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Old 03-14-2013, 08:38 PM   #1
91bronc300
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Default Can I dump this stuff down the drain?

I've got about 3 gallons of white vinegar and 1 gallon of hydrochloric acid that I've been using to clean copper. They are both a fairly dark green. I know there are some people here that work in municipal water treatment so I'm wondering if dumping a little dissolved copper oxide down the drain is OK or a no-no. And if a no-no, where can I dump it? I kind of figure it wouldn't be a problem because so much plumbing is copper but I also hear putting metals down the drain is bad so I figured I'd ask.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: Can I dump this stuff down the drain?

According to the USGS ............

"Used hydrochloric acid is considered a hazardous waste because of its
corrosive properties. By diluting hydrochloric acid to 5 percent volume to volume or less, and neutralizing it with NAHCO3 to a neutral pH, the solution is no longer corrosive and can, in some jurisdictions, be disposed of down the drain. Before this is practiced as a means of disposal, permission must be obtained from the local waste water treatment facility and be in compliance with local and State environmental regulations."

edit - If you plan on diluting it, investigate the proper procedure.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: Can I dump this stuff down the drain?

I'm thinking is probably not a good idea to dump hydrochloric acid down the drain.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Can I dump this stuff down the drain?

I didn't think it would be a bad idea to dump hydrochloric acid down the drain because it's hydrochloric acid since strong sulfuric acid is used as a drain cleaner. I figured it would be bad to dump down the drain because it has metal dissolved in it.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: Can I dump this stuff down the drain?

Do you have a town or city hazardous waste day?
We have one yearly and that is when I take all the nasties down.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Can I dump this stuff down the drain?

Add baking soda to acid until it won't fizz. At that point the acid is neutralized. Should be safe for disposal.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: Can I dump this stuff down the drain?

Actually it would depend on the concentration of the HCl. If it is concentrated, 12M, I would carefully neutralize it first. If it is relatively low concentration, 1M or less, mix with baking soda or running water and it should be fine.

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Old 03-14-2013, 10:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: Can I dump this stuff down the drain?

If he was an a$$hole I'd probably pour it in a neighbors flower bed.

If not that, do the correct thing. Maybe plastic jugs and to the county recycle center for advice.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: Can I dump this stuff down the drain?

dumpher all in there an top it off wit some gas and a long fuse! thet what yu pay yr taxes fer anyway,to have a good dump site!Then lite the fuse an flusher dowwn.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:58 PM   #10
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Default Re: Can I dump this stuff down the drain?

I'm with you, I think the metal is the problem. I remember seeing a cheap brand of toilet cleaner once that was a mix of hydrochloric acid and surfactants. I'm sure there is something that you could add to the mix to get the metals to drop out leaving you with a sludge that would be easier to dispose of. Copper is toxic in concentrations and should not be allowed to get into streams or waterways. Copper can be used to kill tree roots in sewer lines but many jurisdictions ban its use. I'm glad you thought to ask the question. Hopefully someone offers a more precise solution. If you know anyone who does metal plating, they might be able to point you in the right direction as well.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:12 PM   #11
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Default Re: Can I dump this stuff down the drain?

Household hazardous waste roundup, it's free, the copper is the nasty part, yeah it's only a couple of gallons, but every little bit hurts. My wife disposes of this kind of stuff for metal refinishers, in Ca. it would cost $350-400 to get rid of that amount commercially if it couldn't be recycled, and the fines for dumping are even higher.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:38 PM   #12
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Default Re: Can I dump this stuff down the drain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 91bronc300 View Post
I figured it would be bad to dump down the drain because it has metal dissolved in it.
You know that copper sulphate is sold to put down the drain to kill roots.
Don't worry about the metal.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:54 PM   #13
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Default Re: Can I dump this stuff down the drain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guns R Tools View Post
Add baking soda to acid until it won't fizz. At that point the acid is neutralized. Should be safe for disposal.
THIS. Done it.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:59 PM   #14
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Default Re: Can I dump this stuff down the drain?



Whats the worst that could happen?
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:01 AM   #15
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Default Re: Can I dump this stuff down the drain?

Call your local waste water manager, or check their website.

Many cities now have advanced filtration processes and tell you to pour the small amounts down the toilet to keep people from just pouring it down the storm drains.

Im allowed to dump all kinds of weird shit down the toilet. Thats where all my coolant goes.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:22 AM   #16
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Default Re: Can I dump this stuff down the drain?

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Originally Posted by rlitman View Post
You know that copper sulphate is sold to put down the drain to kill roots.
Don't worry about the metal.
What he's got is likely much stronger and given that copper sulphate is lethal in humans in gram quantities, you have to ask yourself..."Am I that lazy?"
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:48 AM   #17
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Default Re: Can I dump this stuff down the drain?

NO.

Not only is the copper sulfate dangerous (lethal in humans as already mentioned), the mixture will eat your pipes over time (aka etching, and is the process used to remove the unwanted copper from bare electronics PCB's).

In small quantities for home users, there is usually a part of the local gov. that will dispose of it at no cost. Check it out before doing anything with it.

If they give you a procedure that is acceptable for drain disposal, fine. But given the potential for it to be followed incorrectly, they'll probably give you a location to make a drop-off instead.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:21 AM   #18
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Default Re: Can I dump this stuff down the drain?

Talk about over kill with all these ideas and worrying about a little acid going down a drain , just think about the ratio of water vs. acid that will be in the sewer system , by the time it reaches the plant it will be diluted by 100's of 1000's of gallons of water
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:29 AM   #19
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Default Re: Can I dump this stuff down the drain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garage5.9 View Post
Talk about over kill with all these ideas and worrying about a little acid going down a drain , just think about the ratio of water vs. acid that will be in the sewer system , by the time it reaches the plant it will be diluted by 100's of 1000's of gallons of water
Kewl. Let's dump in Hawaii and you can drink from the fountain.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:59 AM   #20
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Default Re: Can I dump this stuff down the drain?

If you are going to neutralize the acid, ALWAYS add small amounts of acid to the larger volume of water or neutralizing agent. This greatly reduces the chances of an explosive reaction.
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