Repairing A Toilet Silent Fill Valve

Toilet Silent Fill Valve

Introduction

I recently heard my cistern overflowing. On investigation I decided to adjust the float level to stop it by reducing the height to which the water in the cistern rose when it filled. A few days later I heard the distinct sound of the cistern overflowing again. I then realised I needed to repair my Toilet Silent Fill Valve.

In order to satisfy the requirements of Internet SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) the valve is referred to, in this article, specifically as a Toilet Silent Fill Valve or more generally Silent Fill Valve but its full title is a Silent Fill Toilet Cistern Inlet Valve since it is:

  1. A Valve.
  2. An Inlet Valve.
  3. A Cistern Inlet Valve.
  4. A Toilet Cistern Inlet Valve.
  5. A Silent Fill Toilet Cistern Inlet Valve.

Repairing a Toilet Silent Fill Valve used in a toilet is, in my opinion, easier to perform than one on a traditional ball valve (ball cock). Modern inlet valves take up the minimum of space with their small float, are made of plastic and can often be dismantled by strong hands without any spanners because their screw threads don’t jam with calcium and corrosion like brass ones. They are available in various formats. Some mount through a hole in the side of the cistern, and are a good replacement for old brass ones (which are usually mounted that way), while others stand on a tubular stalk inside the cistern which mounts through a hole in the bottom of the cistern. When the fill pipe is attached at the bottom of the cistern the pipe can often be situated out of sight. Bathrooms look much nicer and cleaner when pipes are out of view.

It may be that a Replacement Fill Valve is required. If so take a look at my article “Replacing A Toilet Fill Valve”.

To find out how a Toilet Silent Fill Valve works see the addendum to this post entitled:

How A Toilet Silent Fill Valve Works

Why Is It Silent?

This type of inlet valve is referred to as silent because it is designed to fill the cistern quickly (mine takes about 30 seconds for a small flush and 45 seconds for a large flush) and without the sounds of rushing and splashing water within the cistern. The silence is mainly achieved by keeping the outlet of the inlet valve below the water level in the cistern.

If the inlet valve outlet fed into the water through a solid round pipe it would be susceptible to becoming a syphon  under adverse conditions when the supply pressure is low, e.g. when the water supply to the house is turned off. Water could then syphon back into the supply pipes1. The water authorities are very keen to prevent that, with any connected apparatus, in case the water main gets contaminated by it. People in the same building could end up drinking the water siphoned back.

In the past they would not have allowed any inlet valve outlet pipe to be immersed, but by using a collapsible polyethylene pipe for the outlet (its like a narrow polyethylene bag with a hole in the bottom) siphoning can’t take place. The flexible polyethylene pipe doesn’t float up and lay on the water surface because it has a thin plastic rod inside it which keeps it pointing straight down. I think that if it did float on the surface water might spray in all directions within the cistern. Remember they don’t have watertight lids since air has to get in to replace the water when it is flushed out.

When the cistern is filling I can still hear water flowing in the house pipes, but only for a short period.

My Ideal Standard Toilet Silent Fill Valve was supplied with my Armitage Shanks toilet in 2007 and has served me well needing very little float level adjustment and no replacement parts in the intervening period up to April 2014.

Gaining Access To My Toilet Silent Fill Valve

To perform any operation inside the toilet cistern the lid must be removed. I have already posted an article describing how to do that on a modern push button toilet like my Armitage Shanks Ascania WC. You can read it here entitled ‘Dual Flush Toilet Cistern Lid Removal’. With older ceramic cisterns that are close coupled to the pan, or just above it, the lid usually just lifts off. I’m sure some plastic cisterns have some screws around the edge of the lid holding it on.

My Internal Overflow

Toilet Silent Fill Valve shown fitted in a cistern, with the lid removed, together with the Flushing Mechanism and Interneal Overflow.
The internal parts of a dual flush toilet cistern.

My cistern overflows internally through a pipe rising from the bottom of the cistern. (See adjacent image.) The output from this overflow pipe drains straight into the toilet pan at the point where the flushing water enters.

Why it took a century to develop an internal overflow I don’t know. All the problems with external overflows disappear with an internal overflow.

The problems with external overflows are:
  • Water pouring all over the paths outside and then freezing in winter in cold climates.
  • Water pouring down the wall of a house where the overflow pipe is too short or doesn’t hang down or the wind blows the water back to the wall. Unattended this can seriously damage a wall causing damp, mortar erosion, mould and bad staining which then ruins the look of a property.
  • Icicles hanging from overflow pipes which break off and injure people underneath in cold climates.
  • Water in the overflow pipe freezing whilst overflowing in cold climates causing the overflowing water to back up and spill indoors.
  • Toilets need to be near an outside wall or have a lengthy overflow pipe on the inside of the building.
  • Cold air blowing into a clear overflow pipe from outside and passing across the top of the water in the cistern. This can chill the water in the cistern by evaporation until it freezes. (The overflow pipe should turn down into the cistern water so that air cannot pass through the pipe.)

My Toilet Silent Fill Valve Parts

Once the cistern lid has been removed the Toilet Silent Fill Valve is accessible on the left of my cistern. Here you can see the parts labelled:

Toilet Silent Fill Valve, with all of its parts labeled, shown fitted in a cistern, with the lid removed, together with the Flushing Mechanism and Interneal Overflow.
The silent Fill Valve and Float System Labelled

Adjusting A Toilet Silent Fill Valve Float

When I first detected that I had water overflowing from my cistern I removed my cistern lid and adjusted the float of my Toilet Silent Fill Valve, by turning the long screw attaching it to the arm, so that the cistern water level didn’t rise so high. The long screw has a hexagonal nut moulded onto it but it shouldn’t require a spanner to turn it, fingers are sufficient. See the image below where the Toilet Silent Fill Valve Top Cover and Arm have been removed to give a better view of the Float Adjusting Screw:

Toilet Silent Fill Valve close up view showing the detail of the float adjusting screw with its hexagonal turning wheel and stop mounted on the thread to stop in being screwed into the float too far.
Here the Clamping Nut, Top Cover and Arm have been removed. The float is being held up in the air to show the adjusting screw. The knob on the top of the screw attaches to the Arm.

Adjusting my cistern’s water level:

  • To raise the water level: I turn the screw clockwise Clockwise , i.e. screw it into the float.
  • To lower the water level: I turn the screw anticlockwise Anticlockwise , i.e. screw it out of the float.

NOTE: There is a line marked in the porcelain showing where the water level should be when the cistern is full.

Flushing The Cistern With The Lid Off

The cistern can be flushed with the lid removed by poking something suitable through the holes in the Height Adjustable Securing Plate and using it to push the flushing buttons down. Either a button with spindle attached or a screwdriver can be used. Where space permits the buttons can be pressed directly with a finger or thumb. For more information refer to: ‘Dual Flush Toilet Cistern Lid Removal’.

