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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    5

    Question A nasty toilet bowl

    A 2-bathroom home in MI, with a water softener.

    Our master bath toilet, about 2-3 weeks after being brushed and scrubbed, starts to accumulate and build-up this nasty-looking brown residue in the bowl, like a toilet that hasn't seen a brush in months.

    However, the other bathroom toilet doesn't accumulate this nasty-looking brown film, and rarely, if ever, needs brushing.

    Does anyone know what causes this brownish film to accumulate, especially in only one toilet, when both receive the same water supply?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    5

    Default Re: A nasty toilet bowl

    Quote Originally Posted by johnjh2o View Post
    Lower grade toilets don't have the finish that name brand toilets have. Are the toilets the same make?

    John
    Yes, both are the same. With a company logo of WC on the base.

    I'm assuming they are the original bowls. The home is a manufactured unit from 1996.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    7,242

    Default Re: A nasty toilet bowl

    Quote Originally Posted by boblpn View Post
    A 2-bathroom home in MI, with a water softener.

    Our master bath toilet, about 2-3 weeks after being brushed and scrubbed, starts to accumulate and build-up this nasty-looking brown residue in the bowl, like a toilet that hasn't seen a brush in months.

    However, the other bathroom toilet doesn't accumulate this nasty-looking brown film, and rarely, if ever, needs brushing.

    Does anyone know what causes this brownish film to accumulate, especially in only one toilet, when both receive the same water supply?

    Thanks

    Are you serious? 2 to 3 weeks or more between cleanings? And you're asking why there's a build up?

    1 - Toilets are a bacteria playground.
    2 - Human waste isn't sanitary and acts as food for bacteria, particularly after 2 to 3 weeks.
    3 - Municipal water systems are not devoid of bacteria and nasties.
    4 - Use + human waste + 2 to 3 weeks = nasty toilet bowl.

    Your other bathroom probably sees minimal use, hence the longer durations between nasty build up.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    5

    Default Re: A nasty toilet bowl

    [QUOTE=A. Spruce;177353Your other bathroom probably sees minimal use, hence the longer durations between nasty build up.[/QUOTE]

    Actually, the toilet that doesn't get buildup is the toilet that gets more use (two teenage girls, and it is the 'public' bathroom of the house.

    Our toilet (mstr bath), the one with the problem, doesn't see as much action. I use it only twice a day, and my wife, maybe 4-5 times a day.

    The point I'm trying to make is; two identical toilets on the same water system, the one that sees less action never gets ANY type of buildup.

    When it starts to buildup again, I'll take a pic and post.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,242

    Default Re: A nasty toilet bowl

    First, I'll apologize for my last post, it may have seemed more out of line than was intended. My apologies for that.

    My experience with a toilet that becomes encrusted with stuff is usually caused by one of two things, lack of maintenance (cleaning ), and very hard water, and frequently in that order.

    Unusually hard water (high mineral content ) can not only leave deposits within the toilet, sometimes it can be seen suspended within the water. Heavy iron content can be the most noticeable because a "rust" color occurs.

    The types of cleaners you use can also make a difference. Bleach based products tend to keep the bowl a little cleaner between normal home maintenance than more natural products such as hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar.

    If you only clean the bathrooms once or twice a month, then you may want to try products that are applied to the toilet tank that release a bit of sanitizer/cleaner with each flush. The bowl should stay cleaner looking longer. Shy away from products like "Tidy bowl" that have a color to them because that colorant will etch the porcelain over time and stain the toilet.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: A nasty toilet bowl

    Just my experience but I'll share it.
    What does the tank look like inside? Are there any rusty parts in there? Is the toilet right near a heater? The heat helps the nasties grow.

    Try emptying the tank and scrubbing it clean. Then let it fill and see how it lasts.

    Finally, Check the condition of the supply valve and inlet pipe.
    Are there any old galvanized pipes in the supply side that maybe are not there in the other bath?

    Hope this helps

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: A nasty toilet bowl

    I've been looking up this same issue and the conversations all seem to go the same way. If the original poster is having the same issue as I am (and it sounds like the same thing) this is not rust/iron staining. This seems to be more organic in nature. It's a film that builds up, it's not something that is staining the porcelain. It's almost like a dusting or perhaps a growth, but it's extremely easy to clean off. The aggravating part of it is that it seems to return very quickly. I too just moved and I am experiencing this issue in only one of the four toilets in my house and I can't really distinguish anything unique about this one toilet. I have well water and my own septic. I'm a little hesitant about using chlorine tablet as this will go into my septic but I think I'm going to give them a try for a month and see if the chlorine in the tanks makes a difference. The other problem with chlorine is that it tend to destroy the flapper and any other rubber in the tanks, but it's worth a try for a short time just to see if it has an impact.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Washington state
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: A nasty toilet bowl

    We have the same issue...well water, septic system. I have two toilets that are affected, but come to think of it one is worse than the other. Honestly, it doesn't seem like a big problem to me. I keep a toilet brush in a case next to the toilet, and just give it a quick brush when I notice it start to build up. It only takes a half a minute.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,675

    Default Re: A nasty toilet bowl

    It may something called iron biofilm. Basically, you have dissolved iron in your water. A colony of iron-eating bacteria in the pipes or the toilet tank digests this dissolved iron, leaving a rust-brown slime.

    It's possible (though it seems unlikely) that you have a colony of this bacteria in the pipes leading to the offending toilet but not the other pipes. Or maybe there is a colony in that toilet itself.

    Here's something to try:
    1. Brush out the TANK of the toilet, get rid of as much iron biofilm as you can. Flush it until the water is clear and clean.
    2. Add 1/4 cup of chlorine bleach to the FULL tank. Let this sit for 10 minutes. This should kill remaining bacteria in the tank.
    3. Flush the toilet ONCE, but divert the refill tube into the tank rather than the overflow. Wait another 10 minutes -- this will help take care of the bacteria in the internal channels of the toilet.
    4. Flush the toilet again before using it. (Mixing chlorine and ammonia -- urine contains ammonia -- releases a toxic gas.)
    5. Use a tank-type automatic cleaner disinfectant (e.g., 2000 Flushes) for a while to help control the bacteria -- and clean your toilet at least weekly, even if it isn't used.


    This may not resolve the issue; if there is iron-eating bacteria in the pipes that's more difficult to remove. Also, if there is a mineral buildup in the bowl, that will harbor bacteria and encourage biofilm growth. Toilet bowl cleaners won't remove this mineral buildup; about the only way to clean that is to scrub it with a pumice bar, which you can get in the cleaning section of many hardware stores.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

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