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Jerry, Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 3361
Experience:  over 20 years residential plumbing experience.
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Brown water in toilet

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Water in the toilet bowl will turn brown over the course of a week and stain the bowl. This is in a guest bathroom which is used only a few times a week. We use an in-bowl cleaner, but it still turns brown. What causes this and how can it be remedied?
It may be my imagination, but it seems the water level decreases. The heating/cooling vent is near your feet, but I don't think air circulation should cause either of these problems.
Another issue with this toilet: the user must hold the handle down to get a complete flush. Can this be remedied?
(Whoever designed this bathroom was stupid: the toilet is positioned in front of a large window so if a shade/curtain was not in place, you could be seen sitting on the can. This window is above the front door like one would see with a 2-story entryway. Walk-in closet with a big window - well, okay. Bathroom? Dumb.)

Jerry : Welcome to JA!

Customer :


Jerry : if your water has high iron or manganese and the bowl cleaner has
Chlorine with make the water turn brown.
Customer :

There are 3 toilets in this house. All use the same water. All have the same cleaner. This is the only one that displays this problem.

Jerry : Its sounds as though this toilet may have lost some glazing in the trap. I think with the three problems you would be best off replacing the toilet.

The trap is the portion through which the sewerage flows from the toilet, correct? Is the internal glazing smooth porcelain, too? Why would that cause the toilet bowl water turn and stain the bowl?

The water in the toilet sitting for a week without being flushed is more likely to stain when the glazing is coming off. You can rub your fingers around the stained area a feel if the glazing is rough. There also could be some partial clog up inside the trap that is causing the water to discolor. This may explain the slow flush and the water loss in bowl.
Customer :

Just felt the bowl. Doesn't seem to be an appreciable difference in the feel to me.

I cleaned the bowl yesterday, and the water was already beginning to "cloud."

If there is a partial clog in the trap, how should it be unclogged. FYI: we moved into this house in 2007 and it was the first thing, well, no, third thing, I noticed about the house. First thing in that bathroom, though. So the problem must be an ongoing one. The house is almost 20 years old, and the toilet probably hasn't been replaced. The first thing I noticed was the odor which was rectified with a ventilation system in the crawl space. The second thing was the stupid kitchen layout, and the third was the toilet.

Sorry, didn't mean to "dump." This was one corporate move none of us really wanted...

So, let's say we install a new toilet, but we still have the same problem. What would be the next step?

Jerry : The next step would be have a water treatment system put n
At least a free estimate with some testing but I think If you aren't having probs with the other two baths a new toilet Should solve.
I'm still laughing at your bathroom design comments.
Customer :

Hey, when you move it's all about "Location! Location! Location!" I don't think the designer gave much thought about the location of the movements!

We've been in 5 states in 5 different houses. The husband knows what I like, the realtor knows where the houses sale/resale the best. The husband was searching for year in the school district we wanted and decided this was the best place. Although I saw pictures on-line, I didn't visit the house until we moved. Thus the deceptive shot of the kitchen ("Working triangle?" How about a working trapezoid?) and no shot of the pee(p)show bathroom!

I'll run the "purchase" past my husband, but we'll probably live with it a little longer since none of the 5 previous owners replaced the roof, either...

Can I get a printout of this chat?

Jerry :

You can get an excellent flushing toilet for about 130. Wellworth Kohler model.

Yes I think you can once the chat has ended. And you can always come back to this thread also.

Customer :

Okay, Jerry. Thanks.

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