacement.

1. Why Would You Need to Replace a Toilet Cistern?

Toilets are indispensable parts of our homes, and their cisterns hold a significant role in their operation. But like all parts, they can wear out, leak, or even break.

Why does a toilet cistern leak?

A leaky cistern can be caused by various issues. It could be due to faulty parts inside the cistern, a problem with the washer, or even cracks in the cistern itself. Recognizing a toilet cistern leaking early can save you from bigger issues later on.

How does the toilet cistern work?

The cistern is the control centre of your toilet. It holds the water necessary to flush the toilet, and it’s controlled by a valve. When you flush the toilet, water in the cistern is released into the bowl of the toilet, taking away the waste.

Identifying the need for a replacement toilet cistern

If there’s something wrong with the cistern, your toilet won’t flush. But before you decide to replace a toilet cistern, make sure there’s not another plumbing problem altogether.

2. Preparing for the Replacement

Before you get your hands dirty, gather all the necessary tools and ensure you have turned off the water supply to avoid any unwanted spills.

What tools and materials are required?

For this DIY task, you’ll need some basic tools like a wrench, pliers, a new cistern, and possibly new bolts and a washer.

How to turn off the water supply and empty the cistern?

Always turn off the water supply before you start. Once turned off, flush the toilet to empty the cistern. If there’s any water left, get rid of it using a sponge or a cloth.

3. The Removal Process or replacement toilet cistern

Now, it’s time to remove the old toilet and its cistern.

How to remove the old toilet?

First, disconnect the water inlet pipe at the bottom of the toilet cistern. Then, remove the bolts holding the cistern to the toilet bowl. Gently lift the cistern from the toilet bowl and set it aside.

Steps to remove the old one

  1. Turn off the water supply and disconnect the water inlet hose.
  2. Remove the bolts holding the cistern to the wall or the toilet bowl.
  3. Carefully lift the cistern from the toilet.
  4. If you’re also changing the toilet, remove the old toilet by disconnecting it from the floor.

4. Install a toilet

Once you’ve removed the old cistern, it’s time to install the new ones.

Choosing a new toilet and cistern

There are various styles of cisterns, from close coupled toilets to ones that are fixed high up on your wall. Choose a style that matches your bathroom décor and fits well.

Steps to install a toilet

  1. Position the new toilet pan in place.
  2. Connect the toilet to the floor using the provided bolts.
  3. Ensure the toilet is stable and doesn’t wobble.

How to put in the replacement toilet cistern?

  1. Position the new cistern on top of the toilet bowl or fix it to the wall.
  2. Reconnect the water inlet pipe.
  3. Secure the cistern using bolts.
  4. Turn on the water supply and check for any leaks.

Finally, give the toilet a flush to ensure everything is working properly.

Do toilet cisterns fit all toilets?

Toilet cisterns do not universally fit all toilets. The compatibility of a toilet cistern and toilet bowl depends largely on their design. Factors such as base shape, water inlet location, and discharge outlet size play a role in their fit. Therefore, it is essential to check these specifications before purchasing a suitable cistern for your toilet.

How much does it cost to change a toilet cistern?

The cost to replace a cistern can vary depending on several factors such as the model, labour and whether any additional work is needed. Generally, prices can range from as little as £50 to well over £200, excluding the potential costs for plumbing services.

Are all cisterns universal?

No, not all cisterns are universal. Cisterns, usually a tank for storing water, can greatly vary in designs, shapes, and sizes, depending on their specific purpose and placement. These can range from small household systems to colossal structures meant for urban water supply. Thus, they are not universal, as they are tailored to individual requirements and circumstances.

Can I replace toilet cistern only?

Yes, it is completely possible to replace just the toilet cistern, without needing to change the entire toilet unit. This can be a cost-effective solution if the cistern is leaking or not functioning properly. It’s encouraged to hire a plumber for this task to ensure its done correctly and safely.


  • Toilet cisterns are an essential part of the flushing system.
  • Regularly check for signs of wear, leaks, and cracks.
  • Gather all tools and materials before starting the replacement process.
  • Carefully remove the old cistern and install the new one, ensuring no leaks.
  • Once done, test the new system by flushing the toilet.

Congratulations on completing your DIY cistern replacement! Your bathroom should now be back to its fully functional state.

Contact Us Today!

Are you ready to experience hassle-free toilet repair in London? Don’t wait; contact us today to schedule an appointment or get a free quote. Our team is standing by to provide you with expert advice and solutions for all your toilet installation needs. Trust Emergency Plumber London LTD for reliable and top-quality plumbing services!

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Dany is a seasoned plumbing expert with 5+ years of experience. As a licensed plumber and certified professional, Dany has handled a wide range of projects, from minor repairs to large-scale installations. With a passion for eco-friendly solutions, Dany is dedicated to providing efficient and sustainable plumbing services.

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