HIGH-LEVEL WC CISTERN
A high-level WC cistern is the old-fashioned type that is fixed on a bracket above head height, with a long downpipe and a chain-operated flush. This type is ideal if you are restoring a pre-1 950s property. Reproduction and antique designs are readily available. Make sure that there is enough ceiling height to accommodate it.
LOW-LEVEL WC CISTERN
Low-level WC cisterns are the most common type. They are usually made of ceramic and fixed on brackets with a short downpipe and a lever-operated flush.
SLIMLINE WC CISTERN
A slim line WC cistern — a slender plastic cistern screwed directly to the wall, with a short downpipe and a lever- or knob- operated flush — is a good option if you are short of space and money.
DC LOSE-LINKED WC CISTERN
A close-linked WC cistern is designed so that the pan and the cistern are closely linked as a single feature. It is mode in ceramic, with no visible downpipe, and the U-bends or traps are part of the form. It can be tricky to fit, so is not a good idea if you are a nervous plumbing novice.
CONCEALED WC CISTERN
Concealed WC cisterns are made in ceramic, plastic or metal, and designed to be completely hidden from view behind a panel. The downside is that the panel has to be easily removable, so that the cistern can be maintained — this is undesirable if you want to tile the bathroom.
WASH-DOWN WC PAN
The wash-down WC pan — a traditional design that we all recognise — has the waste pipe running either back ; through the wall or down through the floor. It is a good, low-cost, easy-to-fit option, but you must make sure that you get a WC pan that has a ‘back through the wall’ or ‘down through the floor’ design so that it matches the original.
SINGLE-BEND SIPHONIC WC PAN
The single-bend siphonic WC pan is much like the traditional wash-down WC pan, with the waste pipe running either back through the wall or down through the floor. The pan and the cistern are closely linked, and the narrow outlet at the other side of the U-bend results in a swift, sucking, siphonic action. The single-bend siphonic pan is a good choice in that it is beautifully efficient, but it can be difficult to fit.
DOUBLE-BEND SIPHONIC WC PAN
A double-bend siphonic WC pan is like the single-bend siphonic WC pan in all respects, but with the addition of a second U-bend. The two U-bends and the siphonic action result in a partial vacuum between the two bends. This is a super-efficient model, but it is difficult to fit.
WALL-HUNG WC PAN
A wall-hung WC pan is like a single- bend WC siphonic pan in most respects, except the design is such that the pan appears to be suspended from the back wall. It can be obtained as a kit, complete with metal supports and a WC cistern. It’s a good choice for a modern bathroom.
REPEATING AN OLD DESIGN
If you want to replace an existing system with an identical unit, but are unclear about your precise needs, it’s a good idea to photograph the toilet and to take the picture to a specialist supplier.