Thread Number: 70565  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
And End To My Low Flow (Toilet) Woes
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Post# 935025   4/27/2017 at 22:26 (419 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Specifically, an American Standard "Cadet" 4000 series.  My model has the skirt all the way around the bottom for easy cleaning, but otherwise is like most other low flow (1.28 GPF) Cadets.


The flapper that came with the toilet is a Fluidmaster 540.  The flapper itself is plastic, so the seal is just an opaque rubber-like ring that can be removed.  These rings are notorious for developing water blisters, which is what mine did, and leaking would ensue, with the tank topping itself off perhaps every 30 minutes, if not more often.


I couldn't find either the ring or the entire Fluidmaster 540 assembly at two stores I tried, so I decided to go with a Korky 3060 universal fit flapper for 3" flush valves. 


I'm glad I did.  With the Korky, the bowl now flushes out completely instead of the half-flush I got with the Fuidmaster.  The Korky is also silent.  The Fluidmaster made a loud "thud" when it came down.  I no longer need to hold the handle down to fully clear the bowl, perhaps not even for big jobs, but I'll know more about that tomorrow.


If you hate the half-flush BS as much as I do, the Korky universal fit flapper is the answer for A.S. Cadets, and possibly for other makes as well.  It installs as easily as any flapper I've dealt with (there are adjustments to make prior to installation, which involve exposing or covering holes in the side of the flapper "bulb" -- covering them all is the setting for the Cadet and that makes all the difference), and it has a five year guarantee as opposed to one year with the American Standard/FM replacement. 


After I had purchased the Korky, for the hell of it I checked on line to see what the correct Fluidmaster replacement would have cost.  The price wasn't much different from the Korky.  I also read the reviews on the Fluidmaster, and there were several complaints about blisters forming on the flapper ring.  If you're careful, you can pop them with a pin on the top side, which will allow the ring to seal again.  A free fix, but I'm far more pleased after installing the Korky. 


If you have a low flow toilet with 3" valve and are disappointed with its performance, the Korky may be the answer.  It fits quite a few different makes.


The linked site has a video that illustrates some of what I've described here.






Post# 935026 , Reply# 1   4/27/2017 at 22:41 (419 days old) by duke ()        

WOW-I have that toilet also and the same flapper did make it better.I then placed a 1 inch pvc coupling atop the flush valve riser to raise the water level.You don't even have to glue it on-Try it

Post# 935027 , Reply# 2   4/27/2017 at 22:53 (419 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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My '95 Elgier was one of the first supposedly low flow toilets. There is what flushes down in a cut off gallon plastic bottle in the tank so you still need to help it flush out in an old fashioned retrofitted toilet sold new in '95. I am going to replace it sometime soon but every time I even tried to replace a toilet myself it never turned out well. So I got to try to find someone to do it, which wont be easy.

Post# 935028 , Reply# 3   4/27/2017 at 23:05 (419 days old) by duke ()        

I remember those Tim.I took a razor knife and cut it mostly out,It made a normal toilet out of it.I like a toilet that flushes like Al Bundy's--BAWOOSH.

Post# 935035 , Reply# 4   4/27/2017 at 23:45 (419 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Duke, I like the way you think!  I may try the coupler trick, as I currently have the water level set to about 3/8" below the top of the overflow pipe.


I do like the Cadet.  It hasn't backed up on me yet, unlike the relatively new wall-mount Gerber in the master bath.  That thing chokes on a regular basis and it has nothing to do with the low flow, as the bowl clears completely for small jobs without holding the handle down.  It's just a really bad design, but was the only wall-mount I could find that wasn't pressure-assisted.  I am not a fan of pressure-assist systems.

Post# 935038 , Reply# 5   4/28/2017 at 00:07 (419 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

I've had two of those Korky flappers fail prematurely on me, both in Toto Drakes. Two years is all I got, ended up sticking an OEM flapper back in and it's been fine for over two years (ironically also a Korky but different design).

