*Watch the installation video at the end of this guide*
Jerry Whiteley, Technical Manager at The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), talks us through the installation of Roca’s EM1 Touchless dual flush valve.
I am probably a typical plumber, jobs at home are always the last ones to get done. I recently decided to sort out the flushing issue we had with the downstairs toilet. The button on the drop valve had become harder to push and I was getting the family saying, don’t we have a plumber! We’ve all heard that one.
Then, I came across Roca’s EM1 touchless flush, which was an ideal solution. The advantages of a touchless flush upgrade are it works on the movement of your hand and activates the flush automatically without contact.
These types of automatic sensors are becoming ever more popular because they also help avoid spreading viruses and the growth of bacteria. Many manufacturers are now making taps and other components suitable for the domestic market as demand grows.
To get started, I turned off the water supply to the cistern via its service valve and disconnected the pipe, removed the lid. Removing the cistern via the coupling bolts was simple as they had not corroded and jammed up.
Once I had emptied out the remaining water, I protected with an old towel and laid the cistern on its back, ready to remove the existing drop valve.
Changing over the drop valve for the new one was straight forward. Once the old one is out, clean off the surfaces from any grit or debris etc. Always be careful not to over tighten the locking nut when fitting the drop valve, because like any plastic nut, if cross threaded it can strip the thread and you’ll require a new part, which is an expense you haven’t allowed for.
I always carry spare donut washer. I replaced the donut washer; this is best practice and because you tend to find the old one has either lost its compression, become split or perished. If you don’t, then you might well be taking the cistern off again to do it anyway.
Re-assembling the cistern back onto the pan and re-connecting the water ready for testing with a manual flush helps with checking for minor drips that might not show up on the first flush or two as the sealing ring compresses from being bolted together in between the pan and cistern.
I removed the existing chrome push button from the cistern lid; this needs to be a ⌀40mm hole to match up again. The battery pack which must be fitted to the overflow pipe, holds four AA batteries and should do at least 40,000 flushes. Insert the batteries and connect the two cables. One red, one black, simply push/screw them to their corresponding connections at the top of the new valve. The button will flash a red light when the batteries are running low but the button will still retain the ability to flush manually in case the batteries fail or the user decides to flush manually.
The push button plastic rod underneath will need cutting to length to allow a manual flush operation should you need to and to suit the height of the cistern and lid you are fitting it with. You can adjust the water usage flushing from 6/4, 4.5/3 or 4/2 litres accordingly. This can help you save on your annual water usage.
The whole job took me around 45 minutes. I know that not all cistern removals are simple as access can be awkward, water might not completely turn off, float valves can be easily cross threaded and screws or bolts heavily corroded. The experienced plumber will know to go prepared with spares and deal with potential problems.
Within the box, Roca has included a useful photocard with the EM1 to ensure homeowners know how to use it correctly.
EM1 Touchless dual flush valve
The EM1 Touchless dual flush valve offers zero contact and maximum hygiene, reducing the need to touch flush buttons. With a minimalistic design, the EM1 valve can be simply retrofitted to upgrade an existing push button to an automatic toilet flush button, making it quick and easy to install with minimal effort. There is no electric connection needed and it is powered by 4 AA batteries (not included) that guarantee more than 40,000 flushes.
It is also easy to use – with just a simple wave of the hand, the EM1 recognises the required flush (full or half flush volumes) and with the sleek sensor push button, you can flush your WC in an easy and hygienic way. The EM1 is not only ideal for those looking for a hygienic solution but also for those who may need an accessible product that suits the older generation or those with limited dexterity.