Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Okay to Drain Unused Toilet
Old 05-03-2019, 06:54 PM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 12,218
Okay to Drain Unused Toilet

We have a toilet that we only use when we have guests (rarely). It still has to be cleaned.

Is it okay to drain it out and refill it when needed?
__________________

__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-03-2019, 07:26 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,098
In a word, no.

The water in the bowl fills the trap which keeps sewer gasses from coming into the house.

Ditto for any sinks or showers which are rarely used. I have to pour some water down the unused shower stall in our downstairs bathroom from time to time. The water in the trap can evaporate over time, and on a windy day, pressure changes in the plumbing may suck some of it out.
__________________

CaptTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2019, 07:29 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 45,331
^ What CT said. Could get smelly.
__________________
Numbers is hard

Charter resident of the lumpen slums of cyberspace

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2019, 07:43 PM   #4
Moderator Emeritus
aja8888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 10,173
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
^ What CT said. Could get smelly.
May be flammable (methane) amd maybe contain hydrogen sulfide gas (really not good for you!).
__________________
Wear Italian, Kiss French, Drink Russian, Drive German
aja8888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2019, 07:55 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 12,218
Okay, got it.

Any other ideas for avoiding having to clean the ring around the bowl? Maybe just get the water level really low.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2019, 07:59 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 2,140
As above, the trap is part of the bowl design.

Why does it need to be cleaned if not used? Put some RV antifreeze or some such in it and then do the old saran wrap over the bowl gag to prevent evaporation. Could likely just empty and fill with distilled water and a tablespoon of bleach to get the same effect. Just remember to take the saran wrap off before the guests move in if you go that route!
6miths is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2019, 08:02 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 3,121
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Any other ideas for avoiding having to clean the ring around the bowl? Maybe just get the water level really low.
I've never tried it but a tablespoon of bleach mixed with the water left in the bowl might work.
GrayHare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2019, 08:03 PM   #8
Moderator
Jerry1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 2,578
Just tell your guests to come more often or learn to put up with the ring.

If you're on city sewer, you could put some bleach in the bowl (never the tank). If you're on septic, you may be able to use a recommended cleaner that won't mess with your septic. Seriously, I would just brush it once in awhile. Marketing materials make it seem like some big nasty chore, but a brush and a squirt of soap from the hand soap dispenser and a little swoosh and you're done.
__________________
Every day when I open my eyes now it feels like a Saturday - David Gray
Jerry1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2019, 08:19 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 2,140
The ring is likely mainly from hard water and evaporation so go with distilled water. Also even on a septic system a tablespoon of bleach in the bowl of a toilet that is not flushed is not going to kill a significant portion of the bacteria in the septic system as the chlorine will gas off over time.
6miths is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2019, 08:33 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 12,218
Yes, our hard water stains the bowl so much that we periodically have to use a pumice stone to clean away the ring.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2019, 08:40 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 22,533
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Okay, got it.

Any other ideas for avoiding having to clean the ring around the bowl? Maybe just get the water level really low.
Yes:

Put a little bleach in the bowl.
Cover with saran wrap.
Close cover and lid.

You'll still need to flush and refresh it every 2 to 3 months. But it should stay clean.
__________________
Retired since summer 1999.
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2019, 09:22 PM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Placerville
Posts: 900
Drop a dishwasher soap packet into the bowl between guest visits. Most are designed to prevent hard water spots and likely to keep the ring from forming in the bowl. I use Cascade Platinum
skipro33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2019, 10:43 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Telly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,639
There is a permanent solution to the ring problem. Replace the toilet and the internals under it with the porcelain squat tray, as seen in many countries. No visible water to create a ring of buildup.
If your visitors seemed to be a bit shocked when they see it, tell them that you are concerned with their welfare, and that's why you changed it out. Tell them that the human body was not designed for chair/comfort height toilets, nor even the original regular height. Maybe show them a video of that unicorn extruding ice cream. They'll get the idea quick, and thank you. Please remind them to empty their pockets first, before assuming the position.

