Does water in bowls evaporate?


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Old 03-28-09, 06:34 AM
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Does water in bowls evaporate?

Hi all,

I'm managing property for a friend of mine who has been out of the country for about a year. The place is a mess (both literally and figuratively). There is no water in the bowls of both toilets; does it evaporate or should the toilet automatically keep the water level up?

Further, because the place is so nasty (we're in the middle of contracting a BioRecovery team to come in to clear the place), I'm not keen on touching much and I don't relish the thought of lifting the lid of the toilet to see if there's water. I know, I know, I'm a wimp. Anyway, will I damage the toilet if I try to flush it with no water in the bowls to see if it will refill?

Thanks for entertaining my question.
 
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Old 03-28-09, 06:41 AM
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Someone is going to have to test the toilets sooner or later. If you don't want to flush them yourelf, hire a day worker to do it. It sounds like you're going to need some help anyway. Make that his first job.
 
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Old 03-28-09, 07:48 AM
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The bio cleaning company will come in and take care of the toilets. At least the cleanliness part of it. Why not wait until they are done, won't be any worse if there is a problem. If the drains are clear, and the tank is full then flushing won't hurt. If there is "stuff" in the bowl, and you try to flush it w/o cleaning the "stuff" out, you could cause problems.

Saw the Dirty Jobs guy do this in one episode.


EDIT Oh..to your original question..yes the water will dry up in the bowl and trap if not used for a prolonged period of time. And no, the toilet does not automatically refill the bowl, that only happens right after a flush. Tank yes, if the water is on, bowl ..no.
 
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Old 03-28-09, 08:17 AM
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If no one has taken care of that place for a year.. thats a long time.. lol (they should have asked you to manage it a year ago).

If the toilet bowls have lost trap from evaporation, then probably all the traps are also dried out (all sinks, tubs, laundry drain, etc). That place must stink of sewer gas (which can be pretty hazardous btw). Time to get someone in there to ventilate the place out and fix up those fixtures.

Is there mold in the place too ?

Is your friend due back soon ?
 
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Old 03-28-09, 08:49 AM
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If they aren't due back soon, as soon as the bio team is through, turn the water off at the main and fill all the ptraps including the washing machine stand pipe with RV Propylene Glycol. Flush the toilets with the water off at the stop valve to rid the tanks of water, and fill the bowls with the Glycol. It acts as an antifreezing agent, but also won't evaporate.
Your introductory sentence was "managing" which indicates a continuing effort. I hope this isn't a matter of "catching up". It should have been managed from day one.
 
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Old 03-28-09, 10:32 AM
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Hi all,

Thanks so much for your answers; I appreciate your insight.

As far as I know, the biorecovery guy is only contracted to (are you sitting down?) get rid of the dry goods in the kitchen that are attracting the mice that is causing them to leave droppings all over the kitchen. Oh, and to remove the mealy moth nest in the dishwasher. Sorry for the confusion; when I said "clear the place" I meant "clear the place of animal waste and habitats." I should have been more specific; apologies.

Yuck.

After they're through, I'll get a janitorial service in to clean the rest of the house.

Yep, you're right, someone should have been watching the house from Day 1 (and I'm pretty sure you can't count the disgruntled cleaning lady and/or squatter that goes in every now and again... for real... shoot me. Heh heh...).

Incidentally, to answer some of your questions, there's not "stuff" in the toilets, the place does not stink of sewer gas, I'm not sure when the owner is due back (though I think it may be within the next year), and there's not really mold that the naked eye can catch. Having said that, the house is in a state of what I would call "gross filth." I'm sure the land is worth more than the structure (probably a 1960s split level), and the house will likely be a tear-down for the next owners. However, in the mean time, I don't want to cause the current owners any further issue by doing any damage to their plumbing, which is why I asked the question about the bowls. Lord knows they'll have enough on their hands as it is.

GI2
 
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Old 03-28-09, 10:42 AM
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Oh..well you had an occupant (unwanted or not)..maybe he turned the water back on..lol.

If the water was off, you may be able to turn it back on and flush, but I would expect the flappers and fill valves to have problems in the toilets. Possible also cutoff valves and faucets.

If the water was on..and fixtures were used..even occasionally (you mentioned a cleaning lady?), they should be fine. You'd know a dried out trap pretty quickly, as was mentioned.

The toilets and all may be gross..but they probably function ok.
 
 

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