The "sherbet pale" Eljers were some of the worst pieces of junk out there. Used one regularly for awhile and plunging was part of the routine every single time. Even with those damn pales cut out they flush horrendously. Pretty much any 1990s low flow is god awful.

There's two low flows in this house (one of them a Drake), and my bathroom has a water guzzling Cadet from the late 60s in it that I picked up from a salvage yard. Positively one of the best toilets ever made, only have to scrub the bowl once a month compared to the multiple times a week the Drake before it required.

Post# 935107 , Reply# 6   4/28/2017 at 08:24 (418 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
I considered

getting an American standard toilet in our most recent project, but they only come in white, bone, and almond.
American Standard is now owned by a Japanese company.
We got the one piece Kohler San Souci comfort height elongated. Also a 1.28 gallon flush, and it is a powerful flush. It should be for almost $800 in Cashmere. Not the battery powered flush either. Batteries inside the tank? No thanks.
The zero out mounting bolts with their depth gages are a pain. You can't see around the sides when setting it in place on them. I even drew a pencil outline of the toilet on the tile. No big deal. The flat bolts may look nice, but I got regular tall ones, cut them off and painted the plastic caps to match close.
Tip; if the bolts won't stand up when mounting a toilet, put chewing gum on them at the base on the flange.

Post# 935120 , Reply# 7   4/28/2017 at 09:27 (418 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I have a couple of Waterridge low flow commodes here. One is older than the other. It has what looks like a proprietary flush valve assembly. The newer one has some sort of Fluidmaster valve assembly. Both are monolithic incorporating the float and valve in one tower. Both are dual flush. I think they are 1.1 gal or 1.6 gal rated. The older one seems to work better than the newer one. But both get the job done. It's rare that I have to repeat a full flush.

A leaking flush valve sort of defeats the whole water conservation goal, no?


Post# 935124 , Reply# 8   4/28/2017 at 09:45 (418 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

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The house I purchased last year has an Eljer in it. My brother actually installed it when he purchased and renovated the house in 89-90. It has that stupid jug around the flapper in the tank. I hate it. It clogs almost every time. Compounding the problem is the hole in the bowl which is too small. I have the 1951 American Standard that was original to the house when it was built. Reinstalling that is on my to-do list. I have no doubt I wont have to deal with clogs with the American Standard.

This post was last edited 04/28/2017 at 10:47
Post# 935138 , Reply# 9   4/28/2017 at 11:24 (418 days old) by FMTECH (California)        
Fluidmaster Flapper

Fluidmaster states in their reviews to give them a call and they will replace the flapper ring at no cost. The flapper model for replacing the 540 American Standard is model 5401GB (Sold at Home Depot) and model 5403 at all the other hardware stores and comes with a 10 year warranty.
The Cadet using 1.28 GPF (gallon per flush) is designed to flush less water than the standard 1.6 GPF. I have found that even with the less amount of water used it clears the bowl just as easily and the remaining water is not needed.

Before making your 1.28 into a 3.0 GPF get a replacement by calling Fluidmaster or pick up a new flapper. The money you save in water will be more in the long run.


Post# 935139 , Reply# 10   4/28/2017 at 12:04 (418 days old) by washman (Butler, PA)        

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I've had good luck with Korky fill valves and flappers in my commodes.

Post# 935190 , Reply# 11   4/28/2017 at 19:01 (418 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Thanks for the info but I'm fine with the Korky, and at this point it's water under the closet. 


Even with the thorough flushing action the Korky provides, the toilet still uses far less water than a vintage (+/-) 5GPF model.  I don't even think the Cadet's tank can hold five gallons.


The one store I didn't check was Home Depot.  I had already been to Lowe's and Orchard Supply, both of which had minimal Fluidmaster flapper options, so felt odds were against HD carrying what I needed.  I don't know what Fluidmaster's objective is, but it seems counter productive to give Home Depot an exclusive on such a commonly needed item.  If either Lowe's or OSH had carried just the FM flapper ring, I'd have purchased that at much lower cost than the Korky replacement, and been none the wiser about what I consider to be desirable attributes of a flapper made by Fluidmaster's chief competitor.  You may want to share my experience with your marketing department.



