Finally getting round to replacing cistern flush valve

This morning I dismantled the cistern. Everything so far has gone very well. The wing nuts underneath the cistern came loose after a few squirts of WD-40 and the screws holding the cistern to the bathroom wall came out easily as well.
My only question at this point is: How to I clean ALL residues of silcone sealer from the bowl unit? The plumber must have placed a fillet of silicone all around the hole before installing the large round seal and the cistern. This is an Armitage Shanks Sandringham or very close match. Deffo Armitage shanks, though.
But this silicone residue is proving the dickens of a job to clean off. I got most of it off buy cutting the fillet with a Stanley knife held close to the porcelain. But there are still little bits of it left. It's sticking like the veritable s***to a blanket. I just got a scouring pad from the kitchen and some cream cleanser, but initial results haven't shifted those bits hardly at all.
In the past I've used acetone to remove glue residues from items where the shop hasn't used easy-peel labels. Acetone has proved very useful for removing crud that won't be shifted by anything else.
So would it be any good on silicone? Or what would you recommend? I may have to pop to the Co-op pharmacy who stock small bottles of acetone.
Ideas please?
Thanks!
MM
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On 02/04/2016 10:08, MM wrote:

Result!

Scraper like this; http://www.diy.com/hand-tools/hamilton-prestige-4-heavy-duty-stripper/36418_BQ.prd
And/or http://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id '5433924

You can buy a silicone eater chemical which works but takes time; http://www.diy.com/departments/unibond-sealant-remover-300ml/198857_BQ.prd

Never tried, but I don't think it would work. The suggestions above definitely do :-)
--
Dave - The Medway Handyman

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On Sat, 2 Apr 2016 10:20:29 +0100, David Lang

They didn't have that locally, but they had HG Silicone Remover gel: http://tinyurl.com/goubu86
It works! But it's still a slow process. You need to brush on the gel and leave it for a minimum of 15 mins, then scrape with the plastic scraper supplied. I got about 80% off the first time, but I've just applied another coat. The area has to be completely dry before applying another coat.Today, thankfully, it's a lovely sunny, warm day so everything is drying very quickly.
So far it's taken me ten minutes to remove the cistern and remove the old flush valve (had to saw off the large plastic nut -- no spanner big enough), and three hours of buggering about to get rid of all traces of silicone! What fun.
Now I'll have to see whether Screwfix stocks a large spanner for the new plastic nut.
MM
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On Sat, 02 Apr 2016 13:26:29 +0100, MM wrote:

Can't remember where I got them, but I use an 'industrial' version of the wrap-around rubber jar opener. Feed the rubber strap round the nut, through the slot in the handle and it will move most plastic nuts. Also good for tap shrouds, to avoid damage to the chromium. BTW, the rubber has mould release on it, so remove that first (bit of abrasive sheet - then dump the sheet as you don't want release on anything else) and the grip is good.
--
Peter.
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On Sat, 2 Apr 2016 17:25:19 +0100, PeterC

In the end I used a jam-jar opener! That did it.
MM
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On Sun, 03 Apr 2016 12:09:07 +0100, MM wrote:

Not jammed then?
--
Peter.
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On 03/04/2016 16:37, PeterC wrote:

That post jarred.
--
Rod

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wrote:

Oh, my aching sides...
MM
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On 02/04/2016 13:26, MM wrote:

I found that my stilsons opened far enough to do mine. Doesn't need to be super tight though. If all else fails, make your own spanner by cutting a hexagonal hole in a piece of plywood.
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Roger
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wrote:

Yeah, I was almost about to do exactly that when I remembered the jam-jar opener in the kitchen drawer.
I got plenty of practice because the first time I connected everything up, turned the water back on, then pressed the flush button, it leaked like a sieve from the doughnut area. So it all had to come off again to re-seat the doughnut. Second time lucky, although I'll keep an eye on it for a few days. PITA of a job, I can tell you.
MM
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On 03/04/2016 12:12, MM wrote:

Yes - these jobs are rarely straightforward. I did two in quick succession.
The first one was a bastard to remove the cistern because the bolts at the bottom were rusted up and some fool (not me, I hasten to add!) had stuck the back of the cistern to the tiles with silicone. It went back together nicely though, and worked without leaking.
In the second case, the cistern came off with no trouble. Instead of the usual flush lever with a square bar which rotates, that one had a lever at one end rather than the front, with a pivot at the point it entered the cistern, and the inner end acting directly on the syphon hook. That meant that the hole on the end was quite big - and I expected to be able to get most of the new valve's button *inside* the cistern. But no - the hole wasn't *quite* big enough - but was too big for the small extension from the button, so I had to make up a ring-type spacer. *Then*, the bloody doughnut leaked like a sieve - so it all had to come apart again!
--
Cheers,
Roger
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wrote:

I grew up in households with a high-level cast iron cistern and a simple pipe down to the bowl. Why must technological "advance" make life more difficult? There was absolutely nothing wrong with pulling the chain, and because of the head of water, the flush would have shifted elephant poo.
By the way, I used a flush valve and float valve (inlet) from Flushmaster, both of which are very compact compared to the old gubbins with a ball float. The new system is quiet, fills rapidly and there's a full and half-flush.
MM
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You've been very lucky then. As acetone melts most types of plastic and will certainly remove the polished (i.e out of the mould) surface of most plastic items it comes into contact with.
For removing labels all you need is a solvent which will attack the adhesive. White spirit would do except it leaves an oily residue, lighter fuel will do, as it will all evaporate away, hopefully only after its loosened the label, otherwise you'll need top keep re-applying it, or if money is no object or the smell of lighter fuel is objectionable then isopropyl alcohol.

If its a ceramic sytem then there should be no problem. If its plasic then dab it on the silicon and a wipe it off quickly afterwards before it can do any real damage.
Apparently acetone can damage your hands as it attacks natural oils but in some cases its the only way of removing stuff like dried polyester and pigments. Of course if everyone wore gloves that would never be a problem in the first place ....
michael adams
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Vodka works as well, though IPA does too. the problem with the sealant is that most these days are made proof against chemicals found in cleaning products, so the chances of anything working are more remote. Scraping the bits then degreasing it with ipa is long winded but often the only way. Brian
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