Turning Off My Cistern Water Supply

When adjusting the float failed to stop my cistern overflowing I presumed there must be a problem with the Toilet Silent Fill valve itself, probably the rubber diaphragm within the Toilet Silent Fill Valve. I decided to examine the rubber diaphragm by taking it out of the plastic body. That required me to turn off the cold water supply to the cistern. I have an inline stop tap installed as part of the flexible hose linking the copper supply pipe, where it exits the wall, to the Toilet Silent Fill Valve Support Tube protruding from the bottom of the cistern. So I just had to rotate the tap with a flat blade screwdriver until the slot was across the pipe instead of inline with it.

NOTE: This type of tap usually turns both ways and through 360°. See images below:

An inline fill pipe tap (part of a flexible hose) in the ON position. Used to connect to a Toilet Silent Fill Valve.
Water Turned ON
An inline fill pipe tap (part of a flexible hose) in the OFF position. Used to connect to a Toilet Silent Fill Valve.
Water Turned OFF

Repairing My Toilet Silent Fill Valve

To repair my Toilet Silent Fill Valve:

  • I began by unscrewing the Clamping Nut in an anticlockwise Anticlockwise direction. This holds down the Top Cover of the Toilet Silent Fill Valve and seals it against the outer edge of the Rubber Diaphragm.

NOTE: There is a detent protruding from the top of the output pipe which engages the Clamping Nut. I had to force it out of the way of the ridges on the nut so that the nut could be turned.

  • Then I removed the Top Cover to reveal the Rubber Diaphragm inside:
Toilet Silent Fill Valve with the Top Cover removed and the Diaphragm in place.
Fill Valve with the Top Cover removed and the Diaphragm in place.

NOTE: The Top Cover retaining the Clamping Nut can be removed without disconnecting the linkage from the Toilet Silent Fill Valve operating lever to the float. The whole assembly can then be moved aside by pivoting it on the float adjusting screw (not shown in this view).

  • The Rubber Diaphragm then has to be winkled out revealing the innards below:
Toilet Silent Fill Valve with the Top Cover removed and the Diaphragm removed.
Fill Valve with the Top Cover removed and the Diaphragm removed.

At first I couldn’t see much wrong with the diaphragm but on closer inspection, when I stretched it, I found several splits in the rubber.

Here the diaphragm is pinned, in the stretched position, to a block of wood covered in white paper to display it:

A Damaged Diaphragm from Toilet Silent Fill Valve. It's stretched to make it oval and pinned to a board to expose the splits in the rubber.
A Damaged Diaphragm – holes show when it is stretched.

Why do the rubber diaphragms tear? — T K Mukasa

Every time the diaphragm goes up and down the area that tears is bent, straightened and stretched. Eventually the molecules rip apart at a place in the material where they are overworked.

The real question is how many times should you be able to bend, straighten and stretch this material before the damage is done? I suspect if it were to be used on a device taking a long space journey it would be able to do it millions of times but it would cost a small fortune. What have we here? A twopenny-halfpenny device, so it only lasts a few years. Perhaps a better design or a better material that isn’t prohibitively expensive might make it last longer.

. . . I found your site, looked at the diaphragm and quickly spotted the tear. 10 minutes later and £1.57 later problem solved. — Richard King

Replacing The Diaphragm

. . . I then found an own Plumbsure brand replacement at B&Q which works perfectly. Part No. WB540QV3 diaphragm washer for quiet fill valve. — Mike Robinson

“This part can also be obtained from Screwfix where they are known as a Hushflow Washer HC

I couldn’t get a replacement diaphragm from Wickes but I did get one from B&Q, and here it is held in its operating attitude with the little red Restricting Pin pulled down by gravity. It doesn’t drop out of the hole because the other end of the pin is squashed flat making it too wide to pass through the hole. Make sure the pin can move up and down with ease under gravity while submerged:

An enlarged detailed Toilet Silent Fill Valve Diaphragm with its parts labelled.
The Diaphragm

The diaphragm is flexible so that the section which shuts off the main flow of water, when filling the cistern, can go up and down relative to the area which seals against the inside of the Silent Fill Valve Tube.

Cleaning The Parts

Before I reassembled the Toilet Silent Fill Valve I cleaned various parts. It’s quite easy to disconnect the adjustable float screw from the valve operating lever. The lever has a slotted hole and the plastic is flexible so it can be stretched to go over the ball on top of the Float Adjustment Screw. Only after disconnecting the lever from the float can the inside of the valve top be inspected. Below is the Top Cover Assembly:

The Top Cover Assembly of Toilet Silent Fill Valve with its parts labelled and the Arm threaded through the Clamping Nut.
Top Cover Assembly with the Arm threaded through the Clamping Nut.

Calcium can be removed from all the parts with the help of a descaling agent from somewhere like Betterware and the aid of an old toothbrush and a penknife to scrape with. It’s important not to damage the plastic around the pinhole in the Top Cover or the valve won’t function correctly (it may leak). See image below with Clamping Nut detached:

The Top Cover Assembly of Toilet Silent Fill Valve with its parts labelled and the Clamping Nut Detached. This shows the insidde of the Top Cover with the Pinhole viiible.
Top Cover Assembly with the Clamping Nut detached.
The Top Cover Assembly of Toilet Silent Fill Valve with the Arm removed to expose the Pinhole from above and the clips for the Arm's Fulcrum Pivots.
Valve with the Arm removed and the pinhole exposed.

With care I prised the supports on the Top Cover sideways to release the fulcrum pivots of the arm so it could be removed. I was concerned that the supports might break under force.  The supports are shaped so that the arm pivots can be clicked into place easily. (I suspect the manufacturer only expected it to be assembled once.) Below is the valve with the arm removed: You can see the underside of the arm with the Rubber Stopper insert to seal the pinhole in the Top Cover below:

The Arm of the Toilet Silent Fill Valve is disconnected an upside down showing the rubber Stopper which covers teh Pinhole.
The Arm (upside down).

NOTE: The rubber Stopper may need replacing if the dimple in it becomes too deep. The dimple’s made when it presses down, over a long time, on the proud Pinhole Cone on the Top Cover. I presumed, incorrectly, that the Stopper was a simple rubber cylinder and expected it could be removed and turned end over end to present a new flat surface with no dimple. However I have been informed by a reader, Tom Fenwick-Brown, that the Stopper rests on a spindle and so has a hole in the opposite end thus preventing that type of repair. I have not had occasion to remove my Stopper and look at the hidden end.

