Wednesday, 9 January 2013

fixing a toilet that has stopped flushing

 When you have to pull the toilet flush handle several times to get it to flush, or if it simply refuses to flush at all, there's a good chance that the problem lies in the syphon diaphragm. This is a flexible piece of plastic that pushes water up the syphon tube, then flexes to allow the full contents of the cistern to flow through the syphon. The picture above shows a broken diaphragm that I removed from a toilet. That was one that I made out of one of those plastic document wallets, last year. So it didn't last very long. Mind you, the original diaphragms don't last very long either; so rather than replace the entire assembly (you can't just buy the diaphragms, of course!), I wondered what to replace it with.

What we want is something that's both durable and flexible. The heaviest polythene I could find was the sort used for damp proof courses; but even that doesn't seem particularly good. So here's what I did.

I took a piece of polythene (from a roll I got from a builder's merchant, to put up temporary double glazing one cold winter). I doubled it up, then doubled it again. So there are four thicknesses of polythene.

I sandwiched it in brown paper, then placed it on a flat board and ironed it

The iron was at a medium heat setting.

Then put a pile of books on the paper (to stop it crinkling) and allow it to cool off . If you try to peel the brown paper off too soon, the polythene will stick to it.

Here's the welded polythene.

I used the old diaphragm as a pattern and cut out the new one

...and put everything back together. Success!

Now, let's see how long this one lasts!