Close Coupled Cistern, connecting bolts spinning

24 Jun 2010
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United Kingdom
I've got a bit of a problem with a toilet cistern. Decided to change the syphon as the flush wasn't great (needed several pulls on the lever). Of course, the bolts that tie the cistern to the pan were rusted and needed WD40 to loosen them - fair enough. I got the wing nuts part way loosened, and then the bolts began to spin. Tried to grip the bolts with pliers while turning the wing nuts but no joy.

Ok, I thought, I'll have to hold the bolts inside the cistern with a screwdriver while I turn the wing nuts. But there's no head for the bolts inside the cistern - they're sealed in to the ceramic and not accessible. So I now have a cistern that I cannot secure back to the pan, and can remove from the pan only by cutting the bolts - which of course means I can't re-attached it to the pan.

Other than buying a new cistern (or indeed a new loo), does anyone have any ideas? Seems overkill just to replace a syphon, but I really don't know what else to do....
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I think you'll find that the bolts are actually attached to a bracket below the cistern, which is in turn held in place by the syphon nut......
In your scenario, cutting the bolts (somehow) is the usual option - which is a monumental pain in the bum due to access.
Sometimes its easier to pull the complete loo out :eek:
John :)
Thanks John, I've cut part way through the bolts with a junior hacksaw, access is awkward as you say. So, hopefully, if I can cut through the bolts then I'll be able to re-attach using new bolts and wing nuts. That would certainly be cheaper than a new loo, but you're right that it'll probably be as quick to just pull the whole loo!
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Just a thought - would a smear of petroleum jelly be an idea for the bolts and wing nuts, keep them from rusting?
It certainly wouldn't do any harm - as would the makers had they used A4 stainless steel.....
You'll need a new doughnut washer when you drop the cistern back on the pan, of course.
John :)
Yep, got the doughnut washer & fixing kit yesterday (figured that if the bolts were rusted up then the fixing bracket probably would be too, so makes sense to replace them all). Thanks for your help John, done plenty of other plumbing stuff in my time but always steered clear of work on toilets, think it's the thought of ending up in the crap...... :LOL:

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