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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Question

The facility has two toilets that develop recurring streaks very shortly after the toilets are cleaned. It looks like the toilets were not cleaned when the client's employees arrive in the morning. Sometimes the streaks reappear even before the crew leaves the building. Any ideas what it might be the cause of the stains and how to eliminate them?


Answer

This sounds as if you have a plumbing problem. It could be a leaking valve that lets the water constantly trickle into the bowl or the toilet flush water contains rust (from pipes) or minerals that leave visible streaks in the bowls. Some newer buildings use recycled water in their toilets, which isn't as particulate free as fresh water.
If the toilets have tanks holding the flush water, clean the inside of the tanks. Check for leaking flush valves that let water flow into the bowls even when no one pushes the flush handle. This could explain why streaks appear with no apparent use.
If the toilets have flush valves, but no holding tanks, the problem is in the supply piping or pressure tank, if they have one. However, if only two of several show this, look at those fixtures first. Any deposits in the bowl or tank are easily removed using any one of many acid-based bowl cleaners available. Use with personal safety in mind. Apply a wet pumice stick to stubborn deposits to assist the cleaner.
Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Associate Editor
lekrafft@juno.com