“Just one tiny (but important) point regarding your suggestion to: – remove the ‘stopper’ in the arm and turn over to present a new flat surface. This is not possible as the stopper is hollow and sits on a spindle, so the bottom side is open. I was unable to find a replacement anywhere, so I improvised with a shim under the stopper to raise the level and sort the problem. I tried a few tiny rubber washers first but found them too thick. I ended up using a cut out from an old pair of thin rubber gloves, which worked a treat. Tom Fenwick-Brown

Reassembling The Toilet Silent Fill Valve

As is often the case reassembly of the parts was the reverse of the dismantling process.

  • I began by clicking the Arm into the forks of the Top Cover and threading the Clamping Nut over the Arm until it fitted around the Top Cover.
  • Then I seated the new Diaphragm in the top of the Inlet Valve body and fitted the Top Cover over it.

NOTE: There is a spigot on the edge of the Top Cover which can be positioned into one of three recesses on the valve body. The spigot will prevent the Top Cover rotating while the Clamping Nut is tightened. The spigot should be engaged with a recess according to the position of the float.

  • I Held down the Top Cover by screwing down the Clamping Nut in a clockwise Clockwise direction.
  • Then I pushed the ball on the end of the Float Adjusting Screw into the slot at the end of the Arm.
  • All I had to do then was turn on the water supply and adjust the Float.

Flow Restrictors & Filters

A Toilet Toilet Silent Fill Valve may have a flow restrictor and/or dirt filter to prevent cisterns filling at too great a rate, in high water pressure areas, and filter grit out of the water which might interfere with the valve. A restrictor effectively narrows the fill pipe by adding resistance to the flow of water. Allowing the cistern to fill too quickly can adversely affect other appliances attached to the water supply by taking all the water and dropping the pressure at other points on the main. Showers are one appliance that require pressure to be maintained for them to work correctly.

Restrictors are not usually required if a cistern is fed from a header tank which is only one or two floors above since the pressure from such a tank will be low.

Many a Toilet Silent Fill Valve is supplied with the appropriate restrictor and the plumber decides whether to insert it or not. Some have a low pressure insert to put in its place if the restrictor is not required. What and where it is inserted depends on the design of the Toilet Silent Fill Valve.

Below there is a quote taken from a comment to this post by someone who resolved a filter problem with a Toilet Silent Fill Valve slightly different to mine.

“. . . I then remembered, before replacing the diaphragm, that underneath it – in my float arm cap – there’s a filter unit. Shaped like a small bullet – I’d pulled this out to flush it through as the instructions for the float arm, which I have, said to do periodically.

Anyway, I finally realised I’d not pushed this filter unit back properly into the recess under the diaphragm. Thus the diaphragm couldn’t even begin to do its job as it wasn’t being pushed down onto the valve as the cistern filled up! I pushed it firmly in and voila – the waterfall stopped!

So just in case others also have this little filter unit underneath their diaphragm – ensure you push it firmly back into the recess before replacing the diaphragm. Use a pair of long nosed pliers to twist the filter one quarter turn clockwise once it’s firmly pushed in place. The filter has little lugs on it which you can grip with the pliers.” Marianne Wilford

My Silent Fill Valve Has Been Superseded

My Toilet Silent Fill Valve seems to have been superseded by a similar Toilet Silent Fill Valve with 18 ridges in the diaphragm which rest on 18 supports. See below:

The underside of the Top Cover of the new style Toilet Silent Fill Valve with the diaphragm in place showing its 18 ridges.
The underside of the Top Cover of the new style valve with the diaphragm in place showing its 18 ridges.

As far as I can see the top is removed by an anticlockwise helpfulcolin.com quarter turn twist to gain access to the diaphragm. Take a good look at the MTS video below showing the diaphragm being replaced:

I have noted that the plumber is not replacing the diaphragm with one with 18 ridges. I think it is also not an Ideal Standard type since it doesn’t have a blue float.

If an Ideal Standard diaphragm with 18 ridges is required then here is a source – My Toilet Spares (MTS).

Reference

1. How A Toilet Silent Fill Valve Works

Go to my reference article in the Reference Library entitled ‘How A Toilet Silent Fill Valve Works’ to see the detail in an addendum to this post.

2. Encyclopedia of Toilets

Check out this Encyclopedia of Toilets. Part of InspectAPedia.

Footnotes

  1. How water could syphon back into the supply pipes and be a danger: If the stop cock is turned off in the street or the stop tap is turned off in the house then if the cold tap downstairs in a house is turned on water will come out of that tap from above if an upstairs tap is turned on (letting air in) or if water from an upstairs cistern can syphon backwards out through a valve which is not held shut. That cistern water is not guaranteed to be clean and could have been in the cistern for a long time if the toilet was not regularly used. Once that dirty water is in the cold water pipework it could be drunk by someone.

Author: Helpful Colin

I have a background in telecommunications and a fascination with all things scientific and technical - from physics to electronics, and computing to DIY.

92 thoughts on “Repairing A Toilet Silent Fill Valve”

  1. I would only comment on your biased enthusiasm for internal overflows and many people don’t realise there is a problem – unlike a drip outside. Consequently there is a greater waste of water and a build up of deposits on the pan if not attended to. I agree an ignored external overflow is more damaging.

    Occasionally in the past overflow pipes were fed directly into a waste pipe but this was regarded as bad practice and a device could be fitted on the, pipe to show when water was overflowing.

    However, good work in spreading the benefits of your experience

    1. Hi Clive,

      Thank you for your positive comment. Because I’ve always lived in a house where technical irregularities (like overflowing tanks and cisterns) don’t go unnoticed for long I hadn’t realised there are issues with internal overflows. I find every exposed pipe or wire is a place where crud collects and there is one less in the bathroom with an internal overflow.

    1. Hi Derek,
      Look at the section ‘Replacing The Diaphragm’. The picture in that section shows me holding it the right way up with the red pin head pulled down by gravity and the widest part of the diaphragm at the top. I hope that’s how yours needs to be too.

  2. Hi
    Have a similar system, with the same fill valve arm, diaphragm etc (. Mine also has a narow syphon bag ). I’ve carefully removed the arm, cleaned the parts, checked the diaphragm and that’s fine. However, the toilet keeps filling. Any thoughts ?

    1. Hi National Hunter,

      If you can stop the water filling the cistern with the lid off by manually pulling the arm up so that the pinhole cone is closed by your action then the problem will be with the float and its adjustment.

      If you can’t stop it filling by lifting the arm the water must be getting past the diaphragm. There must be a fault with the diaphragm or the way it is inserted or the housing containing it. Is the Clamping Nut which holds down the Top Cover cross threaded? Look at the comment from Ian. He eventually found a split in his diaphragm which he had difficulty spotting. You may have to get a new diaphragm just to prove a point.

