We have a toilet with the cistern built into a cabinet, with a button on the front to flush it. However, it only seems to flush if you press the button right in (quite deep) and you have to do it quite swiftly at that.

I took the panel off and unscrewed the button to have a look at it, but there doesn't appear to be any movable part that would adjust this. The button (it has two button for a dual flush type thing) is connected to the cistern by two long bits of flexible plastic tube. I can't tell if they contain water or air from looking at them?

Someone suggested that shortening these pipes would fix it - but I obviously don't want to cut them and then have a problem.

Any ideas what actually causes this? Should I just cut them shorter and reattach them? If so do I need anything special to attach them (glue?) or should they just slide on/off.

Once the flush starts the flush works perfectly fine - this isn't a problem like other questions about having to hold the button down etc. It literally just seems to be that the "trigger point" for the button is very deep. I'd like to raise that to make it more sensitive so that you don't have to press it so far.

The reasoning for cutting them shorter is that it is a pneumatic link between the button and the cistern. So when the button is pressed, this compresses the air in the tube, and applies pressure at the other end causing the flush. If so, reducing the length of the pipe would reduce the volume and hence mean less compression needed to produce a response at the other end (and hence shallow press of the button). I have no idea if this reasoning is gibberish or not.

  • it might be that your button or trigger is worn making it less sensitive Sep 25, 2013 at 13:35

1 Answer 1


If your button is working on pneumatic air, shortening the line or the diameter of the tubing to reduce the total volume of space the gas has to compress into should work. However, air or liquid, I can think of 2 other options:

1) Find a way to increase the air pressure in the lines to just below what is needed to trigger the flush

2) Add height of your button so you don't have to push it so deep (the travel distance will be the same with this method). Do this by gluing a button right on top of your current one. If you can't find an appropriate one, metallic one you could measure and design and have one printed using shapeways. Obviously, if you wanted a wood button you could just use a hole saw and some sandpaper and varnish to make your own.

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