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Can I Use Muriatic Acid to Unclog a Drain?

A clogged drain can lead to flooding due to limited water flow. You know what it means for the wastewater that was supposed to drain away to make a pool in your bathroom, kitchen sink, or laundry area. The sight is not only embarrassing or ugly; it can also be a health hazard. It doesn’t end there since trying to remove the clog is another task you have to deal with.

A plunger can remove some drain clogs easily. However, stubborn clogs may force you to use a corrosive chemical like muriatic acid to clear the drain. But then you ponder, can I use muriatic acid to unclog a drain? Though muriatic acid is highly effective in unclogging drains, it has more potential to damage pipes or cause health-related problems if not used correctly. 

Muriatic acid is among the strongest acids and is commonly known as Hydrochloric acid (HCL). Apart from industrial applications in processing leather, sugar processing, and manufacture of batteries, masons use the acid to wash efflorescence from bricks. This is because it dissolves mineral salts quickly. Now back to unclogging drains, the acid quickly dissolves soap, hair, and other solids that cause blockage in your drain.

How Can You Use Muriatic Acid to Unclog a Drain?

Solid buildup can accumulate over time in your drains and cause clogs. One of the practical DIY methods to clear such stubborn clogs is to use muriatic acid. The acid creates a chemical reaction with the buildup causing the blockage. The resultant heat produced, in turn, breaks the blockage. 

But because of its dangerous nature, you need to follow these steps carefully;

1. Ventilate your working area

Ensure your working area is well-ventilated, as the acid can produce harmful fumes that irritate the lungs or throat when inhaled. You can do so by opening all windows or even running a fan to spread the fumes rather than concentrating on one area.                                                     

2. Pour Muriatic acid into your clogged drain

Since muriatic acid is powerful, use it cautiously to prevent damage to your pipes. First, put on protective gear like gloves, masks, or glasses. You can’t use the acid as it is for household purposes; you need to dilute it. However, never make the mistake of pouring water into the acid but do the opposite instead, acid into the water to prevent an explosion. 

Mix the acid and water in a ratio of 1:10 or as a plumbing professional recommends, then pour down the clogged drain slowly. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes, then flush your drain with water to ensure all debris is gone. Repeat this procedure only once if you still experience clogging to prevent the muriatic acid from damaging your drains when done severally.  

3. Clean the drain thoroughly with warm water

Flush down warm water through the drain severally to remove all muriatic acid particles. This prevents damage or corrosion to pipes afterward. Additionally, a plunger can be handy for removing leftover debris.

4. Rinse used empty containers

After the exercise, properly dispose of the unused mixture. Rinse the empty containers exhaustively before throwing them in the garbage bin. This is ideal because the acid could eat into the container and other objects and then cause harm to whoever handles the trash next.

Can Muriatic Acid Eat Through Your PVC Drain Pipes?

Have you wondered why you must dilute muriatic acid with water before use? If used in the original form, the acid can damage any drainage pipes, be it PVC or metallic. This is reason enough why you shouldn’t use muriatic acid often to remove clogs. It is only a better option if other methods like plungers, commercial drain cleaners, or home remedies have failed. 

Can Muriatic Acid Unclog a Basement Drain Pipe?

First, use a plumber’s drain snake or a plunger to clear the clogging. But if this doesn’t work, you can try muriatic acid to unclog your basement pipe. Follow the above steps to remove clogs in your basement pipes. But since the basement area may have little or no ventilation, you can consider using a fan.

Can Muriatic Acid Be Used to unclog A Toilet?

Just like how you can use muriatic acid to unclog a drain, you can also use it to unclog your toilet. Follow all the safety procedures, like putting on protective gear and ventilating the toilet room. Mix the acid as earlier described and slowly pour the mixture into your toilet bowl to almost the average level of water in the bowl. Let the solution settle for a few hours, then flush it down. 

What Muriatic Acid Alternative Do Plumbers Unclog Drains With?

Before using muriatic acid or calling in a plumber to unclog your drains, try the natural solutions first. You can use less concentrated anti-clog formulas or pour hot water down the drain. Your plumber can opt not to use muriatic acid if they highly suspect it will destroy your drainage pipes. 

Other acids like Phosphoric and Sulphuric are also great for removing drain clogs. Never mix these chemicals, but only use each at a time. Instead, the plumber can use specialized equipment like high-pressure water cleaners, electric drain snakes, and so on to remove the clogs. 

Is Muriatic Acid Safe To Use?

You can buy a chemical drain cleaner containing muriatic acid or separately. If not used correctly, the acid can eat into the drainage pipe material and cause leaks or wreck the pipes. Moreover, wear protective gear when using the acid and ensure it does not have direct contact with the skin, as it will cause inflammation, erythema, or severe burns.

That’s not all; the acid can produce toxic fumes that can cause choking if inhaled. Because of these dangers, you should only use the acid if you follow the application instructions correctly. But to be safer, you can call in someone with plumbing expertise to do it for you. 

Muriatic acid is highly corrosive like other chemicals and produces unhealthy, harmful fumes. Despite this, the acid is an excellent option for removing stubborn clogs though utmost care should be practiced by following all the safety procedures. The acid works by breaking down dissolved minerals and organic matter whose accumulation leads to clogs.