Cleaning Toilet Flush Holes

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  #1  
Old 02-19-04, 09:30 AM
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Question how can I safely clean the holes along the bowl rim that assist in a GOOD FLUSH?

I was watching a show and they used a mirror like a dentist to look under the rim. Of course, I had to see what mine looked like. EWWWW! So I mixed together some creme of tartar and hydrogen perioxide paste, applied with an old toothbrush and that got rid of most of the gunk after a few minutes. I might try attacking the rest with a pumice stone.

I noticed during the flush (still using the mirror for inpsection) that some of the water holes are clogged. Is there a way to safely UNPLUG them? I live in a hard water area. I do not have a softener system. I would prefer to use a natural non-chemical method.

Can I put vinegar or baking soda (NOT AT THE SAME TIME) in my tank to flush thru the debris?
Can I use a toothpick to bore thru the debris?
Is there a mechanical way to access this upper rim and power flush out the debris?

HELP!!!
 
  #2  
Old 02-19-04, 10:28 AM
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Cool

You can use an ice pick or piece of stiff coathanger wire to ream out the rim holes.
You can turn off the toilet tank water, tape the rim holes up with duct tape, and use things like vinegar overnight or CLR, etc. to dissolve the mineral build-up, also.
Good luck!
Mike
 
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Old 02-20-04, 03:58 PM
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I'll give that a whirl. I wonder if I can plug the holes with toothpicks simultaneously and let the vinegar seep into the ring without forcing them out during a slow flush (water off) so as to dissolve any buildup? I also wonder if there is a device, like a can of compressed air, that I could use to backflush those holes with the vinegar.

Toil toil, bubble and brew. Time to clean the cauldrons. !
 
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Old 02-20-04, 04:21 PM
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just outta curiousity, how many water holes should the rim of a toilet have? I'm determined to get this clean and bore out all the holes for maximum flush.
 
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Old 02-20-04, 04:37 PM
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Cool

To tell you the truth, I've never counted them,and they probably vary from manufacturer to manufacturer anyway.
The vinegar needs to set over night at least to really dissolve all of the mineral buildup.
You can stop up the holes anyway that you like, but tape around the bottom of the rim allows the vinegar to work all the way through the hole. Toothpicks might defeat that purpose.
I just ream them out with coathanger wire once in a while without any vinegar or chemicals.
Mike
 
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Old 02-20-04, 04:37 PM
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All manufacturers of toilets are different in the number of holes in bowl rim.

As a plumber, I use Muratic Acid when cleaning toilets by removing water out of bowl and running a steady stream down the overflow replicating a typical flush. This will eat the buildup out of the holes to the point like the day it was made.

Muratic Acid is used for cleaning of swimming pools in the piping systems and the pool liners themselves to prevent buildup. Concentrated amounts are harmful, but when used properly, it is effective and provides thorough cleaning in areas that cannot be reached in the bowl in the interior of the rim, where the buildup initially starts.
 
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Old 03-02-04, 04:50 PM
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Dunbar Plumber, do you just pour the muratic acid into the empty tank and let it come out of the holes in the rim? You don't have to stop up the holes?
 
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Old 03-02-04, 05:00 PM
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No. You pour it only down the Overflow of the flush valve assembly.

That way when you do this, your doing the same as if you was flushing the toilet. This will send the muratic acid through the bowl rim, cleansing all the buildup that you cannot even see, giving the effect of the way the toilet was when first installed.


It might take 2 or 3 attempts, depending on how much buildup there is.

But if that is the source of the problem with the jets clogged up, you will notice a dramatic change when all the jets are open and releasing water into the bowl at the right degree of angle, allowing for the proper beginning of a vortex to create a siphoning effect in bowl to remove matter.
 
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Old 03-02-04, 05:13 PM
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Thanks for the reply. How much do I use?
 
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Old 03-02-04, 05:21 PM
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Keep the tank full when you do this. That way if you spill into tank, it dilutes instantly.

But remove the water in bowl significantly. Use a 1/2 a gallon at a hurried pace, like trying to mimic a flush. That way the muratic acid moves entirely around the bowl rim. Repeat this step 2 or 3 times. So buy about 3 gallons of acid.


Once the acid goes through the bowl rim, let it sit for minute, then flush the toilet. The water in the tank will dilute the acid when flushed, preventing harm to the drain piping system.


Use of Muratic Acid is dangerous and requires breathing and skin protection. Use in a well ventilated area and make sure there is plenty of air movement by means of a vent fan in close vicinity or a box fan to disperse the harmful fumes. This is not a cure all for toilets that are not properly operating. This product ONLY removes the buildup of calcium and lime deposits in the bowl rim and trapway of toilet where buildup is common. This is also recommended for users of the toilet that take certain medications that cause premature buildup in toilets due to the medication taken that passes through urine and feces.
 
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Old 03-02-04, 05:38 PM
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Thanks. I've used the acid before, but not for this. I have a respirator that is rated for use with various chemicals, muratic being one of them.

Problem is sometimes the water comes out faster than at other times. So it may be the problem is in the overflow tube?
 
