How to Access a Concealed Toilet Cistern
Concealed cisterns are a great alternative to traditional close coupled, low level and high level cisterns. They offer a clean, modern and minimalist look and are often similarly priced to standard close coupled toilets. Concealed cisterns also offer the benefit of a range of different styles of push button and flush plate, allowing you to further accessorise your bathroom to your specifications.
Due to the nature of concealed cisterns, they're often not as accessible as a standard close coupled toilet for when maintenance needs to be done, however there is usually a couple of methods to access the inside of your concealed cistern to replace parts.
1. Behind the flush plate.
Flush plates are the most common way of gaining access to the inside of a concealed cistern. Most plates are usually clipped onto a plastic frame behind, which is then attached to the wall or to the cistern. Some flush plates actuate mechanically, some pneumatically. The mechanical ones will usually have a couple of pegs / pins that push through to the cistern flush valve, or a couple of "hook" type mechanisms. The pneumatic flush plates will have flexible tubing attached to the rear of them. Unfortunately, there's usually no easy way to tell how to remove your flush plate prior to removal, we recommend using the manufacturer's installation and maintenance guides to do this. Otherwise, you may run the risk of damaging the clips on the rear of the plate / frame or the mechanism behind.
Usually once the flush plate and frame assembly has been removed, the inside of the cistern can then be accessed for repairs and maintenance.
2. From an access panel above.
This is most common on furniture or if there is a worktop on top of the boxing-in of your concealed cistern. Bathroom installers will sometimes include a quick-release mechanism on the worktop so that they can be easily removed to gain access to the cistern if required.
3. Toilet pan & boxing-in removal.
This is usually an absolute last resort if there is no access to the cistern via the first two methods, as it is the most destructive method and will likely result in the boxing-in being rebuilt or re-tiled. This is also usually the only way to perform maintenance and repairs to parts underneath the cistern, such as the inlet valve hose / pipework or the flush pipe.
Whichever method you use, we always recommend that research is done before any work is carried out, and if you're in any doubt to contact a professional.