Repair A Fordham Elan Toilet

This post is a bit of change from the normal media and programming related stuff I tend to put up here, it’s about how I fixed my broken toilet.

This has been my first attempt at plumbing and I though it may be useful for others to see what I did.

Inside a fordham elan

My toilet (a Fordham Elan) decided to stop flushing after a few weeks of needing multiple pulls on the chain to get the water flowing. Looking online, it sounded like the flush valve on the syphon had gone. The only way to get this working again was to replace the siphon.

tools to fix a fordham elan

The Fordham Elan is an old model, and there were no spare parts available that I could track down. Thankfully I live near a plumbers merchant called Plumbers Mate and they suggested that a Macdee Metro Oblong Adjustable 6/7/9 Litre Flush Siphon should be a workable replacement. I bought this for a bargain £8.30, along with a tube of Plumba Joint Clear, a wrench and a piece of hose.

stop the water

The first job was to drain the tap. Initially I tied up the floating ball valve, but then realised that the slightest knock would send water into the tank. I then notice a small valve on the water inlet. Just a 90degree turn of this turned the water off and I was able to drain the tank. This was just a case of placing the hose in the tank, sucking until a stream of water appeared, and letting this empty into the toilet. The remaining water in the tank was removed using a car sponge.

stop the water by turning this valve

Now the tank was empty, the next job was to remove the siphon. These are two screw connectors on the downpipe, I undid these to release the syphon. It took quite a while as the wrench I had wasn’t quite the right size, but it did the job in the end. I wasn’t able to lift the siphon as the floating ball was in the way, this had to be unscrewed and removed before the siphon could be lifted.

Looking inside the plastic at the bottom had perished.

an empty fordham elan

The new siphon was rested in place, but the Fordham Elan has four small notches near the down pipe to hold their own siphon in place. The generic one I had bought didn’t have these, so I removed them with a pair of pliers.

I placed a rubber O ring on the bottom of the new siphon, ran some of the Plumba Joint around it, then screwed it into place. On my first attempt I over tightened and this forced the O ring off the pipe. The joint needs to be tight, but not that tight. The Plumba sealant needs to dry for a few minutes, so I gave it 10 to be on the safe side. While it was drying I reattached the ball float.

the new syphon in the fordham elan

It was now time to turn the water back on, gently I turned the valve and let the tank fill a little while I checked for leaks. None occurred, so after 5 minutes I let the tank fill. I did notice that the ball float was a little tight next to the new siphon, but it still worked and turned the flow off when the tank was full.

Finally it was time to flush. I placed a selected of towels under the cistern just incase of a flood but when pulled, the cistern emptied correctly into the toilet without a leak in sight.

I hope this has been of use to other budding plumbers. It’s saved me a few hundred pounds.

3 thoughts on “Repair A Fordham Elan Toilet”

  1. thanks for this I have replaced the same part, however I no have a leak from the pipe and cistern connected can you advise me about a new cistern thanks

    1. It sounds like you need to make sure the seal between the pipe and cistern is watertight. Is the O Ring in place, and did you seal with something like Plumba Joint?

  2. I have the same problem, just one question do you have the part number there appears to be several items that fit your description !!. any help would be greatly appreciated.


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