        1. 1. Amongst my information you will see a picture of the arm alone. You will notice it has a rubber stopper in it which bears down on the pinhole cone to stop the water oozing through it when the cistern is full and the float is raised. Is the rubber stopper in your arm doing its job. If you can remove the arm without breaking it or its supports you could:
          a. look at it and check it visually.
          b. put your finger over the pinhole cone (with the valve assembled in the cistern) and see if you can stop the flow of water that way. If you can stop the water the stopper/arm must be faulty.

          2. I counted 18 ridges on your diaphragm and 18 supports under it. I advise fitting the valve in place aligning it so it is a comfy fit over the 18 supports. Then applying the cover. See if it still leaks.

          3. If you can turn the water supply on just a little bit so that the water just wells up and into the cistern then you may be able to put the diaphragm in place and press it down in the middle and successfully shut off the incoming water. If you can’t then there really is something wrong. e.g. has the rising fill pipe split and is it letting water in before it gets near the valve.

        2. Hi,

          I’d better say this now since it could be fundamental to the problem. My diaphragm or any I have seen in a DIY shop doesn’t look like yours. Those 18 ridges perhaps shouldn’t be there. The diaphragm should be nice and smooth. I now have a series of questions for you to consider.
          1. How did it get like that?
          2. Has excess pressure forced it to mould to the shape of those 18 supports over time?
          3. Has your cistern been plumbed into the hot water supply so that the hot water softened the rubber?
          4. Are those ridges wedging between the supports and preventing it from moving up and down?
          5. Can you find a replacement that looks like yours in a shop in your area or do they all look like mine?
          6. Has it been damaged by being inserted incorrectly (upside down maybe) at some time?

        3. Hi,

          My diaphragm sits on a nice smooth red support which gives it all round support. Is there a part missing from your valve?

          If you look at my in depth article http://helpfulcolin.com/how-a-toilet-silent-fill-valve-works/ you will see my valve looking nice and smooth, in some photos there, where yours is corrugated. The part of yours which is corrugated is obviously being gripped yet it is the most flexible part and works like the rubber roll surround on a loudspeaker (if you’re familiar with them).

    2. Hi National Hunter, Helpful Colin here.
      Did you repair your toilet fill valve?
      I have another reader who has a similar problem and a similar valve with 18 supports for the diaphragm. He noticed your comment and wondered if you have any good info I can pass on to him.

  3. Since this page has been so helpful can I pick your brains please? Our silent valve has a plastic top cap fixed over the clamping nut (or is our clamping nut but, either way, looks nothing like yours…I suspect the former)and I can’t work out how to get it off. It is a circular piece of plastic with curved holes at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock through which I *think* I can see some kind of thread/screw and has two solid H shaped plastic bits behind and in front of the arm. It *looks* like it should pop off but my hands are too blooming big.

    If it helps the number on the arm is either 2903108 or 290310B but having googled I and just got loads of American phone numbers.

    Any advice welcome!
    Will reread in case I’ve missed this already being answered.

    Cheers in advance.

    1. Well, typical, having typed all that I gave the screw one last turn to get the last millimetre out of it and it worked. Typical!

      Probably a temporary success. I may be back.

    2. Hi dadalias,
      You might be able to ID your valve by Googling ‘toilet valve’, ‘silent fill valve’, ‘toilet fill valve’ or something similar, but select to get results under ‘Images’ rather than ‘Web’. Then look through all the images to find one that looks like yours and click on (select) the image, then from the web site you are taken to get a name or description which might be helpful in further discussions.
      I haven’t got that much experience of other types of valve apart from the old brass valves with a big ball for a float.
      I do think there are valves out there which are intended to be replaced immediately they go faulty. I suspect they have parts that clip together and don’t unscrew.
      Good look with your search.
      Kind regards, HC.

  4. Hi Colin,
    I’ve an Ideal standards ‘quiet concentric ball valve’ very similar to the one you show here.. I’ve replaced the split daiphragm ( again – these systems are not fif for purpose ) but need to replace the rubber billet in the float arm. I can’t reverse it as it has a locating hole on the other end. Do you know where I could buy these items? The manufacturers just want to sell me an expensive kit with lots of other bits that I don’t need ( I’ve already bought one of the kits before just for the diaphram and billet) . Or how could I fix the existing one which has a dimple now from use and I think this is causing the valve to stay open.
    Many thanks for any hints you may have.
    Jane

    1. Hi Jane,
      Apart from DIY emporiums such as B&Q and Wickes. The best places to try for plumbing parts are well established builders merchants. Try yellow pages. However even they aren’t what they used to be 10 or 20 years ago. If you think the pinhole is not being closed when the float rises and you can remove the arm, then remove it and see if it stops filling when you put your finger over it. If it still fills up then the problem is elsewhere. Or you can leave the arm attached and pull the float up by hand giving it more force than the rising water can give it. I would be surprised if you can’t stop the water escaping through the pinhole by doing that. Mine is a few years old now and it hasn’t been a problem. If you changed it once already I would be surprised if you had to do it again so soon.

      Could there be some other reason why the float isn’t rising as high as it should. On a different type of plastic valve system used on my previous loo I found the float spindle would rise until it touched the cistern lid so it couldn’t rise enough to shut the water off. When I took the lid off to examine it I couldn’t see what the problem was.

      1. Many thanks Colin for your help. I’ve tried lots of online sites for billets but will try some actual plumbing shops next time I’m near one. The beastly thing is only 8 yrs old and I had to change the original diaphragm about 2 years ago as it was split and it would only work with a new one after I also changed the billet. This one has split much faster ( and the loo is only used by one person) and using a new one bought on ebay it again fails to shut the water off. The lid is off so that isn’t the problem. I’ll have another go at it this weekend. One difficulty is tightening the nuts up enough – there is no room to get a good grip in the tiny cistern and I’m worried about breaking something. I shouild have bought an old style cistern with the big lever and float – these never gave any touble. The new ones ( 2 more in my Mum’s house ), 3 different makes but all the same type of works have all failed within about 6 years.

        1. Hi Jane,
          I agree 6 or 7 years is about as long as the diaphragms last. When I said try builder’s merchants I meant builder’s and plumber’s merchants. Some builder’s merchants have a separate plumbing department.

  5. Thanks very much Colin for your help with this. I’ve sorted it now and fiddling with the billet did the trick plus screwing the locking nuts so hard I was sure the threads or other pieces would break. Touch wood it keeps going for a good while now.

