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THE BLUE GOO STORY

AKA The Lazy Flush

(from R.L. a professional plumber) Just wanted to stop by and let you know that I enjoyed your toiletology site. If I may, I would like to point out an additional answer to the question why the 1.6 toilet would start flushing poorly. We live and work in a new suburb, so most all of the toilets we service are 1.6ers. We've found that those blue drop-in tank tablets (NOTE: white tablets also cause the problem) will slow the flush badly enough to where the water will build up to the rim and just swirl around. If the tablet is placed just right in the tank, the water will hit it hard enough to over saturate the blue stuff. When this happens, the water becomes "thick and heavy". The trap in the toilet was designed to have clean clear water running over it at a calculated speed. The blue stuff gets thick enough to slow the water rushing over the trap thus causing the siphon action to never fully develop.

We see this problem every week. It's worse with the 1.6ers because you're dealing with a lot less water than a "normal" water closet. I've had customers swear to me they need a new toilet and tell me "that sounds crazy" when I tell them about the blue stuff. So, I put on my rubber glove, remove the tablet, flush 5-7 times and guess what, the toilet is as good as new!! You wouldn't believe the looks on their faces, especially when the realize they almost forced me to install a new toilet.


(Kay's reply) I must say, that I understand your customer's need to see a demo. It's hard to grasp, considering under normal use water passing through a toilet trap is usually not "clean and clear".

(R.L. says) It's true what you say about the "not usually clean and clear", but the difference is the chemistry in the water, not the solids being flushed. Water will carry the solids, but the blue "heavy" water won't even carry itself.


A Chemist's Explanation of
Blue Goo


Further comments ...

(Heather) Hi! My toilet was flushing really slow and no amount of using a plunger helped so like everyone else I googled it and found your site. Everyone was talking about "blue goo", but it wasn't until a lady mentioned the white Clorox tabs that it clicked; the problem was the toilet tabs. First, I dumped 2 gallons of water down the toilet to make sure it wasn't a blocked drain. Next, I took the Clorox tab out, rinsed out the tank with the flexible shower hose, and refilled the tank. It flushed just fine! Thanks for the advice! The only thing I would change is to clarify that blue goo means any of those toilet cleaning tabs and not just the blue colored ones!:)

(http://heptapod.org/2005/oct/102905.html) AN IMPORTANT PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT... Unfortunately I didn't have the tools for the job and made a trip to Home Depot before sunrise. Seventy five dollars later, I had purchased a 6 foot auger and a big wrench to fix the problem. A search of Google was very important to this story and the eventual, successful outcome. I found Toiletology, a website obviously dedicated to the most used seat in the house. My search for "toilet not flushing all the way" gave the first result to a link about 'blue goo'. Interesting, I had one of those blue toilet breathmints in the tank. Folks were rejoicing, joyously exclaiming that removing the tablet and rinsing out the tank was the cure for their ailing commode! I figured I knew better and wrenched open the PVC cap on the pipe leading to the main line. No backup.

Now the blue goo story was nagging at the back of my head, my conscience saying I was an impetuous and foolish spendthrift who couldn't exercise patience and must always jump to conclusions. Figuring it was worth a shot, I got down to business on the toilet tank. First I propped up the flapper and drained out the tank. Next I poured water from a two liter botttle into the tank. Soon my toilet was full of dark blue water and I filled the toilet tank so I could flush it down the drain. Once the majority of the blue was kicked up from the bottom, I began flushing and using the shower hose to get rid of the offending matter. My toilet now works! In fact, I just took a wad of toilet paper and flushed it in one go without having to plunge! In other words: NEVER USE THE BLUE TOILET BREATHMINTS

