Plumbing MacGyver Style

A few weeks ago the toilet cistern began misbehaving. It was overfilling, slowly at first, taking hours to start to leak through the overflow pipe into the bowl. It has been getting steadily worse until last night when it completely gave up the ghost and simply refused to cut-off at all.

I cut the water at the mains stop-cock and dismantled the inflow valve. I was surprised to find a cone valve who's washer was completely destroyed, crumbling as I removed it and almost split in two. Being Sunday there was little chance of getting a replacement, and basically no way to reassemble the valve and get it to seal again.

Suddenly it hit me, just replace the washer with something else. Thoughts ranged from tire inner-tube, leather from a belt, and thick rubber gloves. Inner-tube wasn't on hand and rubber glove material was considered to be too thin to last more than a few seconds and I didn't want to hack-up my belt for the project. After some additional thought, I went to the recycling and took the cap from a bottle of Coke Zero. (My girlfriend loves the stuff, personally I think it tastes horrible, give me sugar or nothing damn it!). Anyway, I removed the sealing washer from the bottle top and cut out circle small enough to fit over the crumbling valve washer. Backing it up with the remains of the damaged washer made it practical to use the relatively thin material, at least as a stop-gap measure.

Bottle Top Toilet Fixer

With this in place and the valve reassembled the float would nicely cut off the inflow again! This little hack will do until I can get to the hardware store and purchase a proper replacement.

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