Pushfit tap adapter fitted to WC inlet valve - OK?

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by Jayvee, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Jayvee

    Jayvee Member

    DSCF3608 (2).jpg
    I'm in the process of fitting a new Dudley Turbo88 syphon and a Torbeck inlet valve to my loo. Had to remove cistern to take out old syphon and had a real job to undo connection to old water inlet valve (no room to wield the pipe grip - needing lots of tiny movements to turn it). Blood, sweat and tears, plus a few swear words!!
    Anyway, it's off now, but another reason it was so hard to turn was that there was a pushfit tap adapter connecting the service valve and the inlet valve (bottom feed). The whole of the pushfit had to be turned as opposed to just undoing a nut. I've uploaded a photo to show the connection.

    What I would like to know is if this tap adapter is suitable for this application (hasn't leaked or anything so far) or should I remove it and replace with another fitting. It seems an odd sort of connection to me, and was fitted by the previous occupants of the house..

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Well-Known Member

    Hi Jayvee.

    Nothing wrong with it as such - it is a 'tap connector' so is the 'right' fitting for this inlet too. Feel free to replace it with an easier fitting if you can find one, but keep it if you prefer. There are some plastic push-fit tap connectors which have a separate brass nut which will probably suit you better.

    One thing you do need to keep an eye on - the tap connector is fitted very tightly against the chrome isolator. See the white ring at the bottom of the tap connector which is almost pressing against the chrome fitting? Well, if you push that ring inwards, it'll release the pipe going in to it. So, you need to make sure there is some clearance betwixt the ring and the isolator - it's tight but ok at the moment.
  3. Jayvee

    Jayvee Member

    Thank you Devil's Advocate for your very helpful and detailed advice.
    I like the sound of the fitting with a separate brass nut (found one in Screwfix catalogue). It would certainly be easier when it comes to connecting up again.
    So if I do decide to replace the tap connector, how easy would it be to remove? You mentioned pushing that white ring inwards would release the pipe, but by inwards, do you mean squeezing it from each side of its circumference? Or maybe inwards towards the isolating valve? Or would I need something like a small 'release clip' to remove it?

    Thanks again, you've been really helpful, which I appreciate very much.
  4. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Well-Known Member

    You are very welcome.

    By 'inwards', I mean pushing the whole ring in towards the plastic fitting itself. If you look at your photo, you can see a wee gap - a couple of mm - between the whiter ring and the rest of the 'yellowish' plastic fitting. You press the ring to close that gap, and then pull on the pipe going in to it. The pipe should be released.

    This could be tricky in your case as the chrome isolator will make it more awkward. If you undo that top chrome nut, then you'll have the part in your hands so hopefully easier than doing it in situ.

    If you hold the tap connector in one hand with the chrome nut sticking out, so that your thumb and forefinger nails can pull that ring upwards and hold it there, you should then hopefully be able to pull the pipe out with your other hand. If necessary, use a flat-bladed screwdriver in between that 2mm gap to fully push the ring up tight against the plastic fitting. Don't pull on the pipe until the ring is fully pushed up. In fact, you may wish to gently push the pipe in before then pulling it out - it helps to release the grab ring inside.
  5. Sean_ork

    Sean_ork Screwfix Select

    looks like a John Guest Speedfit connector, have a google and you'll see the shape of what's needed to depress the release ring
  6. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Well-Known Member

    (I doubt he's gonna fit a ring-press tool in that 2mm gap... :p)
  7. Sean_ork

    Sean_ork Screwfix Select

    it's more of a lever, with prongs on that ermm levers up to depress and release the ring

    it'll fit

  8. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Well-Known Member

  9. Jayvee

    Jayvee Member

    Thanks again Devil's Advocate for such detailed advice. I now see what you mean by pushing the ring "inwards". I followed your instructions, with the help of a flat bladed screwdriver, and hey presto, without to much effort, I managed to release the connector. Can't thank you enough :)

    I am replacing it with a tap connector which has the brass nut, as you suggested. Hopefully this should make it easier to connect.

    Incidentally, as this will be brass screwed onto plastic, should I use PTF tape, or should the seal be good enough without?

    And Sean_ork - you're right, it was a John Guest Speedfit. Thank you for your input.
  10. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Well-Known Member

    The tap connector will (should) come with a thin fibre washer, tho' you may have to ask for it. I tend to add a few turns of PTFE tape over that washer once it's in place on the connector and before slipping the brass nut forwards over it. It just helps the seal as the cistern inlet is made from soft plastic and you don't want to be over-tightening it if there's an annoying drip!

    Get that brass nut on to the inlet a good few turns by hand only to start with as they are a swine for cross-threading.
  11. Jayvee

    Jayvee Member

    Thanks - I'll do that. Your advice has been a big help. I just hope now that I can put everything back together OK. Parts being delivered today. I will post when/if I've managed to complete the job properly. Fingers crossed.
    Cheers :)
  12. Jayvee

    Jayvee Member

    New tap connector now fitted (John Guest with brass nut). Screwed up a lot easier than the old plastic one.

