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Pump out toilet seal

Water is not being retained in the bowl of my pump out toilet and I think the seal has gone. How do I replace it?

Asked by: Paul Taylor  | 2.48pm, Sunday 31 March

WW says:

You don't say what kind of pump-out you have but, assuming it is the ubiquitous Mansfield Traveler, it is not a difficult job - although not that pleasant either.
The problem could well be caused by a build-up of lime scale on the rubber seal over the ball flap. First, switch off the water pump, slacken off the large 'jubilee clip' that holds the ceramic bowl onto the plastic base and remove the two semi circular clamps. Then gently pull off the hose at the back of the pan, being careful not to break the plastic fitting. The bowl can then be removed. allowing you to get at the rubber seal which, you will find, is in two layers.
Provided the problem is not too severe, you should be able to remove the lime scale with a combination of proprietary scale remover and some light rubbing with a abrasive cloth. You may also find that lime scale has built up under the ceramic bowl and on the ball flap itself and this can be removed in the same way. If the rubber seals are beyond cleaning or starting to break up, they should be replaced with new ones. These are easily available but cost around £30 so it's worth trying to renovate the old ones first.
When all the surfaces are as clean as you can get them, reassemble to parts - making sure that everything goes back in the right order - and switch the pump back on. You should find that the water now stays in the bowl.
To stop this happening too frequently in the future, try cleaning the bowl with Sealand Toilet Bowl Cleaner which contains a de-scaler. You may also find that the occasional squirt of washing up liquid around the seal will help to keep the dreaded limescale at bay.

Graham Booth  | 4.27PM, Sunday 31 March

In addition, a regular wipe of the seal with olive oil (especially after cleaning) can keep them supple and help them retain water in the bowl as well.
This applies to all toilets that have rubber seals.

Mark Langley  | 6.17PM, Tuesday 2 April

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