Post# 935371 , Reply# 12   4/29/2017 at 22:32 (417 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I *think* I wound up getting a Korky to rebuild the old American Standard low boy toilet that was in the master bath addition (added in the 70's, I think). But that thing, while it looked great, had a custom curved bowl top that few seats could fit. And of course it drank water. It also didn't flush all that reliably. So I replaced it with a low flow waterridge, which has generally worked very well.

Post# 935422 , Reply# 13   4/30/2017 at 05:00 (416 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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My AS Champion was filling frequently a couple years ago.  I had read about the gaskets going bad on the flappers so I replaced it with a Korky gasket made to fit the original AS plastic flapper design.  But the toilet kept doing it.  Turns out it was the water level in the tank set too high and it was seeping out through the bowl fill hose.  I lowered the water a little and it hasn't done it since.  I may try the 1"PVC coupling thing to see if it works.  Although, my Champion truly is just that....a Champion!  I threw the plunger away!!!

Post# 935511 , Reply# 14   4/30/2017 at 15:18 (416 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        
On Cleaning

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Maybe I should start a new thread on this, but will try here first.


My Cadet came with some sort of anti-microbal/non-stick/easy-clean bowl coating, and cleaning instructions advise to use a mild soap solution as opposed to anything abrasive.  We have hard water here, and all toilets tend to develop calcified rings around the water's edge.  Dish soap doesn't cut it.


I've used Lime-Away on this toilet, which may or may not have compromised the special coating already, but I'm hesitant to start using truly abrasive cleansers or a pumice stone. 


Should I consider this coating bunk (I'm fairly certain it's just a gimmick) and go ahead and use normal bowl cleaners?  I don't want to create an unsightly situation.

Post# 935518 , Reply# 15   4/30/2017 at 15:58 (416 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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I know what you mean Ralph. My Elgier, most horrid purchase I ever made, as in an earlier posting here. My water is a 9 out of 10 on hardness. My water softner with rust remover salt does an ok job but that ring in the toilet is there every morning. About once a month I use "The Works" cleaner and it is much easier to just give a quick brush to daily.

Post# 935526 , Reply# 16   4/30/2017 at 17:03 (416 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I don't think normal bowl cleaners (like those bottles with angled necks from Lysol or Chlorox) are abrasive. But then I don't know if chlorine bleach (or whatever Lysol contains) would leach the anti-microbial substances out of the glaze.

But I do know that my commodes require weekly cleaning, or more, even if they are used only for #1. The water here is moderately soft (4 grains), so hard water mineral deposits don't seem to be the main issue, just ... grunge ...

So I'd try some of the commercial bowl cleaners. If those don't do it, maybe Bon Ami. I would avoid harsh abrasives like pumice.


Post# 935533 , Reply# 17   4/30/2017 at 17:41 (416 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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My Champion has that antimicrobial  finish doesn't work.  I use the Lysol cleaner with hydrochloric acid in it about once a month.  In between I use anything with bleach in it.  Even with a water softener it will still develop a noticeable mineral line but the cleaners with HCl dissolve it with no issues.

Post# 935544 , Reply# 18   4/30/2017 at 19:28 (416 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        
It was a terrific job...

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You know how many Korky flappers I bought as a plumbing buyer for Orchard Supply hardware?...a whole lot!

Post# 935608 , Reply# 19   4/30/2017 at 23:56 (416 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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LOL Joe!  Somebody else is still doing so, and it would appear that the Korky rep picks up the tab for some really good lunches.


Thanks for the cleaning advice.  We all agree that low flow = high maintenance.  I do need to get in the habit of brushing the bowl on a daily basis. 


