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Despite being one of the most commonly used and most essential items in the home, people don't generally pay much attention to toilets and cisterns.

It is only when problems with these devices arise such as a leak, that the need for understanding them is appreciated. Knowing about toilet cisterns can be an advantage in various scenarios, helping you deal with problems effectively. 

This guide will help you learn all you need to know about toilet cisterns in the best possible manner. So, without further ado, let us get down to business.

What Is A Toilet Cistern?

Inside Toilet Cistern With Lid Off

Standard household toilets are generally made up of several components including the bowl and the cistern. The cistern, which is usually located on the upper portion of the facility, is the component that holds water that is used for flushing the toilet. It is also commonly called a tank.

In modern-day toilets, the cistern is situated close to the bowl, which is called close-coupling. Earlier, the tank used to be placed high above the toilet bowl and connected by a pipe. Another option was to conceal the cistern within cabinetry or the wall or ceiling. 

All cisterns include a type of flush mechanism either on the body of the tank itself or close to it. It can either be a lever or a push button, which, when pulled or pressed, releases the water from the tank into the toilet bowl. 

The Components Of A Toilet Cistern

Three common elements are responsible for the filling of the cistern with water. These include a fill valve, a supply line, and finally, a float mechanism. The cistern base is connected to the supply line, which allows the water from the plumbing system to fill the tank.

The fill valve allows the water from the supply line to enter the storage tank while it is open. The valve, in turn, is controlled by the float mechanism, which registers the level of water that is present inside the tank. 

The plastic float allows the fill valve to open or close based on the level of water present in the cistern. It opens the valve when the water level in the tank becomes too low and requires refilling. 

Inside A Toilet Cistern

Functioning Of The Cistern

The cistern allows the water to reach the toilet bowl, either with the help of gravity or air pressure, for flushing the toilet. The user activates the flush by pressing the button or pulling the lever, while industrial and commercial toilets usually have a hands-free option. 

Sometimes, a hands-free option for industrial and commercial toilets is a motion sensor to activate the flush. The float mechanism inside the cistern lowers after the toilet has been flushed, informing the fill valve that there is no water in the tank.

The float mechanism opens the valve, taking water from the supply line to refill the cistern, ready for subsequent use.

Different toilets have flush systems, ranging from a single flush button to a half-tank flush. The latter is a low-water flush for a liquid flush. 

Single flush systems lead to a lot of water wastage, but dual flush systems are becoming increasingly popular as they are much more efficient. They work with as little as 4.5 litres of water per flush.

Dual flush cisterns come with a two-button system, with one button only emptying the cistern halfway, which is suitable for liquid wastes. The other button fully opens the cistern completely and is meant for solid wastes. 

Understanding Your Toilet Cistern

It becomes much easier to efficiently maintain a modern toilet if you know how the system works. Even with the advancement and development of technologies, the standard cistern system has remained more or less the same through the ages. 

Despite there being no significant change in how cisterns work, being familiar with their functioning is an effective way to ensure you are ready for any problems that crop up. 

This is a great advantage in situations that may require you to repair your toilet and helps reduce dependency on others while helping you save time, and money. However, you may need to find a professional plumber if the problem is severe. With that said, we take our leave. 

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