A toilet cistern is a plumbing tank in which water is stored at atmospheric pressure to flush when desired. Water is received through an 'inlet valve' set at a predetermined level incorporating an air gap that prevents cross-contamination of the water supply. An 'outlet valve' then releases the water when the flush button is pressed.
In simpler terms, a toilet suite comprises of the cistern, the toilet bowl (or pan) and the toilet seat. From a plumbing perspective, toilets consist of two major parts: the bowl and the tank (or cistern). The toilet cistern acts as a reservoir of clean water that, when flushed, fills the bowl and washes any refuse in the bowl down the drain. All this is great, except when it doesn't work.
Common toilet problems which will prevent or impair function include blockages, a constantly running cistern which over time will waste a significant amount of water, a leak from the base of the bowl or a toilet suite that won't flush. A professional plumber will be able to repair or replace all toilet parts - including the cistern inlet value and outlet valve, the bowl and the seat - or if necessary the suite in its entirety. In the event of a blocked toilet, a plumber will be able to clear the blockage using a plumbers snake or high pressure water jetter.
Dual flush toilet cistern installation - save water and money
A dual flush toilet cistern is a tank that has two buttons - one for a full flush and a second for a half flush - and is designed to save water when a full flush is not required. For some years now it has been required under Australian planning regulations that all new houses and apartments install dual flush toilet suites. Unless the bathroom has been renovated though, most older houses and apartments will not have them. Older toilet cisterns are much less water efficient and will use approximately ten litres of water per flush. Modern units will use between four and six litres for a full flush or three litres for a half flush, saving a significant amount of water.
All major brands manufacture dual flush toilet cisterns, including Caroma and Fowler. If you need to call a plumber for a leaking cistern or toilet repair it may be a particularly applicable time to install a new unit to reduce water usage and save money.