How to access partially hidden isolation valve?

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by FUNDIMOLD, Nov 29, 2021.


    FUNDIMOLD Active Member

    Hi, my toilet has developed a slow but constant water leak in to the pan. I think its just a diaphragm issue and I'd like to isolate the inflow supply so I can take a look. The valve slot head is partially hidden and although I can get my camera in the gap, a screwdriver will not fit because of the bowl shape blocking access. Any ideas? Also, which direction does the isolator screw turn? Cheers.

  2. terrymac

    terrymac Screwfix Select

    Turns either way ,to horizontal position. A long bladed screwdriver should reach that isolator, but it's gonna be difficult to remove the float valve ,if that's your issue.
  3. Wayners

    Wayners Screwfix Select

    Stubby slot screwdriver quarter of a turn either way. Do it I feel and touch.. They just turn forever in either direction.

    Slot horizontal is off.

    Vertical is on..

    As said above so repeating..

    FUNDIMOLD Active Member

    Thanks for that quick response. I have two other toilets and both of them have the isolator facing the wall with about half an inch gap and no wiggle room. Modern box houses eh!:rolleyes:
  5. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Screwfix Select

    Look up ‘offset screwdriver set’

    Manual screwdrivers with a right angled end, often slotted one end, pozi (or Phillips) the other. A really handy tool for the toolbox, often come in a set of 3 sixes. This would work brilliantly here

    As a quick fix without the above, use a slotted screwdriver bit and hold it with a pair of pliers - again at a right angle to pliers

    Locate in valve and just a quarter turn to shut off water - fiddly but the method works - be it a little crude !
    jimbobby likes this.
  6. pppmacca43

    pppmacca43 Screwfix Select

    If it’s a push button toilet and it’s weeping through the pan you can quite often do this without isolating the water as long as the flush valve is a common one. If it’s actually overflowing from the fill valve u will need to turn the water off of course.
    Obviously good idea to sort out the valve issue, personally I hate those cheap service valves and would change for a good quality valve on the pipework and a tap connector if possible. Tbh If the toilets mains fed it’s often easier to knock the mains off for the short time it will take to sort the problem out. Half the time those cheap valves leak from the slot when turned anyway
    jimbobby and WillyEckerslike like this.
  7. cleggie

    cleggie Active Member

    you can use a coin to also turn of the valve.Just need one that will fit in the slot

    FUNDIMOLD Active Member

    Thanks all for the great tips. I managed to get a long blade screwdriver on it with just about enough contact with the slot to turn it. Next problem is to find the right replacement diaphragm without having to buy a bag of twenty. :(
  9. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Screwfix Select

    Depending on what type of flush mechanism there is inside the cistern, you may have a diaphragm if you have a ‘syphon’ type flush

    SF sell a few replacement diaphragms, just need to ID the syphon and match up, these are sold individually, some are sold in packs of 3-5 (that I’ve seen) but not expensive

    If you have a ‘dump valve’ type flush, then it’s replacing the rubber/silicon washer more than likely, or sometimes they just need a clean (especially if you use toilet blocks in the cistern, as the washer gets gunged up) Can even get lucky sometimes and simply flip the washer over

    Dozens of these washers though, all slightly different dimensions, matching up a replacement can be tricky if no manufacturer brand is stamped on the flush valve

    Best to stick to well known brands then spares are easily available - good luck

    FUNDIMOLD Active Member

    Thanks Dave. I need to replace the inlet valve diaphragm which is no longer available as a spare. Ideal standard have said I need to replace the whole component (£53)! Worse is the fact that the toilet is boxed in and access to the inflow component will involve breaking a cover. More expense. Anyone have a source for old spares? See pic!
  11. terrymac

    terrymac Screwfix Select

    Why can't you remove the cistern from the pan ? The picture in first post gives the impression that you have some access to actually take the picture , can you can reach in there to undo the two cistern bolts/ nuts ?
  12. pppmacca43

    pppmacca43 Screwfix Select

    You can get them off eBay. Can you post a photo of inside your cistern

    Attached Files:

  13. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Screwfix Select

    ok, my mistake, it’s for the inlet valve when I was thinking flush valve

    As to access - good luck with that
    Crazy design with no thought for future maintenance (which is bound to be needed at some stage)

    Seen several such posts on the forum where lack of access to the cistern is the main issue with these concealed units

    I’ve got a concealed loo with vanity unit and sink and worktop that spans the lot. The worktop is cut between cistern and sink and simply lifts off to reveal the cistern. Front panel then slides up and off for greater access

    This was a big deciding factor when choosing the furniture but many cisterns are simply boxed in with timber, stud work and tiles - often a demolition job to gain access :eek:

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