(Ames, Iowa) I got 3 Blue Goo pellets for an Xmas present for Christmas 2008. Cool I thought. I dropped one in the 1.6 gpf new toilet and it was nice and blue and works perfect. So a week later I dropped one in the 3.5 gpf old toilet. A couple hours later, it would not flush, just swirled and swirled. For two days, I went through 2 plungers, 10 buckets of water, 1 wire coat hanger, 1/4 bottle of vinegar, and 2 hours searching on the Internet, and nothing worked :-( My girlfriend and I got into a big toodoo over this, I was blaming her and she was blaming me. I told her it was immmmmpooooosssssible for a tiny Blue-Goo Pellet to clog a toilet. I said look at it, it's 5 inches from the flapper :-0 We were going to go buy a new toilet tonight for $200, and then luckily I just found your web page, and I scooped out the remnants of the Blue Goo and the next flush worked! Amazing! I wouldn't have believed it except I saw it. Boy, am I happy right now :-) So now I have to say I'm sorry :-) I'm cc'ing Tracey on this email so she can see how embarrased and sorry I am. I'm also cc'ing the gift giver, Peg, so she knows about Blue Goo Too. Peg, thanks for the gift, but next year I just want a bottle of toilet cleaner.

(J.C. , So. FL) I just enjoyed your 101 site and read the horror stories about the blue goo. Well, I am a service plumber in South Florida, and the other problems I've found with the "blue goo" is that it will also find its way into the flush rim of the toilet where, once there you'll have to flush your toilet for months to get rid of the problem, or get a new toilet.

Another thing is that here in South Florida we have high concentrations of chlorine in our water. Using these things that you drop into the tank cause major damage to the flapper and other rubber compound components in the tank. It is doing this by adding even more bleach to the water. Has our world become so lazy that we can't clean our toilets the old fashion way?? If you get a chance read the warning label placed at the bottom of a Fluidmaster ballcock box, I think you will be surprised to see what it says. Again thanks for the great site!!!




(B.S.) It Works! Thank you for the very good information on the Lazy Toilet and the Blue Goo. I have been plagued with both of those things for quite some time now. I never gave it a thought about the density of the water used in the toilet, and I am a retired Plumber, and always glad to learn something new. Thank you for your most informative web page, It solved my problem's, everything is working in great shape now.



(Independence, MO) I would have never guessed that the blue tablet was a part of the problem with my lazy-flushing 1.6G toilets. They have been removed! Incidentally, I am a Civil Engineer with extensive training and experience in hydraulics and gravity and pressure flow systems, and I still did not recognize this possible source of the problem.



(B.J. in Utah)A few weeks ago I came across your site while trying to figure out what to do about our slow flowing toilets. My husband thought he was being helpful by putting a Clorox tab as well as a 2000 flushes tab in each of our toilets serveral weeks previously. I was so miffed a him. I told him that every time we have ever had any of those products in one of our toilets it did nothing but cause problems and the toilets to work incorrectly. He just blew me and my protests off.

Well, in the interim, our toilets started to act up, not flushing properly and leaving behind little "surprises" for us. I decided to take it upon myself to figure out what to do and went looking on the internet for solutions. Other sites and places I looked talked about trying to unclog the toilet in a variety of ways as well as replacing the toilet. Until I got to your site and found the term "Blue-Goo." Instinctively I knew this is what I was looking. I read every page you had about the blue-goo, all of the testimoials and why the goo causes these problems. I was about two-thirds through the testimonials when my husband came downstairs where I happily told him I was right, and not only was I right, but there were three pages of people as well as further information that said I was right as well. He was not nearly as impressed as I was, but when I told my mom about it, she said it definitely made sense to her.

After I told my husband we had to get rid of the remainer, he asked me, well, then how do you keep the toilet clean? I said the only way to keep it clean is to clean it manually. Bummer, and I was raised in a house with four brothers whose job it was to clean the toilet, because chances were they made a much larger mess than I, so I have almost always deferred toilet cleaning to my husband. I also wanted him to clean the blue-goo out, but ended up cleaning it out myself, it took some time, some gloves and lots of water, but I got the blue stuff and the remaining clorox tabs out and not the toilets run freely. Thanks for the advice on the "Blue-Goo," I have no intentions of ever using those typse of products ever again and if that means I have to clean the toilets a little more myself, then so be it, it's better that than lifting the lid to find a "surprise."

In the future, if I ever need toilet advice, I will seek out your site and I will refer others to it as well, and I will try to sway consumers away from the the products that create the "Blue-Goo." Thanks, B-J in Utah.