To be extra thoughtful, mark the four points of the compass so some will not face, nor turn their back on, a particular geographic location when using this.

<This post has been approved by the UN>

I'm just trying to be helpful, T-Al
__________________
-- Telly, the D-I-Y guy --
Two fools dancing on the hands of time
Telly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2019, 11:01 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 2,140
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Yes, our hard water stains the bowl so much that we periodically have to use a pumice stone to clean away the ring.

Ouch! Better maybe to turn the water off to the tank, flush the toilet so it is almost empty and then fill over the level of the ring with vinegar or CLR or the like and let stand overnight then use your toilet brush. Pumice stone is likely to scratch the porcelain and make the staining harder and harder to remove as it penetrates the exposed unglazed clay below.
6miths is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2019, 11:37 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
calmloki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Independence
Posts: 5,992
We leave our toilets 6 months at a time and let the house go ambient cold. We use RV antifreeze, and after fighting the pink stain from the antifreeze and mold growth, add a goodly slug of bleach and swirl that up under the lip. Then Saran wrap the top. I leave the tank lid on top of the seat to avoid the April fools style surprise when forgetting the toilet is winterized.
__________________
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." Dalai Lama
calmloki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2019, 04:58 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 1,938
Good tip about the shower trap. I have a shower downstairs that we never use except during the busy season.(We live on a lake, so the busy season is June-August) and I wondered why sometimes we get a sewer smell.
I do put RV anti-freeze down there in the winter, but I should make sure there is some water in the trap. Like right now.
Thanks for the tip.
HadEnuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2019, 12:08 PM   #17
Moderator
samclem's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 14,133
Quote:
Originally Posted by HadEnuff View Post
Good tip about the shower trap. I have a shower downstairs that we never use except during the busy season.(We live on a lake, so the busy season is June-August) and I wondered why sometimes we get a sewer smell.
I do put RV anti-freeze down there in the winter, but I should make sure there is some water in the trap. Like right now.
Thanks for the tip.
Some folks recommend putting some light cooking oil down traps like these to form a film over the top that won't evaporate and will keep the water in the trap. I've never found that to work and it's also not good for city sewer systems. But just putting >something< over the top (a flat rubber "flapper" stopper, a plastic lid from a margarine tub, etc) does seem to help the trap wet a lot longer, so additional water is needed much less frequently.
If it is a floor drain, it's best to use something that can float off in case the floor gets flooded and the drain is really needed.
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2019, 12:33 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Florence, AL/Helen, GA
Posts: 3,560
Just flush it once a week. If any ring shows, put 4 oz. bleach in it.

I have 5 bathrooms, and we seldom use two of them. That's what I do.
Bamaman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2019, 05:13 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 22,533
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
Some folks recommend putting some light cooking oil down traps like these to form a film over the top that won't evaporate and will keep the water in the trap. I've never found that to work and it's also not good for city sewer systems. But just putting >something< over the top (a flat rubber "flapper" stopper, a plastic lid from a margarine tub, etc) does seem to help the trap wet a lot longer, so additional water is needed much less frequently.
If it is a floor drain, it's best to use something that can float off in case the floor gets flooded and the drain is really needed.
Clear plastic tape - like wide shipping tape. That was quite effective in t RV shower. Driving sometimes shook the water out of the j-traps and you’d get a yucky gray water smell.
__________________

__________________
Retired since summer 1999.
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Canceling unused credit cards - effect on FICO Lakewood90712 FIRE and Money 10 10-16-2011 02:50 PM
Treatment of unused vacation when leaving Finance Dave FIRE and Money 33 09-12-2011 07:26 AM
Unused Credit cards Gearhead Jim FIRE and Money 2 06-22-2010 02:28 PM
The Toilet and The Seat - Let's Do The Math Danny Other topics 26 06-06-2008 03:34 PM
close unused credit cards or keep open? bright eyed FIRE and Money 13 03-06-2007 08:40 PM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:46 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.