  6. This was really helpful Colin. I had problems after pro plumbers did some work fitting a new combi boiler and re-routing cold water supply to the bathroom. Knowing how to dismantle the valve and clean out the solder fragments that were blocking it was a god-send. Plus, I don’t think the diaphragm was ever fitted properly in the first place. It is now thanks to your advice and clear instructions. The cistern now fills in seconds instead of taking an hour to half fill. We’re now flushing properly!

  7. Dear Colin,
    I am most impressed with the time that you have taken to generate such a comprehensive site.
    I have an Armitage Ascania cistern exactly like the one in your picture. It is not working ideally. The problem may to be sediment from the water pipes coming into part of the valve. I am tempted to get a complete new Silent Fill Toilet Cistern Inlet Valve. The cistern and contents are now about 10 years old. Could you please either give me the part number fro the entire Silent Fill Toilet Cistern Inlet Valve, or tell me where to look for it on the valve? I have found one on the Screwfix site that looks right, but there is no text on the web page (or on the other sites that I have looked at) to indicate that it is appropriate for an Ascania.
    The description on the Screwfix page is – Armitage Shanks 8½” Bottom Entry Fill Valve Product Code: 98097. The link is http://www.screwfix.com/p/armitage-shanks-8-bottom-entry-fill-valve/98097. Price is £10.49 including VAT, delivery extra.
    With thanks
    Richard Gulliver
    PS I live on a Scottish Island, so buying on line is the only simple option.

    1. Hi Richard,
      First may I suggest that you have chosen the short replacement valve when you should probably choose the long one seen at: http://www.screwfix.com/p/armitage-shanks-9-bottom-entry-fill-valve/45479
      The Ascania cistern is narrow and deep. The one I have spotted at screwfix is 9½” (long/deep) whereas the one you have found is only 8½” (long/deep). I cannot measure mine at the moment and I do not know what part is 9½” (long/deep) but I suspect the thread at the bottom is not included. It might of course be a full depth of water measurement. I will try and find time to remove my cistern lid and check this out.
      I realise the fill valve I have and wrote about is now outdated and the new replacement is all I can see when I search the net. I don’t know if it works exactly the same, or how easily it can be dismantled.
      Good Luck.

    2. Hi Richard,
      I have just removed the lid from my Ascania cistern and found the water level mark in the porcelain is 9″ up from the bottom on the inside. The top of the arm on the valve is 12½” above the bottom on the inside. So my choice of valve would be model 45497. I cannot see any numbers marked in the plastic and with it being an older version any number would probably not mean anything. I found the words “QUIET BALLVALVE” on the clamping nut. And advice about using an inlet restrictor to slow down the water filling the cistern if the water pressure exceeds 1.4bar.

      1. Dear Colin,
        Thanks for you extremely helpful advice and apologies for the delay in replying. Google mail has the annoying feature that it adds a second email to the first one in the inbox list, i.e. does not show it separately. Hence it was only today that I spotted that you had sent a second email. I am sure that the valve part number 45497 is the right choice, and will proceed with purchase shortly,
        With thanks again for your wonderfully helpful approach to life.
        Kind regards
        Richard

  8. Hi Colin,
    I found your website very usuful I have 2 questions
    Q1 I cannot raise the water level because a stop built onto the adjusting screw is preventing me from turning it clockwise in the tank (Water level 1inch below the mark at present)
    Q2 water is leaking around top cover,clamping nut and arm could this be the reason why the tank is very slow in filling and the anti syphon tube has water dribbling from it when the tank is filling
    Please help

    1. Hi Betty,
      I assume your fill valve has worked OK in the past and is not a new one bought and fitted to replace an old one. Please let me know if it is a new one so I can give alternative advice.
      I suspect your float is adjusted up against the stop in an attempt to raise the water level. When you get the valve working again you will probably have to adjust the float down the screw again or it will over fill.
      Because the water level is low and the float is adjusted to give a high water level the pinhole valve at the top of the valve will be open and so you will have water dribbling out of it. It should not be oozing out from the thread of the Clamping Nut.
      So the question is: Why isn’t water gushing out of the Output Tube which has the flexible flat Anti-syphon Tube (like a narrow plastic bag) attached to it?
      The water flow is being restricted somewhere. I suspect the diaphragm is closed even though it should be open.
      With the water supply turned OFF unscrew the clamping nut and remove the top cover to expose the diaphragm. Check if it is mounted upside down, damaged or grotty. If it is upside down take it out and clean it. Stretch it a bit to check for cracks/holes. If it’s OK reassemble the valve with the diaphragm mounted the right way up and test it.
      Observe how the valve works at http://helpfulcolin.com/how-a-toilet-silent-fill-valve-works/
      If there wasn’t a problem with the valve check if there is some other restriction on the water supply to the cistern.
      Feel free to ask further questions as you proceed.
      Good luck.

      1. hello Colin,
        Thanks for you reply it is the same valve,
        I cannot unscrew the clamping nut it is too tight any tips

  9. Hi Colin,

    Still struggling with the clamping nut, I might have to spray W40 and see if that loosens the nut. The other question is my cistern takes 5 minutes to fill is this normal or is there a problem ?

    1. Hi Betty,
      WD40 hmm. Well it could be all seized up with calcium out of the water. It might just be very tight. It won’t be corroded like a metal nut would be. It’s in a confined space and hard to get a wrench to it. I undid mine in the cistern. I hope Lock Tight hasn’t been used on yours.
      In the end you might have to remove it from the cistern and work at it on a bench and you might have to use a pair of Stilsons or Mole Grips but remember it is delicate compared to brass. If you haven’t got those tools and cannot borrow then it would be cheaper to buy a new valve. They are expensive tools. A flat adjustable wrench will work on a knobbly nut. Stilsons and Mole Grips or a vice are needed to hold the body of the valve. Just turning the nut alone might unscrew it from the nut at the bottom of the cistern if you apply a lot of torque while it is in situ. So do it with the cistern empty.

      It is not normal to take 5 minutes to fill unless you have low water pressure or a restrictor fitted to the inlet. You may have a restrictor when you don’t need one.

  10. Thank you so much. Followed your instructions and had exactly the same problem, tiny splits in the diaphram. Had a bit of trouble unscrewing the locking nut. Used an old toothbrush to clear off the calcium deposits round it and it came free. half an hour later and a grand total cost of £2.50, new diaphram fitted (it took 20 minutes to get to plumbing shop and back) problem solved. This was following a plumber telling me on the phone that the entire inlet unit needed to be replaced.

  11. Hi Colin – thanks for such a comprehensive article, clearly its been helpful to a lot of people.

    My downstairs cistern has started overflowing and I was searching on the internet for a solution and came across this. Interestingly, the mechanics in my cistern is same as what was posted by National Hunter. The diaphragm has got 18 ridges and there are 18 supports underneath.