(Jacob, Charlotte, NC) We started using the little blue tablets to ward off water staining in our toilets. All was fine until we went away for a 5 day trip only to return and find our Master bedroom toilet unable to flush a single square of toilet paper. I figured it was time to call in the heavy artillery when repeated plunging failed to put a dent in the “plug”. Glad I Googled “plumbing slow flush toilet” and landed your Blue Goo stories before making call to the plumber. No more blue tablets for our bowls!! Thanks!!!! You saved us a bundle!



(P.T.) Thanks for telling me about "Blue Goo," I promise never to use it ever again! You just saved me $75.00 for a repair bill.



(M.C., Nova Scotia, Canada) Just wanted to send along my thanks for your Blue Goo article - found your site after three and a half hour of plunging, augering and almost calling a plumber. Although very skeptical at first that this was my problem, I thought what do I have to lose... after a thorough scrubing and flushing it worked to my amazment... I have e-mailed your site and article to everyone I know and I have also contacted the WD-40 Co. who makes the 2000 Flushes Blue Puck... they have sent out a claim form and are offering to replace my now severly scratched toilet bowl (from the augering) with a new bowl, with labour costs included... Unfortunately they are blaming this problem on a probable bad batch of blue pucks, as they said this is the first they have heard of this problem.. go fiqure eh... Again thank-you, your site is a God send.



(Miami, FL) We had one toilet in the master bath that started to flush very slowly. I called a plumber who used the snake a couple of times to "unclog" any blockage. There was no difference - what he did made no difference. He then informed me that I need a new toilet and that was the only solution. I decided to search the internet " how to fix a slowing draining toilet " and came across your article about the blue story and saw that I wasn't the only one who got this advice from a plumber. I'm happy to report that your solution worked. I drained the tank and scooped out the blue goo and flushed several times. Now the toilet works like it was brand new. It's a good thing I saw your article before calling another plumber. Thanks for your most informative article.



(RM, Long Island, NY) I must add my congratulations and thanks for the information on the Blue Goo scourge. I have a 40 year old Elger toilet which was working and looking great until a couple of weeks ago. At first, one flush out of ten was a dud, then a few more until this week, when every flush was an adventure. I went through the standard fixes, the plunger, closet auger, water feed system check and such until I thought it was the line from the toilet to the downpipe so I was prepared to remove the toilet and use a power snake. One thing I noticed was that the toilet did not back up and overflow, regardless of the amount or frequency of flushes. This is key, if the water overflows the bowl, it is probably a clogged line. In desperation I searched the internet for slow flushing toilet info and came up with your site on the first hit. After reading through the suggestions, the Blue Goo story came to light. Sure enough, I had just installed a set of lozenges before the problem developed! On went the gloves and out came the pills. I took out the flapper and let the water run continuously while I flushed out the blue stuff using a plastic half gallon milk container filled from the sink. It still took about 20 minutes to clear it all out and it was messy as heck, but the water never overflowed which gave me hope. When the tank water was clear, I put the flapper in, depressed the lever and then...... SUCCESS. The toilet is operating like new on every flush! This is to show that not only low volume toilets but the old standbys, with large rim holes are victims of the same product. From now on, only clear water for me!!! Thanks again.



(Nicole) THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED!!! God Bless you for this site. I had no idea what was happening. Thank you



(D.M., Chicago, IL) Hi, I just want to thank you for the "Blue Goo" story, and recommendations. I had the problem with the slow swirling flushes,and after much consideration....we were sure we needed a new toilet...as ours is very old. My husband said he would take care of it. While my husband is a brilliant man....and quite handy, he is not extremely motivated. I decided to see if there was anything we could do in the mean time as my family needs to be able to make use of both bathrooms. After reading your article, I immediately put on my rubber gloves and got to work. It was a messy task, but after about an hour or so.....the toilet was flushing normally! Truly unbelievable! Needless to say, my family and I are very pleased......and grateful to you!!! I have added your site in my bookmarks. I never thought I would be writing a letter to a toiletology website....but I had to tell you how wonderful you are!!! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. You have helped us tremendously! Your site is number 1 in my book!!! I definitely won't be buying any Blue Goo in the future! Thanks again, and feel free to post this on your feedback forum!!!



(A.E.M.) I just wanted to thank you a thousand times for having this advice available to me . My wife unknowingly did the tablets and my toilet stopped working properly . With your help I was able to fix it . You are the best thank you !!!!

More Blue Goo Stories --->





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