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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Flush the toilet again before using it. (Mixing chlorine and ammonia -- urine contains ammonia -- releases a toxic gas.)
- 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.