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Toilet - constantly dripping


I wonder if anyone can help - after flushing the toilet when it re-fills the cistern with water there is a constant drip to start with and then a continuous very fine stream of water which never stops (from the little plastic bit inside the cistern where the water flows from),

At first it was just dripping and I had a plumber look at it and thought it had been fixed. But recently it started dripping again and when I looked under the lid I could see the constant fine stream running from the filling bit.

Please could anyone say what part of the gubbings inside is likely to have gone and whether I could have a go at fixing this myself?

I'd like to avoid having to replace the whole toilet and/or cistern if possible.

Many thanks in advance.


  • diable
    diable Posts: 5,258 Forumite
    The float valve may need cleaning or adjusting. Does the water turn off when you pull the float upwards?
  • skinback69
    skinback69 Posts: 133 Forumite
    you should just be able to buy a pontefract washer from bnq for a matter of pence turn the water off un screw the larger nut on the ball valve which will be next to the water spout after taking it off just swap black washers over and put back together before you do this have a look if the ball valve shuts off compleatly when you lift it up if it does it might just be a matter of adjusting the water level by screwing in the thin rod which pushes against another rod this is on the top of the arm were it bends up and down
    hope this helps
  • plumberleeds
    By the sounds of it you have a ball valve that is not shutting off soon enough, is there a rod with a thread on it ? if so adjust it so it stops off sooner .;)
  • travel_freak

    A belated thank you for these replies - I've been away and haven't looked at this until now...

    Yes, when I left the float/ball valve it does stop dripping.

    Another mysterious thing though is happening. The level of water inside the cistern keeps dropping so that sometimes when you flush there isn't enough water to flush stuff away!

    I refilled the system only yesterday by pushing down the float valve until it filled to a sufficient level.

    Only this morning it has lost all that water again and is back down at a low level.

    Please does anyone know why this is happening and what I can do to fix it?

    Many thanks again.
  • amarg
    amarg Posts: 216 Forumite
    It sounds like you are loosing water into the pan or in the overflow (sometimes the pipe cracks slightly).

    You can test this by putting some dye in the cistern, such as food dye or one of those blue flush things. Don't flush the toilet though and if the water in the bowl turns blue you know that you have a leak.

    This should still be easy to fix, but it depends on what type of flush mechanism you have.
    I have a similar problem and have for a while now. With mine there is a constant trickle of water into the toilet bowl, and every couple of minutes you can hear the cistern fill back up just for a few seconds. Aparently i need a new flapper washer ( the big black washer inside the base of the cistern that seals the water in from going straight into the toilet). Maybe you have the same problem??

    While i'm hear does anyone know where i could get one of these flapper washers as Wickes dont have them?? mmm maybe the Plumbcentre
  • hells_2
    hells_2 Posts: 297 Forumite
    Easy peasy fix...just get a new float valve for about £2 from B&Q. This happened with us last year and it was simple as that - there will be a small return 'spring' thing on it but made of cheap plastic. They tend to shear off and that is what causes the problem.

    Turn the water off in the house first :D, then insert new float valve. Then have someone turn the water on only so the cistern fills up, then flush toilet, it shouldn't fill up again (cos you turned the water off, right)...then, open up your taps again, it should fill and stay put.

    *I'm no plumber but we fixed ours as easy as the above*
  • ormus
    ormus Posts: 42,714 Forumite
    some modern cisterns have no overflow pipe. the internal overflow goes into the pan. if the valve is not closing properly the water will constantly trickle into the pan.
    the answer is a new washer or a new valve.

    also the float maybe damaged.
    Get some gorm.
  • travel_freak
    travel_freak Posts: 879 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker

    Many thanks everyone for the further helpful replies.

    It is an old cistern so it does have the overflow pipe.

    It doesn't seem that water is dripping back into the pan but the dye suggestion is brilliant and I will try that just to double check.

    Amerg - I wonder if you might have hit the nail on the head with the cracked overflow pipe suggestion. Reason is when I bought the house there was a mysterious damp patch on ceiling below where the toilet is. The overflow pipe goes straight through the wall to the outside of house - it just sticks out of the wall. If it is cracked would I just need to replace that whole section and is this easy to do?

    I just don't know why the plumber I had didn't manage to fix this - she came out twice and spent a long time on it but it still isn't fixed! I think she changed the float (ball thing!) but the general agreement here seems to be that it is the valve bit that needs changing. Agree these are cheap and it seems (!) straightforward so think I will have a bash at changing this and hopefully this will do the trick.
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