How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Patrick Your Own Question
Patrick, General Contractor
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 2429
Experience:  30 years commercial construction and 23 years house remodeling projects
Type Your Plumbing Question Here...
Patrick is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

There was a large build up of black looking stuff under the

Resolved Question:

There was a large build up of black looking stuff under the toilet bowl rim. After several cleanings I got all the black stuff off, however, now when I flush, black stuff comes out of the port holes under the rim. What is it? how can I stop it?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Patrick replied 7 years ago.
This is mold and mildew. Clean under the rim and then remove the top on your toilet tank. Turn off water to the toilet at the shut off valve below and to the side of the toilet. Now, flush the toilet and observe where the water goes from inside the tank. You will see the flapper pull up and the water flows through the outlet. Some of this water goes through the holes in the rim. Mix up a bleach and water soution, say 40% bleach and 60% water and pour this into the toilet tank outlet which will put this water inside the rim. You can place some wet paper towels soaked with this soution under the rim to hold the solution a little longer in the rim to kill the mold and mildew. If you have mold and mildew in the tank, sponge this soution around the tank walls to kill it. Repeat the solution in the rim again. When done, throw the paper towels into the trash. Do not flush them down the toilet. This should do the trick. Turn the water back on to the toilet and allow it to fill. Make sure the flapper is back in place. Flush the toilet to clear the rim. If the holes under the rim are closed up from mineral build up, you can use the procedure I will attach in a follow up. Good luck. If this has proven helpful, please remember to hit ACCEPT, otherwise I do not receive credit. Thank you.
Patrick and other Plumbing Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Is it safe to use this bleach solution with a septic system? If not, what could I substitute the will not harm the septic?
Expert:  Patrick replied 7 years ago.
If you have clogged holes in the rim of your toilet that are not allowing the full flush action of the bowl wash to work you can do the following: Look under your rim inside the bowl. Feel with your fingers if there is build up. Get a coat hanger and cut it into a four or five inch length that is straight and bend a loop onto it in order to hold it comfortably. Now, insert the wire into the holes under the rim, rodding it in and out in order to free up any build up. Work your way around the bowl opening the holes. You may be able to use an appropriately sized small drill bit and do the same by hand with it. DO NOT USE A DRILL TO DO THIS! You are only trying to break away any build up. After opening the holes try flushing to clear the material your have loosened. I have also turned off the water to the tank and drained the tank and followed up with a lime dissolving product poured down hole under the flapper to fill the bowl wash. Apply the same under the rim. I have taken paper towels and soaked them in the lime dissolving solution and put them up under the rim to allow the stuff to work. Dispose of the paper towels in a plastic bag in the trash when done. Flush again to clear. Good Luck. If this has proven helpful, please remember to hit ACCEPT, otherwise I do not receive credit. Thank you. (LET ME CHECK RE: BLEACH AND YOUR SEPTIC SYSTEM)

Edited by Patrick on 10/8/2009 at 3:11 AM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
You did not answer the question
Expert:  Patrick replied 7 years ago.
I was doing some checking. The consensus is if your septic system is healthy and working well that the amount of water and bleach we are talking about using, say mix up 2 gallons of the solution, should not be harmful. If you are concerned, you can pour the solution into the tank and then dip it out of the bowl with a plastic cup into a bucket and then pour onto concrete to dispose of it. Good luck. Try to keep the bleach off the flapper as bleach can lead to early break down of the rubber. Good luck. If this has proven helpful, please remember to hit ACCEPT, otherwise I do not receive credit. Thank you.

Edited by Patrick on 10/8/2009 at 3:23 AM EST