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Thread: Let it mellow

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Default Let it mellow

    Let it mellow

    Here is what happens when a toilet is not flushed. The toilet was thrown away; the trapway had filled with salt deposits from the urine and had quit working well. Below the bowl, the drain was also filling with salt deposits.



    Salt caking around the drain, all because the bowl wasn't being flushed often enough.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Might be a good thread to reshow the picture of the bottom of the drain pipe eaten away by uric acid...toilets are designed to be flushed after use...trying to save some water can be problematic - I'm sure the plumber to resolve this was MUCH more costly than a little bit of extra water (and maybe sewer costs) over the years.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    I don't know how they can stand the stench of an unflushed toilet or urinal. It is disgusting. At work we have to keep putting up signs reminding people to flush. Some tree hugger that wants to save water and electricity keeps taking down the signs and turning off the exhaust fan and light.

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    Retired Machine Repairman wptski's Avatar
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    Over what period of time did that take place? I thought in areas where has been a water shortage, the motto was "Mellow yellow, brown, flush it down".
    Bill
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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    We had installed a new toilet that a few years ago. Rather then bother cleaning it all out, they replaced it.
    And Jim, I should add the picture of the pipe I replaced that had been eaten through too.


    A copper toilet drain pipe.
    What happens when you pee in your toilet at night, and you don't flush.
    This copper pipe was from a six gallon toilet. When you don't flush, it doesn't matter how many gallons the tank is.

    Copper can desolve over time.
    Last edited by Terry; 11-17-2012 at 06:34 PM.

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    Retired Machine Repairman wptski's Avatar
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    This might be a situation caused by the 1.28/1.6gpf toilets. I don't flush every time all day and night for the past eight years but that was with a 56 year old toilet. I just replaced it and it was spotless at the flange. I may have to rethink about doing the same with this 1.6gpf.
    Bill
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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    The copper pipe was from a 1960's toilet, about six gallons.
    If you had a 1.28, why wouldn't you flush?

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Because of specific densities, some of the concentrated uric acid goes over the weir and down the drain nearly undiluted. Doesn't matter the volume in the bowl or the tank. Only when you flush or it sits for awhile does it become more homogenous, and then when you flush it, it truly gets diluted and washed away.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    Retired Machine Repairman wptski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    The copper pipe was from a 1960's toilet, about six gallons.
    If you had a 1.28, why wouldn't you flush?
    Well, I could say, why would you? Some don't flush at night because of the noise. So, why didn't I see any build up after eight years?
    Bill
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    Retired Machine Repairman wptski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Because of specific densities, some of the concentrated uric acid goes over the weir and down the drain nearly undiluted. Doesn't matter the volume in the bowl or the tank. Only when you flush or it sits for awhile does it become more homogenous, and then when you flush it, it truly gets diluted and washed away.
    I ask you the same question, why I had no build up after eight years?

    The issue I had with my old toilet was a fill valve leak which caused water into the overflow pipe and I could see the bowl water get diluted. This new AS Cadet 3, repeated urninating raises the bowl's water level and doesn't get high enough to push it over into the drain.
    Bill
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    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wptski View Post
    This new AS Cadet 3, repeated urninating raises the bowl's water level and doesn't get high enough to push it over into the drain.
    I don't know the answer to your first question; maybe urine content varies from person to person depending on such things as diet? Or maybe the accumulation is further down the tube on yours?

    On the statement above, I don't see how that is possible. The weir is the weir, and if the bowl is refilling to the right spot after a flush, then it's filling to the tip of the weir, and, frankly, usually a little over, meaning that within a minute or so the surface will constitute a plane level with the weir. If you "raise the water (or, more precisely here, the "fluid" level) in the bowl, water/urine mixture is going to trickle over the top of the weir until the bowl level settles back to the plane level with the weir, and that trickle is going to dry until there is a flush, leaving mineral deposits. Kinda like those old Cascade commercials regarding "drops that spot". Accumulate enough drops coating the interior of the porcelain and collecting around the closet bend, and...eeeeeew.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    The same thing happens with waterless urinals. They are a plumbers nightmare. The pipes in the wall cake over with salt.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; What happens when you pee in your toilet at night, and you don't flush

    Unless you discharge a large volume, the heavier urine displaces water and stays in the bowl.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wjcandee View Post
    The weir is the weir, and if the bowl is refilling to the right spot after a flush, then it's filling to the tip of the weir, and, frankly, usually a little over...
    There are many toilets that don't refill completely. My AS comes up one cup short.

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    Retired Machine Repairman wptski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wjcandee View Post
    I don't know the answer to your first question; maybe urine content varies from person to person depending on such things as diet? Or maybe the accumulation is further down the tube on yours?

    On the statement above, I don't see how that is possible. The weir is the weir, and if the bowl is refilling to the right spot after a flush, then it's filling to the tip of the weir, and, frankly, usually a little over, meaning that within a minute or so the surface will constitute a plane level with the weir. If you "raise the water (or, more precisely here, the "fluid" level) in the bowl, water/urine mixture is going to trickle over the top of the weir until the bowl level settles back to the plane level with the weir, and that trickle is going to dry until there is a flush, leaving mineral deposits. Kinda like those old Cascade commercials regarding "drops that spot". Accumulate enough drops coating the interior of the porcelain and collecting around the closet bend, and...eeeeeew.
    Due to a tank leak, I'm on my second tank. Funny, I didn't notice that the first one was stamped as a 1.28gpf(supposed to be a 1.6gpf) but written in as a 1.6gpf. The WL stamp was hard to read but looked like 1/4" below overflow. Unsure about the first digit but sure about the second. Second tank stamped a 1.6gpf, WL clearly shows 5/8" below overflow. Bowl WL on second tank is clearly lower than the first one. I was curious so last night, I turned the water off, flushed it and added measure water to the 5/8" level. It was dead on for 1.6gpf. Of course, no idea about the first tank but the dimensions of the tank vary a bit.

    I guess one way to test this is to add water slowly to the bowl and notice at what point the water stops to rise. I know on mine, it'll go a good 1/2" up the sides. I might try that later on today.

    The toilet is white but the old was was Tan, Bone or whatever and I do notice that the urine color settles to the bottom of the bowl. I would guess that urine varies by person too. I do know that for certain jobs involving the handling of steel guages, one's perspiration is checked for acid content as they can etch steel. I've seen this happen as somebody used a steel pipe I used for leverage on allen wrenches. The next day, it had his finger prints etched into the pipe.
    Bill
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