    Carefully fitted new Dudley Turbo syphon and Torbeck filling valve. Not much room but with a bit of fiddling it all went in. Tested for leaks by opening service valve for a second and sure enough - a leak! It came from the bottom of the cistern where the inlet tail comes out, just above the back nut (not from connection to service valve). I had carefully fitted the valve with its new rubber washer inside the cistern, and was very careful not to overtighten the back nut. Now I'm wondering if perhaps I did overtighten it, but am sure I didn't - maybe I didn't tighten it enough??...
    I did notice when I removed the old valve, that it had been assembled with the aid of some Plumbers Mate around the exit hole, so it looks as if the previous occupants had had trouble with leaks from this spot. I took great pains to clean all the 'gubbings' off before fitting the valve.

    I don't quite know what I should do next. The thought of taking the valve out (and all other bits that get in the way) to get at its seating is almost more than I can bear. But if neccessary, that's what I have to do. :(

    The Torbeck comes with the warning "Solder flux and some sealing compounds can damage this plastic plumbing product" - but doesn't say which sealing compounds. Maybe silicone, but that probably wouldn't cure a leak indefinitely.

    Any suggestions or advice will once again be gratefully received. Thanks guys.
  13. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Well-Known Member

    Ah, the joys of DIY plumbing :eek:.

    Rest assured it's not really your fault. You'd have thought that, by now, the manufacturers would have designed fittings and seals that do a simple thing - work. But no.

    As you suspect, with softer rubber washers, over-tightening can make them squish out sideways, so they leak. Under-tightening can do something too - oh yes, leak.

    So that's why plumbers shove in a load of Plumber's Mate type stuff. Not because they leak, but just to make darned sure they don't.

    What stuff to use? I'm not sure - plumbers will be along to advise. I wouldn't use silicone, tho', as it's too slippery and will make your washers squish out sideways... :oops:

    First tho', have a good look inside the cistern - can you see the edge of the rubber seal? If so, is it even all the way around? If it's obviously squished sideways, then try slackening off the back nut, centralising it all, and re-tightening the nut making sure the actual valve body doesn't turn even wee amounts at all.

    If, when looking inside, the washer looks 'even' or you cannot see its edges at all, then first just try tightening the back nut a further quarter turn. Again, hold the valve body firmly.

    If both things fail, then it's back out with it all, I suspect... :(
  14. Jayvee

    Jayvee Member

    OK D.A. Thanks. I just looked at the assembly and the exposed part of the rubber washer is even all round.
    The washer btw, has a 'domed' bottom which should help it fit snugly into the exit hole. I'll try tightening the back nut a little more, but first will need to remove float arm - or maybe top part of valve body - so that I have room to get my hand down to get a good grip on the lower part. I didn't do that before so maybe that's where I went wrong?
    Gotta go and sort out some dinner now, so a job for later tonight, or tomorrow. Luckily we have another toilet in the house......There are some blessings!
  15. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Well-Known Member

    Hi Jayvee. Are you saying your inlet valve has a couple of sections which can turn independently of eachother? So holding the top doesn't 'hold' the bottom?

    Fair chance all you need to do is tweak that backnut one wee part of one turn - a sixteenth. Ish. It might do the trick. Try that before any disassembly.
  16. Jayvee

    Jayvee Member

    It's a Torbeck adjustable height valve, the top section can be extended, or removed to change the flow restrictor which is situated in the bottom half. So yes, the top half can be moved independently...or it might just be that the blue plastic nut which holds the two parts together might not be done up tightly enough?? I'll have to check that.
    I'm uploading a pic so you can see what it looks like in two parts.

    It seems to be one of those valves that plumbers either love or hate. I will have to wait and see before I can say which side of the fence I'm on ;)

    I will certainly try your suggestion of a little tweak of the back nut before I do anything else.

    Your advice and help has been amazing - I wouldn't have got this far without it :)

    Torbeck filler valve_ adjustable height.jpg
  17. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Well-Known Member


    I reckon there's every chance you'll be able to tweak that nut (ooh-err, missus) and prevent the shaft from turning (Matron!) by simply grabbing the threaded inlet part underneath and holding it. No need to shtick 'and into cistern.
  18. Jayvee

    Jayvee Member

    Yep! That did it....thanks for the tip - I'd never have thought of that! Had to tweak it a couple of times to stop the leak. I also had to tighten up the doughnut fitting (new one) as that too was seeping a bit. I'll keep my eye on it for a while before I put the tools away ;)
    All cistern bits new now, so hope it won't need any more attention for a while.

    Thank you so much for helping me complete this task (least, I hope I have - fingers crossed). Changed the tap connector, fitted new syphon and new inlet valve (after dismantling the cistern's innards, lifting it away and putting it back by myself) not too bad for a 74 year old grandmother!! ;):D ...But I did have you virtually holding my hand.
    Mind you, having small hands probably helped me get into the limited spaces, though small hands not so good when a bit of strength is needed! :(

    By the way DA, I quite enjoyed your s.o.h. ..... I'm very broadminded!
  19. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Well-Known Member

    Ahhh......... but those small hands will make DA feel like a big man ! :p

    But seriously, well done to you for completing the task
  20. Jayvee

    Jayvee Member

    haha ....Thanks Dave :) .... I enjoy a challenge, and hate defeat. Simple as that really.

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