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
They didn't have that locally, but they had HG Silicone Remover gel:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 ....
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.
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