[Greenbuilding] scale buildup in toilet prevents toilet from flushing!
archilogic at yahoo.ca
Sat Sep 29 09:07:55 PDT 2012
On Fri, 28 Sep 2012 15:33:32 -0400, Reuben Deumling <9watts at gmail.com>
> low performing toilets could be traced to scale
> buildup that had completely blocked portions of the toilet's internal
> plumbing ... 1/2" thick layer of very hard limestone
The "quick" fix using the acid that one of the ListGrrrls mentioned is
muriatic acid (aka hydrochloric acid -- HCl).
When HCl is exposed to air and/or water, it produces fumes that are very
caustic and will do a pretty good job of damaging soft tissue like
eyeballs and pulmonary systems so safety goggles and respirator masks with
cartridges designed for chemical fumes (and rubber gloves & exhaust fan)
are a Good Idea when using the stuff.
A less hazardous, slower-acting acid that will also do the job is acetic
acid -- vinegar.
When I used to use vinegar to dissolve the scale build-up in my electric
kettles (in the Olde Days before microwave ovens), I'd put my ear next to
the spout to listen for a "hissing" sound. If there was no hissing, I knew
that the vinegar was spent (neutralised) and needed to be replaced with a
IIRC, it'd take about 12 hrs or more of full immersion of the copper
elements in the vinegar to expose the copper again.
I've never tried de-scaling a badly encrusted toilet bowl but my guess is
that the process would be:
(1) Siphon the standing water out of the bowl & trap. (running a fan to
exhaust septic tank gases out of the bathroom would probably be a good
idea since the trap will be empty)
(2) Make a swab out of a piece of sponge foam elastic'd to a short stick
or stout straw with which to apply the acid to the scale (wearing
afore-mentioned gloves, goggles, respirator mask) dipping the swab into a
small amount of acid poured into a small plastic tub (ie cream cheese or
cottage cheese container, with lid over container when not dipping swab in
to load ). Any rust stains can also be cleaned up at the same time. My
guess is that the cleaning should be accomplished within 1 or 2 minutes.
(2) Pour part of a jug of vinegar into the trap and let it soak,
refreshing as necessary. My guess is that a minimum of 12 hours soaking in
active solution . Have a look at a cross-section view of a toilet to get
an idea of what you're dealing with if you're unfamiliar with the innards.
My guess is that less than a litre of vinegar would be required to immerse
the affected portions.
If the upper portion (rim) is also encrusted, my guess is that you'd need
to empty the reservoir, plug the vents in the rim (plumbers used to use
balled-up bread to temporarily plug the drains in new plumbing until the
customer paid them I'm told -- maybe you use bread or plasticine wrapped
in pieces of polyethylene) and pour some vinegar into the rim via the
emptied reservoir and let it soak to clean the inacessible raceways.
If the water is so hard that encrusting happens in a relatively short
period, I think that I'd look at plumbing the toilets to a cistern to use
rainwater for flushing.
=== * ===
Rob Tom AOD257
Kanata, Ontario, Canada
< A r c h i L o g i c at Y a h o o dot c a >
(manually winnow the chaff from my edress if you hit "reply")
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