I've successfully removed the mineral ring with Lime Away and a green scrub pad in the past.  How much worse could a pumice stone be?  Once the ring is gone, I'll be incentivized to use the brush and keep another ring from forming.

Post# 935609 , Reply# 20   5/1/2017 at 00:24 (416 days old) by dartman (Portland Oregon)        

My house has two builder grade Pro Flo 1.6 flush toilets in it installed when they rehabbed it before I bought it. They are 5 years old and the whole flush valve setup in mine started leaking and not stopping the flush when tank was full. It also plugs easily and takes a couple of full hold flushes to clear and sometimes a plunging . The design is cheap, has small water passages and has already been discontinued. I replaced the setup with a Fluid Master PerforMAX fill valve with leak sentry. It's a lot louder but fills quickly and will not keep refilling the bowl and tank if it leaks down once the flapper or something wears out.
7 year warranty and it mostly works fine but still barely overfills the tank after adjusting it as far as I could.
I plan to eventually replace it with a better dual flush 1.2/1 as water here is very spendy. Replaced moms old master suite toilet with a cheap Home Depot Glacier Bay 1.2 that actually had mostly great reviews and it has worked perfectly for them so far and doesn't plug so might try their dual flush version as it also gets great reviews and is well priced.
Can't afford a 500 or whatever comode when I replace it so we'll see what I end up with someday.

Post# 935645 , Reply# 21   5/1/2017 at 08:24 (415 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
I guess to a point

we still get what we pay for. Builders don't always use quality fixtures, and if you do upgrade, they may scalp you. They get good quantity discounts.
I installed a Korky flush valve and flapper in my older Kohler Wellington toilet, and it has worked fine for a year.
Chlorine in the water or other minerals break down the rubber parts.

Post# 935667 , Reply# 22   5/1/2017 at 11:28 (415 days old) by 48bencix (Sacramento CA)        
Afraid to change

We have a long line to the main sewer, probably about 100' from the farthest toilet. We have added two clean outs due to all of the problems clogging the line. Now we have 4 cleanouts total and no line clogs for a couple of years. I feel the existing 4 gallon flush units we have might be needed for the long line to push the flow through. I came close to changing last year because of the drought here. But we were not cut back by the water company so I left well enough alone. We do have our own Ridgid electric drain cleaner because of the problems.

Post# 935681 , Reply# 23   5/1/2017 at 14:29 (415 days old) by Dermacie (my forever home (Glenshaw, PA))        
American Standard Cadet

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I just installed this corner model since my bathroom was fitted for a corner toilet when it was built in 1968. The old one was a Eljer and had a small crack in the tank. At nearly $400 it wasn't cheap but I am happy so far.

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Post# 935697 , Reply# 24   5/1/2017 at 15:45 (415 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        
Cadet 3

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"Powerwash" makes me think it has a pressure assisted flush system.


That price isn't all that bad considering it's a relatively uncommon corner toilet.

Post# 935713 , Reply# 25   5/1/2017 at 17:29 (415 days old) by Dermacie (my forever home (Glenshaw, PA))        

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I am happy with it. I put it a new floor vanity and new plumbing hopefully be good for a while.

Post# 935949 , Reply# 26   5/3/2017 at 02:49 (413 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I would hold off on using any abrasives on the bowl.

Instead, if you already haven't tried it, shut off the supply water line to the toilet. Flush it so that the water level is well below the lime line. Then liberally apply lime away, or other anti-scale product. I'm not sure, but a phosphoric acid based solution might work (check the label to make sure it's ok for porcelain). I have a gallon jug from Smart & Final called "Lime Gone". It's basically phosphoric acid. For showers and sinks etc, it recommends diluting 50/50 with water, brushing on the deposit, and then rinsing off. But it also cautions that some surfaces might get etched. Caveat cleaner.

I would definitely not use a green scrub pad. Those have silicon oxide in them and it's harder than glass, and will scratch up the bowl so it will never be the same again.


Post# 935962 , Reply# 27   5/3/2017 at 05:31 (413 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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I use this, it has 9.5% hydrochloric acid in it.

