How to remove a toilet cistern lid: How to open toilet cistern

How to open toilet cistern

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Plumbing Fittings

When the toilet cistern starts playing up, fixing it yourself is to your advantage, but you need to know the very first step: how to open a toilet cistern.

It might sound easy, but in many cases it’s actually pretty tricky and there are some things you need to know to do it right. This will ensure you don’t damage the flush buttons or the internal system. It will also save you a lot of frustration.

The last thing you want to do is take on the project of fixing your toilet cistern and spend an hour just trying to open it, and when you do, you damage some parts in the process. This handy guide will help you avoid this, complete the job properly, and maintain your sanity at the same time.

How to open a toilet cistern – the dual flush button

The first thing to remember before you carry out any work on your cistern is to put on a set of rubber gloves. It’s a toilet, so hygiene is always part of best practice. Next is turning off the water supply to the toilet. You’ll find a valve on the inlet pipe feeding into the cistern that you need to turn to isolate it.

Once you’ve turned the valve to prevent any water filling the cistern, flush the toilet in order to fully empty the cistern. You’re working on a dual flush toilet so use the full flush to completely empty it.

Once all the water is expelled, then comes tackling the push button arrangement.

The tricky dual flush button

The most comon dual flush toilet cisterns have buttons that are round, made up of a larger segment and smaller segment to denote the full and half flush. They look like an oval shape and a 2/3 moon shape. Together they form a perfect circle.

These are really tricky to remove unless you know what you’re doing.

You need a thin, flathead screwdriver and a towel. Place the towel over the oval part of the button and rest the screwdriver there, not on the button when you leverage it. The towel will protect the button from being scratched by the screw driver.

By pushing the single flush button down a bit, you’ll be able to place the screwdriver into the side of the larger button. You’ll find a little indent that the screwdriver can get into to allow you to lift the button up and out. Once you’ve taken it off, the other button should just lift off. Put the buttons somewhere safe.

By removing the flush buttons, it will reveal a large plastic pozi head screw that hides under the buttons. Unscrew it and lift off the top piece and screw. Put it safely with the buttons you’ve already taken off. 

The lid is now ready to be removed. Lift the lid off completely, and put it somewhere out of the way. Job done.

There are also dual flush buttons that don’t require a screwdriver. Removing them is even easier. Simply rotate the round circular rim anti-clockwise with the buttons still inside it. It should all rotate and eventually come off once it’s been turned enough times.

How to open toilet a cistern – the older style, single flush button

Let it never be said that we left you stranded because you have an older style single flush cistern. In case you have this type and aren’t sure how to remove the lid, it’s easy as pie and takes seconds. Simply rotate the circular rim on top of the lid anti-clockwise until it screws off.

Remove it and place it somewhere safe. Then simply lift the lid of the cistern off, over the top of the button. You’ll find that with the majority of the older style single flush toilet cisterns the lid should lift right off and leave the button behind in the cistern mechanism.

Now that you have learnt the steps for the most common toilets, you can access the parts of the cistern to start the next part of the project, fixing it!

It might be a matter of fitting a new inlet valve, such as the WDI B3200 Toilet Cistern Inlet Valve 15mm 1/2″ BSP from Plumbing Sales.

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How to Remove a Dual Flush Toilet Cistern Lid? | by My Toilet Spares Ltd

My Toilet Spares Ltd



3 min read


Feb 22, 2016

Have you ever tried to remove the dual flush toilet cistern lid removal? Do you experience difficulty in removing the cistern lid of the toilet? It is found that older ceramic cisterns are closely coupled to the pan or placed just above it, which easily lifts off. In some cases, plastic cisterns have some screws around the edge of the lid that holds on, which requires effort in lid removal.

In case of Dual flush toilet cisterns like Armitage Shanks, the lid is held in right place by the push button mechanism, which is mounted through a hole in lid. In this post, you will find great tips to remove a cistern lid removal for dual flush toilet.

Process of Cistern Lid Removal:

To remove the lid of Armitage Shanks dual flush toilet cistern, first two buttons have to be removed by pulling them out from their socket. Both flush buttons have a fingernail notch on the side. You need to push one button down all the way (the toilet will flush), then dig your nail into notch of the other button to pull it out. You will find the button will click out of position and can be easily removed from the socket. These flush buttons have a long and thin spindle of plastic attached which reaches down to operate the real buttons inside the cistern. So, be careful in handling these buttons and do not break them.

After removing the flush buttons, you can find a plastic screw in the socket, which holds the lid. Using a wide bladed screwdriver, you can loosen up the screw and take it out. The button of the socket mounted through cistern lid has no thread in screw hole. After the screw is removed then the cistern lid will easily lift off and button socket can be removed from the lid by pushing it out from underneath.

After Removal Process of Cistern Lids:

The button socket has holes in it, which allows water to drain into the cistern when buttons are washed during toilet cleaning. Before assembling the lid, all parts can be washed and cleaned.

Cistern with the Lid-off can be flushed:

Dual flush cistern can be flushed with lid removed. By poking through the holes (in the height adjustable Sliding Plate) you can push flushing buttons down. You can also use a button with spindle attached or a screwdriver to push down the flush buttons. In many cases where space permits, then the flush buttons can be pressed directly with finger or thumb.

