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Old 09-15-2011, 03:43 PM   #1
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Actually need to clog a toilet


This is going to sound like the dumbest question you've seen. In the last two years my city water has become very, very hard (another topic for later). It's just my wife and me and we have 4 bathrooms. If we go more than 3 days without scrubbing a toilet that's been used we get those brown, rock like stains.

We recently were gone for 2 weeks and our "main" toilet has this encrusted lime that's like granite; it's especially bad around the upper inside lip. The only thing other than sandpaper that removes this stuff is soaking it in vinegar - which we do with our faucet handles.

So my question is...how do I stop up my toilet so I can then fill it with vinegar and let it soak? I know someone is going to recommend using the way most toilets are clogged but I would like to avoid that method; it would dilute the vinegar.

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Old 09-15-2011, 04:03 PM   #2
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Actually need to clog a toilet


Try 3" rubber test plugs.



As for the not normally used toilets, why not just shutoff the water to them and flush them down so there's little water in the tank and just enough in the trap?

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Old 09-15-2011, 04:12 PM   #3
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Actually need to clog a toilet


Why not turn off the water supply to three of the toilets and drain the bowls with either a sponge or a wet vac and stop using them?

Then in the remaining toilet place one of those chemical slow release cleaners in the tank.
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:28 PM   #4
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First, thank you Bud Cline & VIPlumber. I should have mentioned that the 2 toilets we don't use are shut off unless we have company so they are not a problem.

VIPlumber...where do I get one of those test plugs? I'm in Indiana and my local plumbing supply house claims they didn't know of anything that would work.

Bud...what type of slow release chemical would clean all of the upper areas? That would be perfect until I figure out why my water went bad.
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:28 PM   #5
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Actually need to clog a toilet


Drape strips of vinegar soaked cloth over the stains as if they were strips of paper mache and you were going to cover the surface. Soak the strips with more vinegar every now and then.

Under your method of plugging the toilet and filling the bowl with vinegar you will need a tremendous quantity of vinegar, perhaps four gallons. Using the soaked rags you might not need more than a quart of vinega.
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:00 PM   #6
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Bud...what type of slow release chemical would clean all of the upper areas? That would be perfect until I figure out why my water went bad.
Don't know of a brand name at the moment but I can probably find one if you can't find something. Some of those slow-release gizmo's that hang in the tank contain chemicals to keep the minerals from collecting and are renewed each time there is a flush.
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Old 09-15-2011, 06:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
...where do I get one of those test plugs? I'm in Indiana and my local plumbing supply house claims they didn't know of anything that would work.
That supply house should have 'em, if not then try another one, or Ace, HD, Lowe's, etc...

Alan makes a good point about the amount of vinegar you'll need to soak it each time. Add to that the fact that you need to do it every couple of days, even if vinegar if pretty cheap.

I like Bud's idea about the toilet pucks, though I'm not that familiar with them. Around here I'll install a softener & whole house filter, etc... depending on what the water tests tell me.

Remember that if your toilet bowl looks like that, imagine what the inside of all your fixtures, valves, hot water tank, etc... look like. Sounds like you need to get your water tested and conditioned ASAP.

Good luck.
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:08 PM   #8
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Actually need to clog a toilet


Quote:
Originally Posted by VIPlumber View Post
Try 3" rubber test plugs.



As for the not normally used toilets, why not just shutoff the water to them and flush them down so there's little water in the tank and just enough in the trap?
Probably going to need a 2" balloon. Most toilets don't have 3" trapways.

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Old 09-16-2011, 09:35 AM   #9
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Actually need to clog a toilet


Speaking of balloons.......how bout using a balloon?
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:11 AM   #10
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Actually need to clog a toilet


I am absolutely not an expert at plumbing, but have run across another thing that might work in addition to what has been recommended here.

Use a cleaning polish of some sort inside the bowl (after it is scrubbed clean). Scrubbing Bubbles came out with a new cleaner that advertises to keep items clean for 4 days. I found that the area around my faucets do not crust up if I use it about twice a week. Also that little area around the sink drain that would lime up in a day or so is staying crust free. I tried it inside the bowl of toilet and found stuff does not stick nearly as much.

(Polish may not be the correct word but it is all I can use to describe how this works.)

PLUMBERS – do you see any problem with using this kind of cleanser/polish inside the bowl?
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:50 PM   #11
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Actually need to clog a toilet


So you have a toilet you don't use much... buy a couple of 5 gal jugs from the supermarket, dump them in the toilet... now your bowl is filled with fresh, non-hard, water. Every few months dump another 5-gal down... the bottles are only a few bucks each.
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:56 PM   #12
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Actually need to clog a toilet


PS, We're plumbers, not janitors.

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