People with broken toilets use the Internet too

I know this might come as a surprise to some, but you know, people with broken toilets also use the Internet too.

Unfortunately, this point is lost on some because I spent most of my Saturday trying to answer a relatively simply question: Can I stop my Caroma toilet from leaking, without needing to call a plumber. And if I do need help or have to seek assistance at the local hardware store for a Caroma part, what do I need to tell them about what is broken?

Now, I should point out that Caroma Australia have spent a decent amount of time and effort on creating a couple of a nice looking Websites and have even created a presence on flickrYouTube and Facebook. However, if you are looking for some simple instructions on how to fix the most basic of problems you might encounter, then don’t bother. A google search eventually threw up some buried technical specs, but they didn’t really help me with my issue.

This doesn’t mean that they haven’t done this in the past – its just hard to find, although in at least one person’s opinion, it still doesn’t actually provide enough detail so they ended up making their own video. Unfortunately for me, these instruction cover an old model anyway as there aren’t any tabs to!

Now, in order to save you some time and effort if you are faced with this same problem, I thought I would share what I eventually found out. Changing the rubber washer didn’t take long, but I spent a far bit of time working out how to do it!

Firstly, does you Caroma dual flush look like this? If not, check the other video link above.

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I believe this is a called an M5 or Mark 5 or possibly a Whisper Quiet Inlet Valve. If this looks your model, then watch the video listed here called, Mark 5 valve seal replacement (in .avi format). Note that this video was created not by Caroma but by a Canadian company called Sustainable Solutions International. Now, unfortunately, this video still makes it look really easy – their unit just clicks out with a simple twist.

I was getting really frustrated after watching the video until I read this:

I read everything on the web and a video (all useless) that avoids the hard parts and things just miraculously appear or disappear!! 
Finally after trying in vein on my own for ages I got mad at the whole f’ing thing and pulled so hard it feels like you are going to break it and presto, it is just designed to be pulled out. 

There are NO TABS just locking notches on some models.

Next you have to lever off the slot off the middle plunger. Then after trying to lever off the bottom centre of the plunger to replace the washer one realises this isn’t going to work you need to pull the old one off and stretch the new one on.

Simple when you know but no one tells you….. Companies like Caroma should web publish simple instructions for all their different products and save us all some grief. Simply retarded that they don’t.

(Emphasis added)

So, I persisted and hey presto… I discovered that it does come out with a twist and a pull:
If you look at this picture of the rubber washer, you can see it is has some odd bumps on the edges:

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The replacement washer (which again, provides very little information about it being a suitable replacement part – but looks the same at least) is nice and smooth.

Now, you might have noticed that this isn’t a DIY or plumbing blog. But that’s kind of the point isn’t it? Because social media isn’t just for marketing.
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5 thoughts on “People with broken toilets use the Internet too

  1. 1. Yes, I came here via this tweet: http://twitter.com/profBury/status/14490459041 => social media, ftw! :-)2. I do (sometimes) run a blog on sanitation issues, but do not cover in particular how to repair such valves. Interesting though, maybe I should focus on such issues.3. The washer looks pretty decent. Imagine in Germany some systems are based on a very small rubber membrane which works via the principle of negative pressure. In other words: a 2cent piece that can drive you mad!4. I think most of the time the washer itself isn’t the problem, but instead an algae film on top of the washer that prevents it from sealing the lid the way it should.Good luck!

  2. @jke Thanks! So far, changing the washer appears to have fixed the problem. But re: point 4 – I do wonder if you are right about that, as the washer doesn’t really look worn as such. Perhaps I should have just washed it and replaced the original?

  3. Many thanks a lot for this blog. I twisted the flush valve counterclockwise and pulled it out. It was then easy to replace the washer.Alex

  4. Thanks! I kept trying to twist or lift the valve off of my toilet, but i was scared of breaking it. Unfortunately cleaning the washer doesn’t seem to have helped, which is strange because it looks brand new (and is only about two years old anyway). But that’s all it seems it can be.

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