Hydrochloric Acid use on copper pipes!
Hydrochloric Acid is a chemical that can be used to clean out blocked copper pipes, it is a mixture of Hydrochloride mixed with water it is used because of it being a powerful dissolving agent chemical that can break down the likes of hair, soap, fats and even metals. Most often than not this chemical is found in a lot of conventional household cleaning supplies; however, it is incredibly diluted for the most part when found in these particular products.
Fun fact, Hydrochloric Acid is also found in the stomach and aids us with digestion of food! So, YOU KNOW IT WORKS WELL WITH BREAKING DOWN SOLIDS!
It’s recommended to use a diluted version of the product (commonly purchased from hardware stores), please note it is only recommended to use this product if you have copper pipes. If you have metal or plastic piping/drains, you run the risk of corrosion or worse, destroying the pipes. You can find safe alternatives to HCI at your local hardware store that will be just as effective to use of your house’s pipes, consult your plumber or local hardware store if you’re unsure.
It should be noted that for the most part, pure or highly concentrated versions of the acid will not be available for purchase by the general public, you will need to be a qualified plumber to obtain this version of the chemical, and most shops will ask for identification.
Hydrochloric Acid is extremely hazardous if not handled correctly; the acid can cause significant burns if it were to come into contact with your skin, more so, it is dangerous if the vapours are accidentally inhaled. For this reason, PPE (personal protection equipment) is always recommended when using this particular product.
Hydrochloric acid can dissolve many things, including plastic and metal piping, so it is only recommended on the use the acid to remove drain blockages on noble metals (copper) that are resistant to non-oxidising acids.
Lastly, in some cases the acid has been known to have disastrous results and even cause death or severe injury, this is why it should always be handled with the utmost care and caution.
Please, note that attempting large plumbing jobs that require the use of HCI is not recommended, and it is always in the best interest of yourself and your home that you consult a professional.