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Old 09.02.2017, 18:41
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Stop a running European toilet [ * tip ]

Hello all,

I wanted to give a tip to the ladies out there ( and maybe some guys ) about how to stop a European toilet that won't stop running water .

As with most household things like this, the toilet didn't start acting up until my husband left for a work trip.

It was acting up a few days ago, but would stop after I flushed it twice. Tonight, however, the toilet would not stop running water.

I've had experience 'fixing' running toilets in the US, but to my surprise when I opened up the toilet the mechanics were different than a US toilet. ( no bobber, no chain, no flapper )

Our toilet has some kind of main central tube that helps fill the toilet, an over flow tube that is open at the top and takes in any extra water as the toilet fills up, a lever, and a tube that connects from the wall to the central tube.

The toilet cover is made of heavy plastic and looks attached to the toilet, but it can come off. Be careful as you are taking the cover off, because it attaches to the inside of the toilet by two plastic clips and you don't want to snap those off .

After you get the toilet cover off, follow the tube that attaches from the central tube to the wall. There will be a knob of some sort . Mine is a small white knob. Turn this knob towards the wall, and the water will stop running.

I don't know that this really fixes the problem, but it will stop the toilet from running water.

A running toilet can sound annoying, waste water, and cost a lot . Hopefully, this helps someone else until their spouse/partner can have a look, or until you can schedule a plumber to come out.

HTH
TheLaughingCow
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Old 09.02.2017, 19:00
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Re: Stop a running European toilet [ * tip ]

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Old 09.02.2017, 19:20
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Re: Stop a running European toilet [ * tip ]

Yayyy

This was my first nomination. Thank you . Thank you all so very much. Thank you to the Academy and to all of you on this forum.

I have to also congratulate all the other incredible nominees this year for their unbelievable posts.

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Old 09.02.2017, 19:29
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Re: Stop a running European toilet [ * tip ]

What, no ball cock???

Welcome to continental cisterns.
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Old 09.02.2017, 19:35
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Re: Stop a running European toilet [ * tip ]

Well, I don't know if it's a cistern as it still has a lever , and not a button on the top of the toilet cover.

In any case, it was different from what I was used to seeing.

Thanks,
TheLaughingCow
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Old 10.02.2017, 11:10
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Re: Stop a running European toilet [ * tip ]

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Well, I don't know if it's a cistern as it still has a lever , and not a button on the top of the toilet cover.

In any case, it was different from what I was used to seeing.

Thanks,
TheLaughingCow

A cistern is simply a word a tank that contains water or other fluid.... so yes, what you've posted a photo of is a cistern... and it's the same in german; zisterne, italian; cisterna, and (almost) in french; citerne. If you have to call a plumber you'll need to know that!


As the others have said, it's probably calcaire build-up that's causing the lever to jam open. Or possibly there's a bit of grit that's got under the seal at the base somehow and is allowing a small amount of water to trickle into the bowl and the system 'thinks' it's not finished filling.
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Old 09.02.2017, 22:53
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Re: Stop a running European toilet [ * tip ]

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Hello all,

After you get the toilet cover off, follow the tube that attaches from the central tube to the wall. There will be a knob of some sort . Mine is a small white knob. Turn this knob towards the wall, and the water will stop running.

I don't know that this really fixes the problem, but it will stop the toilet from running water.
Sounds good BUT - have you used the toilet since?
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Old 10.02.2017, 09:45
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Re: Stop a running European toilet [ * tip ]

Yes, I used it again. It will flush, but the tank will not fill back up with water for another flush.

The knob I turned off cuts off the water. So, if you find yourself in the same situation, you have to turn the knob back to 'on' to fill the tank with water again in order to flush again.

I realized what the problem is though. I found something like a float attached to one of the tubes, and this should sense when the tank is full, but it's not. Nothing looks damaged, and so I'm not sure why it's not working.
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Old 10.02.2017, 09:50
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Re: Stop a running European toilet [ * tip ]

Can you post a picture?

Usually when a toilet runs on like that it is the flush valve mechanism which is faulty, but sometimes the plate with the buttons gets jammed and holds the valve permanently open. It's easy to tell the difference - you take the cover off, flush once by pushing where the plate would (do each if it is a dual flush type), and if the toilet stops running then the problem is the lever/cover sticking.
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Old 10.02.2017, 09:53
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Re: Stop a running European toilet [ * tip ]

Yeah, I can post a photo if you want, but it looks gross (mold) .
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Old 10.02.2017, 09:57
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Re: Stop a running European toilet [ * tip ]

If you live in a hard water region it could be calcium deposits.

You can usually scrape enough off to make the float work again, otherwise ask your local drogerie for a product to spray on and disolve it (formic acid works well).
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Old 10.02.2017, 10:23
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Re: Stop a running European toilet [ * tip ]

Thanks for the tip. We do have very hard water .