Replacing the Cistern Lid:

In case of replacing the lid, you will find wide variety of toilet cistern lids for sale at MTS, which will help in getting the right one for achieving a successful replacement. We are the leading online supplier of original quality & top brands (like Ideal Standard & Armitage Shanks) toilet seat spares and parts in UK. For all purchased items, we offer free shipping within UK. For more information you can connect with us in our facebook ,twitter, google+,pinterest ,instagram , pages . At our website you can also find effectively solved queries about toilet spares and parts as well as can submit your questions by giving a call today at 01482291992.

How to remove the lid from the toilet bowl of various types – with one or two buttons and others

In most cases, it is quite possible to fix the flush mechanism yourself, but it is not always clear how to remove the lid from the toilet bowl. Basically, the owners of plumbing with push-button control face difficulties. The procedure depends on the design of the tank.

Each toilet cistern has a water control system

In any case, opening the cistern begins with the following steps:

  1. Shut off the valve on the branch pipe to the toilet.
  2. Drain the water.

There are several standard types of flush fittings. They are easily recognized by the controls. But you need to act with caution: the tanks of some manufacturers have features.

If the toilet does not have a button

The most complex mechanism in the toilet is the flush tank

All old Soviet toilets belong to this type. Among modern such models are also found, but relatively rarely.

There are two versions:

  • Models with lever protruding from the side. Often they are located under the ceiling and connected to the bowl with a long pipe. The cover is not fastened here in any way and is removed without any preliminary actions.
  • Rising stem models. A round handle is visible in the middle of the lid, which is raised when necessary to drain the water.

In the second case, proceed as follows:

  1. Slightly raising the stem, take it with one hand and screw the handle with the other, turning it counterclockwise.
  2. Some models have a hollow screw with a wide plastic washer under the handle – it is unscrewed.
  3. Remove the cover.

Occasionally there are plastic tanks with an element that needs to be lowered with force to drain the water. Here the cover is removed without preliminary operations.

If the cistern has one button

The more complex the system, the more often it fails

Many are interested in the question of how to open the toilet cistern with a button. There are two types of such mechanisms. The most common cover cannot be lifted at all. The button is round, located inside the ring. This ring is the protruding part of the threaded sleeve. To remove the cover, unscrew it.


  1. Press the button with one hand and hold it in this state. So it will be more convenient to take on the sleeve.
  2. With the other hand, unscrew the sleeve by turning it counterclockwise. With some models, such as Cersanit, it often does not lend itself well, so considerable effort is required. Basically, the sleeves are plastic, with a shiny finish, but there are also metal ones with slots. Then they rest against one of them with a screwdriver and with a light blow tear off the fasteners from their place. In extreme cases, a pipe wrench (“parrot”) is used, but this will most likely lead to deformation of the button.

The number of unscrewing turns must be calculated so that the mechanism can be reassembled correctly.

It remains to remove the button and remove the cover.

If the tank has two buttons

Care must be taken when removing the lid, as they are not sold separately

This type of design is an economical drain option: when the second button is pressed, only half the volume of water flows out of the tank. The block is also round, since each button is shaped like half a circle, but the disassembly order is slightly different:

  1. One of the buttons is pushed in. This exposes the inner side surface of the second button. At the bottom of it there is a narrow slot.
  2. Inserting a flat screwdriver into the slot, pry off the second button and remove it from the block.
  3. The first button is dismantled in the same way.
  4. A slotted screw is found in the vacated hole – it is unscrewed with a Phillips screwdriver. In some models, instead of a screw, there is a plastic nut or hooks. The nut is carefully unscrewed with a special wrench or pliers.
  5. Unscrew the sleeve around the buttons by turning it counterclockwise.
  6. Remove the reservoir cap.

There are cheap imitation models: there are two buttons, but the most simple drain valve is installed, which does not involve draining half the volume of water. In this case, the removal of the cover is carried out in the same way as in the version with one button.

Other cistern lid designs

Modern toilet bowls are equipped with complex mechanisms

On some models with one button, the lid lifts slightly. This opens the drain valve, so that if there was water in the tank, it flows out. Inside, a chain is visible connecting the button and the drain valve. To release the cover, the chain from the button is disconnected. It is important to note which link it was attached to. Without this, it will be difficult to properly adjust the drain during assembly.

Some features are inherent in the waste fittings in Jfo brand two-button cisterns. Dismantling order:

  1. The buttons are removed one by one in the usual way, prying with a screwdriver.
  2. The nut found in the vacated hole is unscrewed with a socket wrench.
  3. The sleeve is supported here by pushers. When you simultaneously press them, it moves up and is removed, after which the tank cap is removed.

Most other imported toilets have a standard drain fitting design, with minor differences. For example, in Jika brand tanks under the buttons there is a screw that can be unscrewed with a Phillips screwdriver, while Gustavsberg has a plastic nut that can be unscrewed with a special wrench or pliers.

Video: How to remove the lid from the toilet bowl – detailed instructions In the case of modern models, the task is to unscrew the socket in which the button is installed. In two-button fittings, for this it is necessary to dismantle the buttons and then unscrew the fasteners under them.

  • Author: nadegda27121