Toilet Water - Salmon Colored Ring

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by statjunk, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. statjunk

    statjunk DIY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Hey guys,

    I have a toilet in my house that is seldom used. I noticed that when the water sits there a pink ring will form around the toilet. It never bothered me until I noticed that the shower head that I use almost daily had a little bit of pink-salmon colored stuff on the individual spray tips.

    What does this mean about my water?

    I'm on Detroit city water which is considered to be excellent water. All the pipes in my house are copper.

    Thanks

    Tom
     
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    Iron reducing bacteria? I get it too. Only normally notice it in the toilet, but occasionally in the tub. If your WH is set high enough, it will kill the stuff in there, but when you mix it with the cold...
     
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  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I learned about this recently on another forum. Serratia marcescens is your culprit!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serratia_marcescens
     
  5. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber, Outdoor Temperature Relief Owner
    Location:
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I don't see anywhere where it says get out of the house now! I do see it saying kill it with chlorine bleach.

    I dunno Rugged, I think you need to change your handle! Your scared of a hepatitus shot and now you're scared of "Pink" Bacteria..... Sheesh!
     
  7. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber, Outdoor Temperature Relief Owner
    Location:
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area
    I tried for the username "Dainty" or "Tender" but they were all taken. Sad :(
     
  8. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber
    Location:
    Connecticut
    :p Siezed the opporitunity:p
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2007
  9. jsbsmarcescens

    jsbsmarcescens New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2017
    Location:
    North Central Texas
    S. marcescens is killed by the chlorine in chlorinated water, but it dissipates shortly. Pink rings are normally found in toilets that are not flushed often.

    For the solution to it growing in a shower...

    "I joined this forum just to post the solution to this problem (in a different thread); a solution that works so well everyone should know about it. The post above correctly identifies the culprit as bacteria named serratia marcescens, but does not give this wonderful, bleach-fumes-free, easy, permanent solution for getting rid of it. I found many inquiries about how to clean off this common problem, but only found the answer in one place, which is why I'm spreading the news around.

    Some key words to help people find this page: pink orange deposit growth mold bacteria shower tub grout serratia marcescens prevent rid.

    This works so well it is effectively MAGIC and deserves the widest possible disemination. I'd been cleaning off this slimy stuff for fifty years and assumed it was in the water and left a deposit when it evaporated, like hard water calcium deposits. That is wrong. It is a harmless little beast once thought so benign it was intentionally injected into aquifers to trace the flow of water underground. It eats the fats in bar soap, so step one is to rinse out your shower each time you use it.

    If serratia marcescens eats bar soap, it makes sense to throw the soap out in the Back Forty and switch to body wash, which I read is made from petroleum, but I found it is not necessary. We inadvertently bought some Sam's Club Members Mark "Moisturizing Body Wash With Shea Butter" and only recently found shea butter is a fat and our problems are gone! I suspect you could still use bar soap if you rinse and spray every time.

    Despite our mistake, we have not a trace of anything in our shower after two months, not even dirt, and I haven't cleaned it once! Normally it would have dingy stuff where we stand that would have to be scoured off, plus the orange and black bacteria and mold. Ever since the first days of using the spray, the tile and grout have looked like the day they were installed. The beasts are gone and so is the dirt! I attribute this astonishing lack of grime to the vinegar, which I learned from my research is a terrific cleaner of almost anything.

    As to the magic spray, let me give credit where credit is due. I did not come up with this formula, I only modified it to improve it based on lots more research and two months of experience. It was originally posted on this forum by a member named jadnashua. I used that info and added what I found during two months of experience and extensive searching elsewhere.

    Jadnashua said you have to start with a clean shower, so scrub everything thoroughly one last time.

    He also said to apply it liberally to a dry shower, but I have found it is not necessary to wait for the shower/tub to dry before spraying, nor to apply liberally, at least not after the first few days. I spray lightly every day immediately after showering and rinsing. I rinse only where tiles stay wet a long time, from 18" down incl the tile floor with a hand held sprayer, then spray same with the magic spray and walk away. Hydrogen peroxide used to be used to bleach hair blonde, so we substituted a white rug outside the shower door and we keep our towels away from it.

    The original poster did not say how often we should spray, but I have been doing it every day and it takes less time than drying the shower. Rinse, spray, walk away.

    Hydrogen peroxide is water with an extra oxygen molecule, making its formula H2O2. It hates sunlight, air, physical contact with other substances and even sitting unopened on a shelf, all of which make it lose its extra oxygen molecule. That turns it into H2O, plain water; useless for our purposes. For that reason, I make up the solution without hydrogen peroxide, adding it only when I fill my handheld quart sprayer. A sprayer full lasts at least a couple weeks. H2O2 will be plain water a month after opening it, and after about six months unopened on the shelf.

    BUY THE FOLLOWING:

    1. One HALF gallon of the cheapest vinegar you can find.

    2. Boric acid. You will need one cup for the first batch. Boric acid is a powder and for many years was dusted around the house to kill roaches, but it is harmless to humans. Boric acid is one of the safest chemicals there are for humans, so no precautions are necessary. You will find boric acid ($3 in 7/2017) in Walmart sold as Enoz Roach Away. It comes in a bright yellow, 16 oz. by weight, plastic bottle that holds two cups. My Walmart stocks it in two locations: Insecticides, where it was sold out, and Food, which had some.

    3: A quart or two (but no more because it goes bad) of hydrogen peroxide. In 7/2017 it was in the Walmart pharmacy First Aid section for 88 cents a quart. It is sold in dark plastic bottles to protect it from light, it must be used within a month after opening and it must be recapped tightly.

    4: An excellent 88-cent Walmart clear plastic empty 32 oz spray bottle with volume marks in ounces and mL. Mark it SHAKE WELL.

    5. Find a spare gallon jug, rinse it and label it shake well.

    DIRECTIONS FOR MIXING

    In the gallon jug, add one half gallon of vinegar and funnel in one cup of boric acid. Shake well. Not all the boric acid will dissolve. You now have half of your magic mixture. You will make the complete mixture in the spray bottle as required. To fill your sprayer, shake your gallon jug and fill the sprayer half full with the vinegar boric acid mixture. Without touching the mouth of the hydrogen peroxide bottle to the sprayer, fill the rest of the sprayer with H2O2. Invert gently to mix. The spray will leave a barely visible white coating of boric acid after it dries.

    The hydrogen peroxide is an odor free bleach substitute. It and the vinegar strip the cell walls from the S. marcescens and the boric acid keeps it from coming back.
     
    Reach4 likes this.
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