Lysol® Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Post# 936026 , Reply# 28   5/3/2017 at 13:00 (413 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Thanks guys.  So a pumice stone is definitely out, or are we just talking about avoiding cleaning solutions that contain abrasives?  The upstairs toilet is old school 1960, and since it gets used little, it develops a mineral ring and the pumice stone makes short work of it.


Rich, I've had success with Lime-Away in the past, but that was with a green scrub pad, and forcing the water out of the bowl first (I see no evidence of damage to the porcelain, though).  I think I'll do something similar, but will coat the ring with the Lime-Away and then walk away for at least an hour.  What should I use as a substitute for the green pad?


Meanwhile, I'm loving that I only need to push down on the lever and let go, rather than hold it down.  The Korky sends through enough water to clear the bowl for all jobs, big and small.  I couldn't be more delighted.

Post# 936027 , Reply# 29   5/3/2017 at 13:16 (413 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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when I was a teenager we moved to the North Sonoma Co. coast and we had a well. The well water had a lot of iron in it and stained the toilets terribly. My Mom went to the hardware store in Guerneville and asked them what she could use to get rid if these stains. They sold her Whink and it worked like a charm. It's still available and it also works on hard water deposits. You just squirt it along the edge under the bowl rim and it drains down and just like magic the rust deposits disappear. I believe the active ingredient is oxycilic (sp?) acid.


Post# 936028 , Reply# 30   5/3/2017 at 13:31 (413 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Thanks Eddie!  I see that both ACE and OSH carry it, so I'll buzz over and check.


I know exactly what you mean about Sonoma County well water.  It was so bad at my friend's house in Sebastopol that it turned all of the glassware brown, and it stunk of iron.  Undrinkable, as was anything made with it, like coffee.

Post# 936030 , Reply# 31   5/3/2017 at 13:39 (413 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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You're welcome Ralph! BTW, iron in well water also reeks havoc on whites in the washer, especially if you use LCB. The chlorine will set rust streaks into the fabric that are next to impossible to get out. As I recall the water always tasted like petroleum to me and the redwood storage tank used to have a ring around the water line that felt slightly oily. Maybe if we had drilled down deeper we would have struck oil! Who knows?

Post# 936416 , Reply# 32   5/4/2017 at 22:26 (412 days old) by Dermacie (my forever home (Glenshaw, PA))        

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I used to pour bleach in the toilets but I'm taking I should not with this new one?

Post# 936435 , Reply# 33   5/4/2017 at 23:36 (412 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Promotional and owner's literature should indicate whether your corner model Cadet has the anti-microbal bowl or not.  If it doesn't, thank your lucky stars and bleach away!

Post# 936473 , Reply# 34   5/5/2017 at 07:00 (411 days old) by retro-man (nashua,nh)        
Am I doing this wrong?

What ever happened to putting some Comet in the toilet bowl using a toilet brush to clean the bowl? I have been doing this for 50 years and never a problem. It has not taken the finish off. I have done this on old and new toilets. It only takes a few moments of cleaning and a flush and it looks like new. A quick spray of Windex on both sides of the seat and surrounding areas wiped with a small cleaning rag and they shine like the day they were installed. Am I missing something here?


Post# 936477 , Reply# 35   5/5/2017 at 07:52 (411 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Oh for

Petes sake, how deep into the vitreous china can the "microban" be?
If it is applied to the surface like scotch guard, it will wear off anyway.
If it is mixed in with the color glaze, it will last a long time, so bleach away.
Kohler says you can use any low abrasive cleaner with bleach in it on all of their cast iron, fireclay, and vitreous china fixtures.
Silestone also does for their solid surface counter tops with microban. Windex, soft scrub, bleach, Lysol, etc.

Post# 936542 , Reply# 36   5/5/2017 at 13:18 (411 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        
"Am I missing something here?"

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Yes, a new toilet with anti-microbal bowl surface. 


