Take this to heart – when you move into your house, do yourself a favour and find out exactly where your mains water stopcock is. I cannot over-emphasise the stress this could save. This week we came within a gnat’s whisker of paying £180 for an emergency plumber after I unleashed watery hell. Our cistern wasn’t filling up so I decided to have a fiddle – bad idea at 11pm. Cue water gushing uncontrollably from the flush inlet. Usually you will find a water stop-valve next to the toilet and a twist of a screwdriver will sort you out. Not in this bathroom. After a dash round the house we eventually located the mains stopcock behind a kitchen cupboard. Plumber called off, relief palpable. I told my wife I would get a plumber in the next day, but with the water off and after a midnight Google, decided to DIY it. This job HAD to be complete before my wife returned from work otherwise I was in BIG trouble. I bought a new button flush and bottom inlet from Screwfix for about £20 (click here
). I also bought a new Close Coupling Kit (click here
). You will almost certainly need this as the old one will most likely be a rusty mess. The job itself is reasonably straight forward. Here is a great instructional video by plumberparts that takes you through it step-by-step:
The taxing bit for me was removing the cistern in order to fit the new parts. The bolts securing the cistern to the toilet bowl were so corroded that no amount of aggressive spanner action and wiggling was going to budge them. The problem was eventually solved by a dash to the shop for a Junior Hacksaw with which – to my amazement – I managed to cut through the rusty bolts. With the cistern removed it was then a case of following the instructions. New push-button flush and inlet valve installed, and most comprehensive plumbing DIY to date finished in the nick of time. PS. DON’T FORGET TO LOCATE YOUR STOPCOCK!