    I have checked B&Q and couldn’t find an exact match. I bought the closest one I could find there, http://www.diy.com/departments/plumbsure-diaphragm-washer-dia30mm/184682_BQ.prd, (it doesn’t have the ridges) and tried it but unfortunately it hasn’t worked. Water is still overflowing in to the pot.

    National Hunter – were you able to find the exact diaphragm? If yes, can you please share from where you got it?

    Colin – as my diaphragm is exact same as National Hunter, I believe they are just a different type and ridges are meant to be there. I have examined but couldn’t find any tears, suspect it has gone slightly loose. Ours is a new home so it’s only 2.5 years old. I am unable to seperate the arm from the top (it’s same as the pic from National Hunter,http://i.cubeupload.com/DO3ALo.jpg) so not able to establish if the stopper wedge is damaged.

    Thanks

      1. Hi Colin

        Thanks for all your help. Yes, the problem got resolved once we got hold of the exact diaphragm (with 18 ridges). We managed to find in a local plumbing store (after lot of failed attempts with various shops!)

        Thanks to your article, we knew exactly what’s required to sort it out 🙂

        Thanks
        MK

        1. Hi MK,

          It’s nice to know you eventually had success. There seems to quite a few different valves these days. I can see it could be difficult getting exactly the right parts for some of them.

          Regards,
          HC

      2. The later type silent valve design with the twist and lock top ‘develop’ the 18 ridges around the dome of the diaphragm in use. New replacement diaphragms come smooth and the ‘ribs’ form over time due to water pressure pressing the rubber into the shaped casing it fits into.
        Be careful to buy the correct diaphragm as the older types are not compatable with the new type ( but look very similar new ).

  12. Hi Colin, just wanted to say a massive thank you for this article and the one that explains how the system works. My inlet valve diaphragm went faulty and the big washer underneath the flushing unit had also perished, and packed up just before I was about to go on holiday! With the help of your article, I was able to change them both without the help of a plumber, thus saving time and money, so just wanted to say thank you, I really appreciated your help!

    Best wishes, Andy

  13. Hi Colin, we have an intermitant fault with our system – sometimes it fills normally, other times the valve doesn’t close and just keeps running into the pan without filling. Fiddling around with it eventually? closes the valve. It seems to be a WRAS Macdee. The fill valve and float is DVEO600 and the flushing mech AFV 40100 or 40200. Any advice would be very welcome.
    Regards, Peter

    1. Hi Peter,
      Your description makes me think you have a problem with the flushing mechanism especially after looking up the AFV 40100/40200. Although I’m not familiar with it I understand the flush button operates the valve via a bowden cable (like a bike brake or gear cable). This cable may be jamming up and some people have tried to lubricate it with WD40. I suspect it is difficult to find a place to squirt it in.
      Here is a link to a forum post: macdee afv 40100 flushing system
      Here is another link relating to a lime scale problem: macdee concealled cistern wont stop running after flush?
      If you have to replace it I suspect the AFV 40100/40200 are obsolete since references to a newer version are mentioned on the net. This may not be the cheapest but it may be a suitable replacement.
      Please check it out for yourself: Macdee Outlet Valve Replacement For A Pacific and AFV40100/200
      Good luck.

      1. Many thanks for your help. Dripped some fairy liquid into cable and it is working a treat.

  14. Hi Colin.

    Many thanks for your excellent article.

    May I just add something. When my toilet started leaking into the bowl I replaced the small diaphragm. And after this the toilet was like a ruddy mini waterfall leaking into the pan. I couldn’t understand why it had become worse.

    So I then replaced the large washer under the flush mechanism. It made no difference! I read and re-read your article and couldn’t fathom why the leak was worse than before I tried to resolve it.

    I then remembered before replacing the diaphragm that underneath it – in my float arm cap – there’s a filter unit. Shaped like a small bullet – I’d pulled this out to flush it through as the instructions for the float arm, which I have, said to do periodically.

    Anyway I finally realised I’d not pushed this filter unit back properly into the recess under the diaphragm. Thus the diaphragm couldnt even begin to do its job as it wasn’t being pushed down onto the valve as the cistern filled up! I pushed it firmly in and voila – the waterfall stopped!

    So just in case others also have this little filter unit underneath their diaphragm – ensure you push it firmly back into the recess before replacing the diaphragm. Use a pair of long nosed pliers to twist the filter one quarter turn clockwise once it’s firmly pushed in place. The filter has little lugs on it which you can grip with the pliers.

    I was about to go out and purchase a whole new univalve unit so am happy I didn’t have to! I did a mini victory dance in my bathroom instead.

    Anyway thank you for your fab articles – I have saved your site as a fav for any future plumbing issues I may have!

    Marianne

    1. Hi Marianne,
      Thanks for your helpful comment. I have included some of your paragraphs as a quote, by you, in a new section entitled, ‘Flow Restrictors & Filters In Toilet Silent Fill Valves’, so that people don’t have to wade through the comments to see it.

  15. As ever, ’tis often the simplest things that throw us. My Inlet valve in the UK did not have the red central, plunger type post but a fixed plastic post.
    Basically I found no cracks but just cleaned the diaphragm….PERFECT.
    THANK YOU Colin
    w Roberts

  16. Hi Colin,

    Just used your instructions to repair the inlet valve in my downstairs loo. Great help! Due to my fading peepers, it took a while to spot that the diaphragm was split. I then found an own ‘Plumbsure’ brand replacement at B&Q which works perfectly. Part No. WB540QV3 ‘diaphragm washer for quiet fill valve’.

    Just to say, keep up with the great service. Blogs like yours make the internet great!

    Cheers

    Mike Robinson – Haywards Heath

    1. Thanks for your comment Mike,
      As a consequence I have edited my post to include part of your comment as a quotation and I have improved the B&Q link so that it goes straight to the diaphragm.

  17. Colin
    I just want to thank you for one of the most comprehensive and helpful articles I’ve seen on the web. Keep up the good work and use any / all of this as you see fit.

    Just one tiny (but important) point regarding your suggestion to, “remove the ‘stopper’ in the arm and turn over to present a new flat surface.” This is not possible as the stopper is hollow and sits on a spindle, so the bottom side is open. I was unable to find a replacement anywhere, so improvised with a shim under the stopper to raise the level and sort the problem. I tried a few tiny rubber washers first but found them too thick. I ended up using a cut out from an old pair of thin rubber gloves, which worked a treat.

    Have you done a similar article on how to replace the whole old unit with a new version?

    Keep up the good work.

    Regards

    1. Tom,

      Thank very much for this info and for your compliment. I haven’t had occasion to remove the stopper and presumed it to be a simple rubber cylinder. I would have thought it would be so simple to wedge a rubber cylinder into the arm. I will modify my post using your info.