I still use cleanser on the two other toilets in the house, one of which dates to 1960, and the other to 2014, neither of which has the anti-microbal surface.

Post# 936550 , Reply# 37   5/5/2017 at 13:51 (411 days old) by retro-man (nashua,nh)        

Well I am not going to worry about anti-microbal surfaces in my toilet bowl. Lmfoa!
I would rather keep my sinks and counter tops clean than worry about eating out of my bowl.


Post# 936572 , Reply# 38   5/5/2017 at 14:57 (411 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Jon, I'm leaning toward taking that same approach.  I just need to be sure I'm not going to ruin the bowl surface and create bigger cleaning problems for myself.  I couldn't care less about the anti-microbal BS, since the bowl still requires brushing just like any other toilet.

Post# 937001 , Reply# 39   5/7/2017 at 18:20 (409 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Many thanks to Eddie for his Whink recommendation!  I'm a fan!  I just got a bottle of it today at OSH and was amazed at how little effort with the bowl brush was required to remove the stubborn mineral ring (see picture -- the worst area was toward the front of the bowl).  Instructions said to apply and flush, but I hit it with the brush for good measure before flushing.  That ring had been there a while.


OSH also had Whink rust and mineral inhibitor tablets, so I got a 2-pack of those and dropped one in the tank.  If the ring doesn't form again, I'll be buying the tablets regularly.  From what I read on the package, they won't harm my new Korky flapper.


On the Whink bottle was a form for a $2 rebate with purchase of two Whink products.  Woo hoo!

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Post# 937004 , Reply# 40   5/7/2017 at 18:47 (409 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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Hey Ralph, I'm so glad the Whink worked out for you. I thought if anything would get this mineral deposit off Whink would. If you could have seen how our well water used to stain our toilets and how just squirting Whink on the stain would almost is if by magic remove the stain you would understand why. It was just like watching one of those bogus Kaabbam commercials on TV now.

Post# 937046 , Reply# 41   5/7/2017 at 23:30 (409 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
We replaced all our low-water flush toilets with

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1950s toilets. What a difference! A thousand times less cleaning, no sewer back ups, no flushing thrice, no jamming no problems.

A friend's house, built in 1938 recently had a low-water flusher installed in the master bath. It is a million-billion times better than the trash we were stuck with from the '90s. Not as good as the 1938 American Standard Cadet in another bathroom, but, pretty darn close.


As to keeping things clean - when we've had an evening dinner or party and I have tons of co'cola left over (does anybody ever finish pouring out the already opened can in the pantry? No. A fresh can for each new glass.) I pour them all into one of the toilets and leave overnight.

It's not much H3PO4 but it does a great job of cleaning and I don't get quite as frustrated over the million half-empty cans.

Post# 937053 , Reply# 42   5/8/2017 at 01:35 (408 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        
1938? Pfffff!

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How about 1908?  OK, I'm just guessing, but the force of gravity from this thing will clear the bowl every time!


That is, if you can stand looking at that baroque bowl.






CLICK HERE TO GO TO rp2813's LINK on San Francisco Craigslist

Post# 937071 , Reply# 43   5/8/2017 at 07:03 (408 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
I think

that baroque style bowl fits in any antique bath design. If not, it makes a nice garden planter.
My step son is the only one who has ever backed up the toilet. He either used way too much tissue or pinched off huge turds. Lets just say he had to learn to shut off the water supply fast and use a plunger by age 14.

Post# 937111 , Reply# 44   5/8/2017 at 12:56 (408 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

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The office where I work is in an old house built 1928-1929. It was a fancy place considering the area and time period in that it has five bathrooms. Four of the six bedrooms have their own bath and a powder room on the first floor tucked under the staircase. They all still have their original Standard "Devoro" toilets dated Oct 1929. When those babies flush they flush. It would take a lot to clog one.

