Getting rid of nasty blockages in your plumbing can be quite challenging. Aside from having to deal the foul smell of dirty stagnant water, it is also quite unsanitary. Among the most common ingredients in anti-clog solutions is the Hydrochloric acid (HCI). Also known as muriatic acid, this power chemical is highly effective in dissolving any buildup in the pipes. However, necessary caution is needed when using this powerful chemical as it is highly corrosive and may end up damaging your pipes or burning your skin if applied improperly.
What is Hydrochloric Acid?
Hydrochloric or muriatic acid is a product of combining hydrochloride with water or a water-based solution of hydrogen chloride gas. While it is popularly used for effectively getting rid of clogs, it is also used in other industries such as steel production, batteries manufacturing, photoflash bulbs manufacturing and fireworks production. It is also used in processing leather, regular salt purification, sugar processing and gelatin production.
Hydrochloric acid can quickly dissolve hair, soap and many other materials that is clogging a drain. But did you know that it can also be found in the stomach and is commonly used by the body to aid in digestion?
There are two common types of hydrochloric acid that can be bought from a hardware or home improvement store. The first one is the diluted hydrochloric acid, which is the pure form of this chemical. The second option is a less pure form, which are the commercial drain cleaning or anti-clog products that contain HCI. Highly concentrated forms of muriatic acid are only sold to licensed plumbers and not to the general public, since they require certain training and experience to use. Therefore, if you wish to purchase these highly concentrated forms of hydrochloric acid, you may need to show proof of a plumbing license.
When using hydrochloric acid, one needs to take special precautions. If it comes in contact with your skin, it can cause burns, erythema and inflammation. If its vapors are inhaled, it can also cause coughing, choking, respiratory tract irritation and inflammation, as well as pulmonary edema.
Aside from health concerns, prolonged or improper use of hydrochloric acid can corrode or completely damage metal pipes. It should also not be mixed with other chemicals, as doing so can cause chemical reaction that can have disastrous effects, with some becoming fatal or causing serious physical injuries.
Hydrochloric Acid Alternatives
If you have metal or porcelain pipes, it is ideal to use a different solution to unclog your pipes. You can either use natural solutions like pouring hot water into the pipes or other less concentrated commercial anti-clog formulas. Both of these are effective for dealing with minor blockages. However, if you are facing a major blocked drain or toilet issue, it will be best to call a licensed emergency plumber Melbourne to deal with it. If you try to solve a major plumbing issue, you could cause more damage to your pipes and end up spending more of your valuable money to repair the damage.