      Well I haven’t written how to change the unit but I can since I have experience of putting in the original and of changing similar units in previous cisterns. Watch this space.

  18. Thank you for this excellent article. I have the later model valve for which spares are less easily found. After disassembling the fitting and winkling the diaphragm out, it looked undamaged so I reassembled it to get the same leak. Service packs containing a diaphragm and rubber stopper etc. cost the same as a whole new inlet valve, and I feared breaking some of the feeble plastic parts disassembling it to swap parts out.

    SO, the easiest fix (for £10.50) is:
    – Turn off water.
    – Screw the adjusting screw out of the float.
    – Unscrew the top of the unit.
    – Buy a Screwfix valve ref. 98097.
    – Unscrew the top of this new unit and screw the float off.
    – Screw the new top section onto the old body and screw the float adjuster back in.

    I reckon (bar the shopping) you could do the repair in literally two minutes flat!

  19. NOTE: The valve from screwfix 98097, is a push fit connector.
    If you have a fill valve the same as described within this post, it has a screw connector and will NOT WORK.

    Any body know where to get spares for the valve pictured in this post (old version) ? The toilet is flush with the wall, so I cannot replace the whole ball valve system without ripping out all the tiles and toilet. I basically want to replace everything above the screw connector on the ball valve

    My issue was the toilet was filling slowly, I replaced the diaphragm with the b&q equivalent, as it had torn. After this was refitted the water would not shut off with the float valve, even when trying to manually shut it off. I took the arm apart etc and checked the rubber, pushed it out more etc, but it still doesn’t work. Replacing the whole lot will be far simpler if a spare can be had.

  20. Follow up!

    After much research I have found that the flush valve in this picture is model number SV62467. I scoured the internet for hours looking for this part and it was discontinued a long time ago, 5+ years as far as I can see, so no one stocks it.
    The replacement does not have a screw thread so is useless.

    I have found one very courteous seller on ebay that is selling thes, no one else on ebay has sold this item in the last year, if you are unable to replace the whole flush valve like me, BUY one now before they are gone for ever – http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/161878750511

    I have just ordered another 2 – hoping this should last me another 10-15 years 🙂

    My situation:
    Our toilet is flush mounted to the wall and they have boxed in the toilet and all access, so there is no access to the water inlet to take out the whole valve. I’d have to cut out all the tiling.
    My issue was a slow filling toilet, took about 45 minutes to drip fill it and the dripping was driving me nuts as it’s in our en suite.

    Problem:
    The diaphragm was ripped, so I replaced it with the B&Q one above, but I was not convinced it’s the right replacement part as it’s not rigid and lifted off with the water pressure, unlike the original.
    After replacing this the water never shut off, even after pulling the arm up manually. I took the arm to pieces like above and my rubber seemed fairly smooth, I tried to push it out more as above, but it still never shut off.
    I put the old diaphragm back, water never shut off, so then I was left with no toilet at all.

    After ordering the spare valve, I just unscrewed the lowest point, replacing with the whole new mechanism, which includes the diagraphm, arm etc and finally a working toilet!

  21. Thanks Colin. I took the fill valve apart looking for any wear and tear or damage but couldn’t see anything wrong. My worry was I was going to have to replace the whole unit, taking the cistern and toilet to pieces to be able to replace it. I found your site, looked at the diaphragm and quickly spotted the tear. 10 minutes later and £1.57 later problem solved. Thanks for the clear advice. It’s saved a lot of money, time and frustration

  22. Thanks for your brilliant website which I have now bookmarked. I had a 2-week battle with overflowing on an 8-year old unit identical to the one shown in your photos. With your help I was able to investigate but could find no tear or malfunction in the suspect diaphragm. I went ahead anyway and replaced it with the B&Q (£1.50) one referenced above, problem solved immediately, saving myself an £80 plumber call-out charge plus labour etc. Great stuff!

  23. Brilliant article! Stumbled across your site via searching for how to stop water continuously flowing in my toilet. Managed to get to the rubber diaphragm using your directions and could see a slight split (turning off the water via the fill pipe was also very helpful). Now just have to order a replacement. The images were so useful. Btw – why do the rubber diaphragms tear?

    1. Hi tkmk,

      I hope you complete the job successfully.

      Why do the rubber diaphragms tear? Every time the diaphragm goes up and down the area that tears is bent, straightened and stretched. Eventually the molecules rip apart at a place in the material where they are overworked.

      The real question is how many times should you be able to bend, straighten and stretch this material before the damage is done? I suspect if it were to be used on a device taking a long space journey it would be able to do it millions of times but it would cost a small fortune. What have we here? A twopenny-halfpenny device, so it only lasts a few years. Perhaps a better design or a better material that isn’t prohibitively expensive might make it last longer. Perhaps there is money to be made from its low quality.

      I might include your question in my article.

  24. Colin,

    is it possible to get a replacement for the collapsible polyethylene pipe?

    Ours has a small hole in it near the water inlet end and makes an annoying squeaking noise every time we stop is using water elsewhere (our flat has a Grundfos 3.0 Bar Home Booster). So it can be squeaking during the night if out central heating kicks in.

    Thanks

    1. Hi BD,

      I doubt you can actually replace just the pipe. I think you will have to seal the hole with some self adhesive electrical PVC tape when you have dried the polythene.

      1. Thanks for the prompt reply Colin (something I seem incapable of!)

        I’ll certainly give that a try.

        If that fails, I might just cut off the polythene and in its place put in a flat piece of plastic or such like – not a tube – that the water can run down so it isn’t splashing into the cistern (hopefully stopping the noise it would otherwise make) which shouldn’t cause a siphoning issue and as there is no hole there should be no squeak. If that makes sense? Or is that a bad idea?

  25. Hi Colin,
    Thanks for your excellent site, I have just replaced the diaphagm in my SIAMP inlet valve and the slow fill,
    & water hammer are gone.
    I wondered if you know how water passes throught the SIAMP diaphragm as there is no pin. Just has
    cruxiform plastic plug through it’s centre, which seems water/airtight.
    Many thanks
    Rob

  26. Hello, what tool do you recommend to use in order to take off a round “flush valve locking nut” similar to the picture in section above “Cleaning the Parts” what’s labeled the “Clamping Nut?” I’ve tried a pipe wrench, locking pliers, the universal plumbing tool, and a few others…. even with nonslip grip attached to it, it keeps slipping and the round ridges are partially damaged now. Thanks.

    1. Hi Tanya,
      It may be fixed together with some adhesive applied to the screw thread. Or calcium may have built up. I think you will need to take it out of the cistern and work with it on a bench and examine it closely. Be prepared to replace it.