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Post# 937459 , Reply# 45   5/10/2017 at 00:04 (407 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Well, Ralph, I have to apologize. My scientific view was that pumice, being essentially volcanic glass, would scratch a porcelain toilet bowl, which also has a glass (glazed) surface. But I guess I was wrong, because over the weekend when loitering in Home Depot, I spotted a pumice product called "Pumie", specifically made for cleaning toilet bowls.

The instructions did warn to be careful with "some" tinted bowls, didn't say which, only that they might be damaged. But it was news to me that there are actually pumice products out there specifically for cleaning hard water deposits off toilet bowls.

Meanwhile, it seems you found a solution, "Whink", that works just as well without danger of damaging the porcelain (we hope).


Post# 937460 , Reply# 46   5/10/2017 at 00:10 (407 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I see that Whink has Oxalic acid in it. Be a little careful with that, don't let it sit too long.

Some years ago I used a product called Zud!, which is an oxalic acid based cleanser, to clean an old bathtub in a rental house. Well it cleaned the tub well enough, but I left a damp sponge full of it on the tub ledge and didn't find it again until the next day. The Zud! in the sponge ate holes in the glaze, leaving a pockmarked finish. Not all the way to the iron or steel underneath, but you could tell by touch it was rather damaged. Oh well. That was my last rental house, lol.

Post# 937461 , Reply# 47   5/10/2017 at 00:10 (407 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

Oh yeah, Rich.  Even the 99c Only Store has "Lady's Helper" brand pumice blocks in the household cleaners aisle.  That's where I buy 'em for my other two toilets.

Post# 937680 , Reply# 48   5/11/2017 at 06:38 (405 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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Too bad we can't still buy Sani-flush or crystal Vanish (not that new oxy crap out now).  They had acid in them and would dissolve minerals well.

Post# 938298 , Reply# 49   5/13/2017 at 14:53 (403 days old) by Artcurus (Odessa)        

about to redo my front bathroom. And yes, I'm pulling the POS low flow and putting in a nice, 1950's toilet I pulled out of a house that was being demolished. Also going to tile the walls in black and white tile.

Post# 938320 , Reply# 50   5/13/2017 at 17:16 (403 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
black and white

tile is timeless. Never out dated. Posh NY, etc. properties have had it since at least the 1920's.
often accented with grey or white marble pencil edging.
I like it done on a floor in a herringbone pattern, or a Greek key with the black squares in the center.

Post# 954890 , Reply# 51   8/27/2017 at 16:21 (297 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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After cleaning one of my Waterridge toilets the other day, I noticed a rough surface towards the front of the bowl. There is no stain, but it appears to be a mineral buildup there.

I visited the local OSH today. It was with some difficulty I located the two Whink products they carry. One was the two tablet package you mentioned, which is what Whink recommends for colored toilets. It says it's a lime scale and rust stain remover. It contains a sodium sulfite as its main active ingredient. You're supposed to add one tab per month to keep the bowl clean.

The other product was labeled only as a rust stain remover, and for white bowls only. This one has hydrofluoric acid in it, and recommends near immediate flushing after application. I assume it's because hydrofluoric acid is what is used to etch glass (as in frosted glass designs). Is this the product you used?

I notice on Whink's web site they also list a liquid product that is recommended for both lime scale and rust removal. It contains a complicated organic acid, nothing simple like HCl or HFl. But I didn't see that product at OSH.

In any case, I didn't buy any Whink product today at OSH. I have some Lime-Away stashed away from years back, as well as some phosphoric acid based lime remover that I'll try first. And of course I have a Pumie too, just in case.

Post# 956007 , Reply# 52   9/4/2017 at 02:27 (289 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Well, since I turned this weekend into a four day (taking a vacation day Tuesday), decided finally to tackle the rough patch on the Waterridge in the master bath.

First tried the Whink rust remover in the bottle from OSH. No change. Then I tried the phophoric acid based lime/scale/scum remover from Smart and Final. No change.