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Old 03-02-04, 06:38 PM
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Nope. The jets if some are clogged and some are not.
 
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Old 07-19-08, 03:39 PM
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What do you mean by the "overflow" of the flush valve? When I push the flush lever, the flap goes up and water drains out of the tank into the toilet bowl. Do you mean to pour the muriatic acid directly down that hole with the flush valve open? Doing this will of course drain the tank.

So, well, I don't get it.
 
  #14  
Old 07-19-08, 04:47 PM
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The overflow is the tube approximately one inch in diameter that the end is usually about an inch or less above the normal water level in the tank. It has a small rubber (or flexible plastic) tube connected to it that flows water to refill the bowl as the tank is filling.
 
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Old 07-19-08, 07:47 PM
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Ahhhhhh. I get it now.

Cheers!
 
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Old 10-08-08, 07:20 PM
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I need to clean out my flush holes as well but my toilet is new and the holes are plugged with plumbers putty. I hired who I thought was a knowledgeable plumber to do a lot of work around our house and he went crazy with plumbers putty getting it into the supply lines and causing me a lot of headaches, I have the faucets working again but I wasn't sure what my best way of clearing the putty out of the holes would be.
 
  #17  
Old 03-26-11, 05:33 PM
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Outdoor Flushing of Separated Bowl and Tank with Muriatic Acid

Well everyone,

After:
-leveling my toilet.
-using a coat hanger to ream each under-the-rim hole.
-placing duck tape over the holes and running CLR into the overflow tube and leaving for a while.
-running a brush-on-a-cable I have that is meant for drains through and all around the inside of the rim. (I knew this would obviously not affect the mineral deposits but since this toilet has sat outside for several years I thought part of the problem might be a spider or bug nest somewhere in the rim.)

Anyway, I was still not able to generate a powerful enough flush to get a full emptying of the bowl.

So I finally resorted to using the Muriatic Acid that "Dunbar Plumber" suggested. I first used his procedure but I was not able to pour the acid fast enough into the overflow tube to get it to flow all around the rim and exit through all the holes. (Although, if I had had one of those long funnels like you use to put transmission fluid in I might have been able to pour the acid with enough force to get it to go all the way around and exit through the front rim holes.)

So I disassembled the whole toilet, tank and all.

I then took the empty tank and bowl outside. I leaned the bowl against a tree stump with the rear of the bowl about 9 inches higher than the front. I then easily poured the Muriatic Acid into the trap-way hole and it flowed directly down and out the front rim holes. (I was blessed, as well, that it was a windy day today so I had no difficulty with the acid vapors.)

I used an old brush to move the acid that flowed into the bowl around and then lifted the bowl up and poured the acid from the bowl into the tank that I had laying on its side. I was pleased to watch the acid foam and dissolve decades-worth of accumulated minerals from the surface of the bowl, from up under the rim of the bowl, inside the tank and presumably from out of the inner rim as well.

Upon reassembly I immediately got several full and thorough flushes!

A full draw-down of the water - sufficient vortex-power generated apparently.

I wonder how many people go out and buy a new toilet when they really just need a mineral clean out.

In a year or so I may try taping the holes again and running vinegar into the overflow tube and leaving it over night as Steve Swearingen suggested...

Thanks for the good information Dunbar Plumber and all!

Jtimc7
 
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Old 11-18-11, 11:30 AM
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cleaning flush holes of rust

I have used a small brush to clean the jet holes under the rim and the flush hole at the bottom of the bowl. They all seem pretty open, but I'm not getting enough water pressure out of them. Could it be plugged somehow up inside the rim area or at the tube where the tank and bowl connect? It is a two-piece American Standard toilet from about 1940 so the tank and bowl are connected with a chrome elbow.
 
  #19  
Old 04-17-12, 09:40 AM
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Cleaning holes

I used watch makers screw drivers to ream out the holes.Was kinda awkward using a mirror and the holes weir at a right angle and being left handed was a challenge,but got the job done.No more big bubble of air when I flush,Cheers
 
  #20  
Old 06-08-14, 04:49 PM
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Thank you Jtimc7, for posting the instructions on how to disassemble the toilet and clean with muriatic acid. Our toilet hadn't been flushing well for years. It had an ugly crust under the rim and in the bottom that I couldn't get off no matter what I tried. We were considering purchasing a new toilet. We didn't want to buy a new one because our fixtures are a discontinued color (gray) and it would have looked odd to have a white toilet since we can't afford to replace the tub and sinks.

We took our toilet outside and cleaned as you instructed with muriatic acid. It worked amazingly well. Our toilet looks brand new again! It wasn't an option for us to clean it while it was installed because we have a septic tank. I am glad because I think it was much more effective to do it outside. As you mentioned, you can raise up the back of the toilet to allow the acid to soak in the rim. This can't be done with the toilet installed. Also, doing it outdoors removes the risk of inhaling the acid fumes. Finally, our toilet is flushing as it should. Thanks again for sharing.
 

Last edited by Shadeladie; 06-08-14 at 05:45 PM.
 

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