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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:47 pm 
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HI / I hope someone with vintage toilet plumbing experience may be able to help. This is a 1938 pan and cistern original to my house (I think its a Seestu). It appears to flush water ok but anything solid, even tissue is very hard to budget, it just rotaes around with the water but doesn't dissapear into the u bend. It seems that the flow is too slow into the u bend i guess. As you can see the internals are (i think) solid copper. I've done a bit of reading so I assume this is an old siphon cistern... Can anyone advise of updating this as plumbers are reluctant to fit new internals as replacing the whole lot seems to be easier (or more profitable) and the inside does look very corroded and scaley. One other thing is that I wonder if it was designed to be on a wall and therefore have better head pressure?
It would be a shame to bin it as it's lasted this long and the art deco fluting is rather lovely. Thanks! :salute:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:53 pm 
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I'm no expert on this sort of thing by any means... question for you, has the issue with flushing of solids always been there or is it a newer issue ?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:18 pm 
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I'm no expert either, but it looks like a fairly modern plastic syphon to me. Looks like a plastic flush pipe as well, although it looks as if somebody has used Denso tape on the pan end instead of a proper connector / gasket.
The ball valve is certainly not 1930s.

AFAIK, (and I'm sure one of the plumbers will be along in a minute), if the syphon is giving problems, then it's easy enough to take it off to check it. It might be blocked somehow, or the diaphragm might have split.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:21 pm 
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yea id be more inclined if this has recently happened to lift ya manhole lids and check the drains arent blocked


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:41 pm 
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fin wrote:
yea id be more inclined if this has recently happened to lift ya manhole lids and check the drains arent blocked


That's sorta what I was getting at.. a blockage somewhere (even a partial blockage).. esp if it's been there since 1938 without any issues.

Love the cistern. Big fan of art deco me.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:12 pm 
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I'd have thought you could get a new syphon for it. While much of the existing one is made of brass / copper, the syphon tube at the top is probably zinc alloy (something like Mazak). Eventually this corrodes through.

If you live in a hard water area, its possible that the underside of the rim of the bowl, where the water comes through, is scaled up. Bit of an awkward job to do, but try and de-scale it and see if there's any improvement.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:31 pm 
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It could be if the pan goes into a cast iron pipe it is a bit blocked up there, if you have another loo then take the pan and cistern off and clean them up.

That is a lovely patterned cistern that would probably cost a few bob, so if you are feeling a bit flush :lol: get a nice flush pipe to go with them.

http://www.thomas-crapper.com/Low-level-Flushpipe.html


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:18 pm 
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Sounds like there is a blockage, but have you tried pouring a bowl of water down the pan to see if the 'solids' move then? Just a thought :dunno:

SN :occasion5:

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:12 am 
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As already posted. A blockage in the pipe/inspection chamber could be all it is


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:01 am 
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Thanks for the suggestions.
Yes, the ball valve is modern but that doesn't have anything to do with flushing. The siphon thing is solid metal and ancient.
Yes, I have scrubbed the rim and all the holes run free.
The toilet is not blocked, it's just that it can take a few flushes... bit embarrassing.
The reason I am reluctant to fiddle further (eg taking it off and looking at the outlet etc) is that if I mess it up my familiy have nowhere else to go! SO I wanted to try an dget some advice first.
And yes, if I use a bucket of water it clears the pan no problem and no backing up.
So it seems to be a common theme that maybe the outlet is partially blocked and a modern siphon may fit??? The thing is I think I may have to damage the old one to get it off so if a new one doesn't fit then I'd be left with no toilet :puke:

Could the tube that goes from the cistern to the pan be replaced - i.e. are these standard fittinngs even though this is old. The make is Seestu


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:59 pm 
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The flush mechanism seems to working as usual ? Yes/no

As for the pipe, can you measure the outside diameter ?

In one of the pics it shows quite a build up of scale at the base of the cistern... which could be causing a partial blockage in the pipe between the cistern and the pan.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:09 pm 
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wine~o wrote:
The flush mechanism seems to working as usual ? Yes/no

As for the pipe, can you measure the outside diameter ?

In one of the pics it shows quite a build up of scale at the base of the cistern... which could be causing a partial blockage in the pipe between the cistern and the pan.



Well it's always been the same flush: it flushes easily but the flow doesn't seem great, quite lazy. So maybe you are right about the scale in the connecting pipe to the pan. ANy ida if these are standard parts? (I'll measure it and report back)
BTW the picture showing that pipe you can see that there is another smaller pipe attached to it... no idea what that does?
If we had a downstairs loo this would be much more straightforward but being without a toilet cos I've cracked or otherwise knackered something would be disastrous!

Thanks all


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:22 pm 
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phil555ip wrote:



BTW the picture showing that pipe you can see that there is another smaller pipe attached to it... no idea what that does?



I would hazard a guess at the overflow from the cistern. :scratch: can't see exactly what you mean from the pics.

Thing is, I was born in 1962 so ancient plumbing like this could well be different sizes to what we have today(imperial/metric)...I wouldn't know. TheScruff might :huray:

I'd love to tackle this sorta job if you were anywhere near me...

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:33 pm 
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I've got a similar, but less decorative, cistern, installed when the house was built in 1936. Five years ago the flush got weak and then stopped. The cause was a hole (presumably starting as a pin hole) in the syphon tube at the top (the Mazak bit). Replaced it with a Dudley Turbo 88 R (adjustable). No problems changing over and its been working fine ever since. Don't forget you'll need a doughnut kit as well when you remove the cistern.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:06 pm 
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andy48 wrote:
I've got a similar, but less decorative, cistern, installed when the house was built in 1936. Five years ago the flush got weak and then stopped. The cause was a hole (presumably starting as a pin hole) in the syphon tube at the top (the Mazak bit). Replaced it with a Dudley Turbo 88 R (adjustable). No problems changing over and its been working fine ever since. Don't forget you'll need a doughnut kit as well when you remove the cistern.


You don't have or want a doughnut kit on a low level suit andy.

You'll need a flush pipe cone.

The small pipe connected to the flush pipe is an air tube, it could be blocked.

Most siphons should fit but I don't think that's the problem, whatever you'll need to get a similar height replacement if you go that road, and it won't have an air vent, which could be a problem.


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