Here are a couple of photos.
stop-running-european-toilet-tip-img_0793.jpg

stop-running-european-toilet-tip-img_0792.jpg

stop-running-european-toilet-tip-img_0791.jpg
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Old 10.02.2017, 10:29
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Re: Stop a running European toilet [ * tip ]

OK so my suggestion:

- Go get some calcium eating product from the drogerie
- Turn off the little tap to stop the water supply
- Flush the toilet to empty the cistern
- Scrape off any large calcium deposits you see
- Leave it to dry and even use some kitchen towels to dry the inside
- Spray the product over everything, you will hear a hiss as it eats into the calcium
- Leave it for an hour or so
- Give it a second blast to be sure
- Turn water back on to see if it did the job
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Old 10.02.2017, 10:35
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Re: Stop a running European toilet [ * tip ]

While the tank is empty (and the valve still off) try actuating the black lever a few times. Does the tube in the middle move up and down freely or does it bind?

Spray the valves (both the plastic one with the hose attached, and the tube mechanism in the middle of the cistern) liberally with antical or such and let it work for 15 minutes, spray it again a few times, waiting for it to work in between.

Usually it is just a calc buildup. Once the flush tube in the middle can move freely again it will stop running on. Sometimes the water control valve (the plastic one with the hose connected) needs replacing, but if it is just calcium on the other bits then spraying with anti cal will solve the problem (for a while at least).
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Old 10.02.2017, 11:53
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Re: Stop a running European toilet [ * tip ]

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Yes, I used it again. It will flush, but the tank will not fill back up with water for another flush.

The knob I turned off cuts off the water. So, if you find yourself in the same situation, you have to turn the knob back to 'on' to fill the tank with water again in order to flush again.
That's what I figured. It's logic - logic is my thing. ROFL.
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Old 10.02.2017, 16:17
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Re: Stop a running European toilet [ * tip ]

The connection between the siphon and the tank is completely kalked up in one of ours so there isn't a good seal.

Water drips into the bowl and every few minutes, the level is low enough for the tank to top-up again.
It's not enough to measure on the water meter but the inlet was kalked up too when we moved in and got stuck just as we went on holiday so no one noticed.

The water bill was more eye-watering than the anti-kalk!
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Old 10.02.2017, 17:13
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Re: Stop a running European toilet [ * tip ]

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The connection between the siphon and the tank is completely kalked up in one of ours so there isn't a good seal.

Water drips into the bowl and every few minutes, the level is low enough for the tank to top-up again.
It's not enough to measure on the water meter but the inlet was kalked up too when we moved in and got stuck just as we went on holiday so no one noticed.

The water bill was more eye-watering than the anti-kalk!
I generally find it's a good idea to turn off the toilet water supply at the valve when leaving home for more than a couple of days. It's only a tiny thing to think of and it can potentially save a big water bill.
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Old 11.07.2019, 10:05
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Re: Stop a running European toilet [ * tip ]

Hello all,

I'm re-opening this thread due to a toilet which doesn't stop running. The toilet is in France, and some photos are attached. Does anyone know how to fix this? Would appreciate some help and suggestions. Look forward to hearing from you!

Greengrass
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Old 11.07.2019, 10:49
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Re: Stop a running European toilet [ * tip ]

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Hello all,

I'm re-opening this thread due to a toilet which doesn't stop running. The toilet is in France, and some photos are attached. Does anyone know how to fix this? Would appreciate some help and suggestions. Look forward to hearing from you!

Greengrass
The plastic floater thingy is probably broken. You can get a complete assembly at Bauhaus for about 20CHF. A bit fiddly to fit if it's not exactly the same model, but quite doable. You can probably find youtubes of people showing how.

But before going there I would check that it is indeed the floater. Observe carefully as the tank fills with water. Does the floater rise with the water level? And does it stop the flow of water? If not, why not? Debris blocking its free movement? Stiffness in the joint? damage to the valve itself?
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Old 11.07.2019, 12:56
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Re: Stop a running European toilet [ * tip ]

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The plastic floater thingy is probably broken. You can get a complete assembly at Bauhaus for about 20CHF. A bit fiddly to fit if it's not exactly the same model, but quite doable. You can probably find youtubes of people showing how.

But before going there I would check that it is indeed the floater. Observe carefully as the tank fills with water. Does the floater rise with the water level? And does it stop the flow of water? If not, why not? Debris blocking its free movement? Stiffness in the joint? damage to the valve itself?
Thanks, I can't figure out what is the floater. Could you point it out for me in the photo? I don't think anything is broken, though I did notice there is a lot of calcium/saltish stuff all over, so its possible the calcium debris is blocking free movement. The water is very hard. But what do I clean or which part do I replace if it is calcium buildup? Could you use the photos to direct me to the specific parts and describe what needs to be done?
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