Descaling a toilet

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by crosstalk, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. crosstalk

    crosstalk Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Location:
    PA
    Hello. I have a toto toilet with some mineral deposits in the siphon jet, and I am thinking it could use some descaling. I have read on the forum about the virtues of using muriatic acid for this, but I am afraid of possible damage to my drain piping (copper and cast iron). I tried using CLR in the bowl for several minutes, but it didn't do too much. Can someone confirm that a bit of muriatic acid won't immediately dissolve my drain pipes? I don't really feel like taking the toilet outside because it's not too much of a problem at the moment. Maybe I should use a weaker acid like CLR or vinegar for longer (hours instead of minutes)?
     
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    You don't want to use a stronger acid while things are inside...it smells nasty and the fumes aren't the greatest thing to inhale, either! A weak acid, given enough time should work - think about Carlsbad Caverns or some other limestone cave carved out over centuries (probably millennia) by a very weak acid. The stronger the acid, the less time the toilet is out of commission. CLR might take a few hours...this is a very uneducated guess as I've not needed to do this and don't have the real-time experience.
     
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  4. crosstalk

    crosstalk Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Location:
    PA
    I left a CLR/water mixture in the bottom of the bowl overnight. It seems to have dissolved the crud inside in siphon jet hole after several hours.
     
  5. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Occupation:
    Test, Don't Guess!
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    It sounds like you need to have your water tested so you can invest in a long-term solution. Hard water causes more problems than toilet scale, and can be easily treated.
     
  6. wptski

    wptski Retired Machine Repairman

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Location:
    Warren, MI
    My old OEM toilet installed in 1956 which was replaced last October had a problem about ten years ago. After a good cleaning, I checked the jet hole and it was almost blocked solid! I used a small screw driver to remove most all of it which broke off in chunks. It was like a new toilet after that.
     
  7. crosstalk

    crosstalk Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Location:
    PA
    It could be, but this toilet I picked up used from Craigslist (toto dorian). I cleaned it outside before installing it but didn't think about descaling until later. It had some brownish stains in the tank when i got it. Those removed easily with baking soda. It was sitting dry in my garage for a while and when I hooked it back up quite a bit of scale broke loose in the first several flushes. That's what got me thinking about internal scale.
     
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