Finally broke out the Pumie, and after a bit of scrubbing got back a nice smooth surface. The lime had hardened almost to like rock, and it took more scrubbing with the Pumie than I expected. But I kept it up and got the desired result.

Anyway, a shout out to Ralph if you're listening, thanks a bunch. Live and learn. I had thought pumice would be too abrasive. Doesn't seem to be, and it solved the problem without any toxic chemicals. That's always a win.

Also have the Whink tablets which I might toss in there at some point, but I'm not too thrilled about having to replenish them on a monthly basis. We'll see.

Post# 956110 , Reply# 53   9/4/2017 at 14:06 (289 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Rich, I checked my bottle of Whink and I'm pretty sure it's the same as what you have. 


I agree that the tablets are kind of expensive for only lasting a month, but they do seem to be effective.  I started this thread in late April and haven't even replaced the tablet I dropped in the tank back then.  It's probably time.  The ring is trying to return.


I have the same issue as you with build-up on the 3-year old wall mount toilet in the master bath.  I have to use pumice on it under the rim because it turns dark on a regular basis.   The upstairs toilet is the oldest in the house, dating to 1960.  Since moving it upstairs, it develops a ring and gets streaks in the bowl.  It sees little use which may have something to do with it, but it takes a pumice stone to get it back to normal.  I need to hit the 99c Only Store and pick up another couple of "Pumies."


Maybe I'll splurge and buy tablets for wall mount and upstairs toilets.  If they work, it will be worth it to spare myself the scouring.

Post# 956136 , Reply# 54   9/4/2017 at 16:22 (289 days old) by robbinsandmyers (Hamden CT)        

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I've bought a few of those flappers for me krapper and they seem to blow up like a balloon in six months. Maybe the chlorine in the water??

Post# 956138 , Reply# 55   9/4/2017 at 17:05 (289 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        
Blowing up

rp2813's profile picture

Only the plastic Fluidmaster with the opaque ring has done that to me.  My experience with the one piece rubberized flappers from other makers is that they keep working for years until they finally start to disintegrate.

Post# 956193 , Reply# 56   9/4/2017 at 23:42 (289 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I'll probably hold off on dropping a tab in the tank.

One reason is the expense. The other is that in case of big quake and water shutoff, what's in the tank(s) is basically safe to drink if it hasn't been adulterated with cleaners.

Besides, Pumie works quite well. Don't know how often it will need to be done, but this is the first time I've had to address a hard water deposit in that toilet since it got it about 12 years ago... Of course I didn't notice it was there until quite recently. Might have shown up in the drought, when local muni water seemed to get quite a bit harder than before.

Speaking flappers... this older Waterridge has an occasional habit of not sealing shut after a flush, and running on until one opens it up and gives the proprietary flush/float assembly a shake. This was a known problem with these units. I could call Waterridge and supposedly they have a fix. One post I saw was that there's a sharp edge in there somewhere on the plastic works that sometimes catches. My solution has been to listen for the "clunk" when the valve slams shut, which is a good indication it hasn't failed to seal. Not the greatest solution but If I can dig up Waterridge's customer support number maybe they'll offer a fix for a 12 year old product...?

The newer unit in the guest bath has a Fluidmaster float/valve assembly and it never seems to fail. But it doesn't seem to flush as well as the older one. C'est la vie treous.

Post# 956212 , Reply# 57   9/5/2017 at 06:00 (288 days old) by retro-man (nashua,nh)        

I was using those bleach tablets that you put in the tanks. They seem to work well enough on the bowl from flushing, but what I have found is that they eat the brass screws that hold the tank and bowl together. I guess I could replace them with stainless steel but never did. After repairing and replacing numerous parts I no longer use them.


Post# 956226 , Reply# 58   9/5/2017 at 09:30 (288 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Chlorine is very hard on metals, and is actually the Achilles heel for stainless anyway. It strips away the protective chromium oxide layer on SS and can cause pitting. Some types of stainless are more resistant (like 316) but if it were me, I'd just forgo dosing a toilet tank with chlorine.

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