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  #11  
Old 06-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JiffyLube View Post
No doubt muriatic acid will do the job at 5 to 1 (5 parts water to 1 part muriatic), but 10 to 1 would be safer. 10 to 1 is the highest concentration recommended in the ceramic tile trade for acid washing glazed tiles, because higher concentrations can etch the glaze which enables crud to stick better. The porcelain bowl is made much like a porcelain tile, just different in thickness. Brand name vinegar is usually at a 5% strength, which would be about 10 to 1 for muriatic, but even at 5% muriatic is more tenacious than vinegar.
Whoa!!!!

Concentration is only part of acid strength. Vinegar is acetic acid, a fairly weak acid. Muriatic acid is hydrochloric acid, a MUCH stronger acid. Even glacial acetic acid (essentially, pure acetic acid) is nowhere near as nasty as 10% HCl(aq) (a pretty strong solution of hydrochloric acid).

The strongest hydrochloric acid is about 38% HCl(aq). "Muriatic acid" is usually marketed at about 31 or 32% HCl(aq). Even diluted 10:1 (or ~3% HCl(aq)) your muriatic acid will have a pH of about 1.5, while glacial acetic acid will have a pH of about 2.4 (remember, pH is a log scale and lower values are more acidic). In other words a 10:1 dilution of muriatic acid will be MUCH more acidic than pure acetic acid.

ALSO, never, never, NEVER pour water into a strong acid (like muriatic acid). When diluting an acid, always, always, ALWAYS pour a strong acid into water. When water and a strong acid mix it generates heat, quite a bit of heat depending upon the type of acid and its concentration. If you pour the acid into the water, the water will act as a heat sink, and its heat capacity will prevent things from getting too hot. If you pour the water into the acid, there won't be enough water (initially) to absorb the heat generated and you could cause the water to boil, essentially causing a steam explosion, which would toss hot acid all over you and everything/everyone else nearby. I have seen the results of just such a mistake, and believe me they are NOT pretty.
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  #12  
Old 06-27-2011
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Forgot to mention that the fumes that come off the muriatic acid and water mixture are really nasty. You need to protect your airways when you’re around the stuff, particularly when in confined spaces like the head. Protecting hands and arms with rubber gloves is also necessary. Fumes are very corrosive to metal parts they might come into contract with, e.g. head faucets, towel racks etc.

First time you use a strong acid mixture, you’d be well advised to have someone working with you who’s done it before. Mistakes can be costly in many ways.

Last point -- never store muriatic acid (or any strong acid, for that matter) on the boat.

I don’t use muriatic acid any more unless I remove the equipment being cleaned from the boat. Vinegar is the safest stuff to use on installed plumbing. I buy it by the gallon (~$3-4) and use it once a month or so, a gallon or more at a time.
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Old 06-27-2011
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Many sailors aren't aware that if you WET the bowl before sitting on it, a lot less sticks to the bowl. Making the cleaning less of a chore.

FWIW.
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Old 06-28-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowButSteady View Post
Whoa!!!!

Concentration is only part of acid strength. Vinegar is acetic acid, a fairly weak acid. Muriatic acid is hydrochloric acid, a MUCH stronger acid. Even glacial acetic acid (essentially, pure acetic acid) is nowhere near as nasty as 10% HCl(aq) (a pretty strong solution of hydrochloric acid).

The strongest hydrochloric acid is about 38% HCl(aq). "Muriatic acid" is usually marketed at about 31 or 32% HCl(aq). Even diluted 10:1 (or ~3% HCl(aq)) your muriatic acid will have a pH of about 1.5, while glacial acetic acid will have a pH of about 2.4 (remember, pH is a log scale and lower values are more acidic). In other words a 10:1 dilution of muriatic acid will be MUCH more acidic than pure acetic acid.
I think I agreed with what you said, but not in as much detail.

Quote:
ALSO, never, never, NEVER pour water into a strong acid (like muriatic acid). When diluting an acid, always, always, ALWAYS pour a strong acid into water. When water and a strong acid mix it generates heat, quite a bit of heat depending upon the type of acid and its concentration. If you pour the acid into the water, the water will act as a heat sink, and its heat capacity will prevent things from getting too hot. If you pour the water into the acid, there won't be enough water (initially) to absorb the heat generated and you could cause the water to boil, essentially causing a steam explosion, which would toss hot acid all over you and everything/everyone else nearby. I have seen the results of just such a mistake, and believe me they are NOT pretty.
Besides it's easier to measure out the water first before adding the acid.

Last edited by JiffyLube; 06-28-2011 at 12:05 PM. Reason: left out the proper QUOTE
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Old 06-28-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyruffn View Post
Forgot to mention that the fumes that come off the muriatic acid and water mixture are really nasty. You need to protect your airways when you’re around the stuff, particularly when in confined spaces like the head. Protecting hands and arms with rubber gloves is also necessary. Fumes are very corrosive to metal parts they might come into contract with, e.g. head faucets, towel racks etc.

First time you use a strong acid mixture, you’d be well advised to have someone working with you who’s done it before. Mistakes can be costly in many ways.

Last point -- never store muriatic acid (or any strong acid, for that matter) on the boat.

I don’t use muriatic acid any more unless I remove the equipment being cleaned from the boat. Vinegar is the safest stuff to use on installed plumbing. I buy it by the gallon (~$3-4) and use it once a month or so, a gallon or more at a time.
You're right about the fumes being corrosive, as I found out one time using deluted muriatic just in the vicinity of lower grade stainless steel.
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Old 06-28-2011
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Last edited by Jeff_H; 06-29-2011 at 10:58 AM. Reason: Inappropriate comment removed per forum rules
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