Ask Dave - Donkeys guide to fitting a bathroom

Please note we are not professionally trained fitters and are not liable for any alterations to your bathroom. But we may have some interesting DIY ideas. These are our own experiences and may provide small tips that may help you fit your bathroom and provide some advice when having your bathroom fitted.  Or may even stop you getting diddled by a jack of all trades. 

Dave’s experience and Tips for fixing a leaky toilet

Recently I awoke to my other half screaming “Dave the bathroom has a pool of water on the floor”. As all men do I took one look at it and thought “its ok I can fix it”.  So, I cleaned up the water and left it. I was having a cup of tea watching TV and a few hours later water started coming through the ceiling of my living room, I decided to assess the damage and proceeded to rip out the toilet and back to wall furniture and fix the leak.

back to wall toilet unit under construction

I first took off the all the back to wall facia panels on my piece of bathroom furniture, I noticed that the cistern was mouldy and looked rotten. Water was constantly entering the cistern and flowing through to the pan, which meant to me the water inlet valve was faulty. So, I took it out and bought another cistern from bathroom city.    

Tip: find the isolation valve to the toilet and switch off the water flow to the cistern. Most new houses will have one fitted. If you can’t find an isolation valve, then you will need to switch off the water to the house. This will make it much easier to address any issues.

isolation valve

Taking the toilet out seemed like common sense from this point. It was connected to the soil pipe and cistern, so undid the screws connecting it to the floor and pulled it out.

faulty internal workings of a toilet back to wall cistern

From here as you can see from the pictures I had a basic clean area to work with. The cistern came with instructions, which I followed to the letter and installed the new cistern. I thought this was all going swimmingly and very chuffed with myself. I offered the back to wall toilet to the soil pipe and connected it to the overflow flush pipe. This was the moment of truth I turned the water back on via the isolation valve, water started to fill the cistern, and all was great. I flushed the toilet to test the flush and to my horror water was coming out of the flush pipe. Arrrghhh! 

back to wall cistern with pneumatic push button

Tip: connect the bung properly

correct way to fit a bung on a cistern pipe

The rubber washer should fit on the end pipe creating a watertight seal, it will then fit in into a flush hole in the back off the pan. Do not force, or push the pipe completely into the hole, otherwise, it will leak. Make sure you cut your pipe correctly so the one end fits into the cistern and the other to the pan. This needs to be accurate as if too small, the pipe will not connect, but too long and the pan and cistern will not sit flush back in place.

Once I resolved this issue I tested the flush again and, hey presto, a working toilet and brownie points from my other half. I fit the panels back to the bathroom furniture and gave myself a pat on the back.

My last tip would be to make sure you have the right tools before you start the job. Adjustable spanners x 2, saw, water bowls and towels, screwdriver and a hammer, common sense and a lot of luck.

“What do toilets and anniversaries have in common? Men ALWAYS miss them.”

 “How many men does it take to put down a toilet seat? Who knows – It’s never been done”

What did one toilet say to the other toilet? You look flushed.”

“What do you call a fairy using the toilet? Stinker bell!” 

“What do you call a bathroom Superhero? Flush Gordon.”

 “Why was Tigger in the toilet? He was looking for Pooh”

“What did Mr Spock find in the toilet? The Captain’s log