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Old 23-08-2009, 21:45   #1
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Scale Buildup in Toilet

We seem to get a lot of calcium scale build up in our macerater type toilet system. Any cure? or easy removal system.
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Old 23-08-2009, 22:51   #2
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The cure is switching to fresh water flush. If you don't want that, you will have to remove the scaling periodically. Most cruisers use vinegar or some supermarket product for this but make sure it doesn't hurt pump parts etc.

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Old 24-08-2009, 01:49   #3
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Muriatic acid for a bad case. Once you've done that, left over dressing once you've eaten the salad - the vinegar attacks the scale and the oil lubricares the moving bits, works a treat.
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Old 24-08-2009, 10:46   #4
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Vinegar with hot water seemed to clean my system
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Old 24-08-2009, 10:58   #5
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We put our toilets on a weekly treatment schedule with vinegar. It helped "some", but it didn't seem to do much for the y valves downstream. I find that pretty much once a year, I've got to remove them, take them apart and use muriatic acid (although last time I used oxalic and that did fine, too) to clean them up and get them working smoothly again.

Not a pleasant job, but it beats the alternatives. Done that, too. Don't care to do it again.

ID
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Old 24-08-2009, 11:01   #6
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Mix muriatic acid into water in toilet bowl ( not the other way around) flush toilet and let acid solution sit in system for about an hour then flush alot to get acid out of system.
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Old 24-08-2009, 11:13   #7
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About once a week I let vinegar sit inside the internal plumbing overnight.
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Old 24-08-2009, 12:55   #8
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We too use the vinegar bought at the local megamart every 3-4 weeks.

Rich

Edit: right now we're not using the boat as much inasmuch as I'm doing remodeling on the house. We may have to alter the frequency once we get back to spending more time on the boat.
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Old 24-08-2009, 14:15   #9
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Vinegar, leave it in the tubes for a night then pump out and see if it goes out.

Beware of some strong acid based solutions - I have seen macerator impellers melt !!!

b.
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Old 24-08-2009, 14:20   #10
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Our electric toilet stopped flushing - the macerator/pump would work, water would collect in the bowl but would not go down. I called Jabsco, the first thing they asked me was if my holding tank was mounted higher than the toilet's outlet or if there were any turns in the hose leading from the toilet to the tank. Yes...and yes... They said I have calcium deposits in the hose, which we confirmed once it was removed.

Repositioning the holding tank is out of the question, so I am resigned to the fact that once a year we have to change the hose. Last time we had to do it was yesterday. There are exactly eight feet between the toilet outlet and the tank inlet on our boat. 8x$4.19=33.52 plus tax at West Marine. That's about $2.80 a month.

It is easy enough to replace the hose. First, pump out!. Flush toilet generously.Then, have two plugs handy to stick into each end of the hose as you remove it. The plugs stop any "stuff" from the hose from leaking into the boat. You will need a heat gun to both remove the old and install the new hose. Careful not to burn the new hose.

Tighten clamps, do a trial flush to check for leaks. The job was done in 15 minutes, at a minimal cost and there is no need for ongoing toilet TLC. We're now good to "go" for another year.

Come on, it's not that bad. You'll be amazed how long you can actually hold your breath. Or, you can use a lot of air freshener while you work on it.
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Old 24-08-2009, 16:31   #11
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Not brown paper...

I too have found vinegar to be effective, but low concentration and frequent use looks to be the key.

I use a small (half a splash/cup) amount before leaving the boat/retiring, pump it up so it sits in the pump/hose (Lavac/elevated holding tank) and leave it overnight or till my next visit.

Once the brown paper starts lining pipes and pumps vinegar may not be a quick fix.
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Old 24-08-2009, 17:30   #12
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we ran a charter boat for several years on which we insisted that the guests pump 20 times whenever the head was used. never had a problem as after pumping 20 times there was nothing left in the hose to react with the saltwater.
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Old 24-08-2009, 21:30   #13
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Originally Posted by gbanker View Post
we ran a charter boat for several years on which we insisted that the guests pump 20 times whenever the head was used. never had a problem as after pumping 20 times there was nothing left in the hose to react with the saltwater.
Ahhh... you obviously don't realize that salt water itself contains more than enough ingredients to do the scaling. Only lining the hose interior with anti-fouling paint will help for that. If you don't have that (I actually heard about folks doing that) it'll slowly turn into a reef, just like underwater boat-parts without the paint.

That's why I started with the notion that there's only one cure: fresh water flush. The rest is all trying to keep it under control.

Lots of pumping is very good for keeping the head working; but it's not scaling that fouls/plugs it when not pumping enough.... ;-)

cheers,
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Old 03-04-2011, 17:24   #14
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Re: Scale Buildup in Toilet

At the end of a wekend on board i flush our toilet with fresh water and i leave it full till next we are down it seems to work before that i replaced the hose every 18 months or so cheers andy
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Old 03-04-2011, 19:10   #15
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Re: Scale Buildup in Toilet

A WEEKLY--or at least just before leaving the boat EVERY TIME--cupful of distilled white vinegar will prevent it. Not "every month or two" or "from time to time" or "a few times a year"...but WEEKLY or every time the boat will sit. And it needs to be distilled white vinegar, not cider or any other kind...because white vinegar is distilled from alcohol, not just fermented from fruit juice, and therefore is MUCH more acidic...and therefore more effective at dissolving mineral buildup.

If you do it right, it does work...honest!
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