  27. You absolutely rock Colin! This is a brilliant tutorial; clear, well-written and comprehensive. Thank you.

    Although I had replaced an inlet valve diaphragm already, a second one (different toilet) in our house started to fail. I took the top off the fill valve to expose the diaphragm and found it upside down! Now I’m not sure if water pressure will invert a failing diaphragm but the toilet had been working fine for years until water began to overflow into the pan so it seems unlikely that the diaphragm was fitted incorrectly in the first place.

    I’m probably going mad but I did have my glasses on at the time :). Whatever, thanks again Colin.

  28. Hi Colin, Following your brilliant instructions, I successfully managed to get the diaphragm replaced and reassembled all parts, turned the water back on, but the cistern would not stop filling, I lifted the arm, still kept filling, I turn off the water. I flushed to get rid of all the water and replaced the old diaphragm having checked it for tears and cleaned there was a plastic white washer which fitted the original diaphragm perfectly, but was loose when fitted to the new diaphragm, I thought this was causing the constant filling hence refitting the original. Nope upon turning the water back on with the original, it does not stop filling. HELP, it’s driving me mad having to use screwdriver and turn water on every time I need to flush

    1. Hi Dizzy Mare,
      Two important points to note:
      1. The diaphragm must be clamped around its periphery so it is watertight all around its circumference.
      2. The thick centre part of the diaphragm must be able to flex down and seal the incoming water pipe in its resting position without any extra downward force. If it sits too high up so it can’t reach the opening it will not be able stop the flow. Was there a plastic flow restrictor or seat for the diaphragm to rest on which has gone missing?
      NOTE: the water should stop flowing when the pinhole in the top cover is closed by the rubber bung at the end of the arm (or your finger if you remove the arm). If you can’t stop the flow with your finger then water must be bypassing the diaphragm in some way.
      Good luck.
      Regards HC.

      1. HC.

        I had another attempt this morning, I took it all apart and cleaned everything in the sink, once reassembled it worked perfectly. Yay. Now to fix the other loo, this one carried on flushing after its flushed, I think the ball cock thinging is too high, and it’s allowing water to fill up to the level of the internal overflow, I thought I had fixed it a couple of weeks ago but it’s at it again

  29. Hi Colin

    Thank you so much, I would not have had a clue what was wrong without this blog. Took me about a minute to sort out after reading (and getting the part).

  30. Great article Colin .. thank you. I have a slightly different problem in that it takes my cistern about 7 minutes to fill after each flush. I removed the clamping nut (with great difficulty because it was stuck firm) and diaphragm which on inspection looks fine. I gave the diaphragm and other parts a wee clean up and reconstructed the assembly. This time I only tightened the clamping nut hand tight and there is a marked improvement in the refill rate (about 4 minutes). Is 4 minutes normal or should I look to do something else to improve this? Also given that the clamping nut is only hand tight is there any danger of this popping open under the water pressure?

    1. Hi John,
      Have you got a device fitted into the valve input whose job is to reduce the flow? Has it always taken a long time to fill? 4 minutes seems slow to me.
      My first thought is that you should check that the water pressure at the input to the cistern is as good as you think it is? Has some dirt moved up the pipe and blocked the flow through the valve?
      Regarding the clamping nut. If it has at least half a turn on the thread and the plastic is in good condition I’m sure it will hold. After a full turn then I am sure it will.
      Regards, HC.

      1. Thanks again Colin, the water pressure is good … I removed the diaphraghm and when I turned the water supply back on the cistern filled in about 60 seconds. After reinserting the diaphraghm and with the clamping nut even looser than before the cistern filled in about 90 seconds HOWEVER the cistern does not stop filling even although the float arm is as high as it will raise … as if there is not enough force to close the diaphragm. I will visit my local B&Q today and for the sake of a couple of quid try a new diaphraghm. Other than that could it be that the rubber Stopper insert to seal the pinhole in the Top Cover is the problem?

        1. Hi John,
          The rubber stopper could be a problem. If you can get your finger in place you should be able to stop the filling process by putting your finger over the pinhole through which the water leaks out. It takes no effort just a good seal. See: “Cleaning The Parts”.
          Regards, HC.

          1. hello Colin, sorry for not replying sooner. My local DIY store did not have a replacement diaphragm and ended up biting the bullet and bought a new Silent Valve. Without your brilliant article and viewing a couple of videos on YouTube gave me the advice and confidence to replace it myself. Thanks again Colin. Keep up the good work mate. Cheers!

  31. Hi Colin,

    Excellent article and very thorough advice on fixing these valves. The problem is really that this valve is a poor non-standard design which offers no real advantage over different fill valves which are much more reliable. If you want to avoid having to fix these dastardly valves every few years, I would advise taking the things out and replacing them with something much more reliable. We have used Fluidmaster fill valves which are about the same price as a new Armitage Shanks Univalve and just work reliably and rarely require attention.

  32. It’s surprising how complicated getting a new diaphragm can be! Can you Colin or any of your equally grateful readers advise what the correct part number is of the particular one shown held between thumb and forefinger in front of a green background and labelled “The Diaphragm’, because that’s the one I need but seem unable to find. What makes this one special is that it is deeper than the standard Hushflow and has a second square-edged ‘wedding cake’ look to it.
    Also, I’ve not been able to source the little rubber stopper (also known as a ‘billet’ for some reason) that sits in the cap and blocks the pinhole inlet. Does anyone know of a source for those, as it truth I think the indent in that is more likely to be the cause of my leak than the diaphragm! Cheers

  33. Chris D

    To repair my toilet I bought an INLET VALVE SERVICING KIT PART No SV90167. The kit is available online (Ideal and Amazon) and locally at plumbing hardware centres. There are bits in the kit you may not use and the diaphragm is often the only bit you need! Buy a couple of kits to keep a spare handy.

    Cheers
    Ed

    1. Thanks Ed – that’s exactly the sort of info I was after but unfortunately it doesn’t help in my particular case as that was very kit I bought at Day One, only to find that it doesn’t fit! I’ve also sourced the same diaphragm on it’s own from a couple of online sellers who had also assured me that it should be the right part but, as it’s not, the only option seems to be to replace the whole inlet valve (which my wife doesn’t trust me to do so I’ll have to continue to lose water into the bowl unless I come across a passing plumber…).

      I’m not able to copy and paste the image here but the diaphragm I need is illustrated in the tenth photo in this very article, but ISN’T the one to which you refer (of which I have two in front of me). Yours has an inner, the diaphragm itself, and a narrow outer rim, whereas as indicated previously mine [like the one in Helpful Colin’s photo] has an additional ‘tier’ outside the diaphragm, which is why I felt that it was amazing how complicated such a simple exercise was proving to be!

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