Using One Shot drain clearer in sinks

Our kitchen sink drain is blocked and only draining slowly. I have a bottle of One Shot acid - is it Ok to use on plastic pipes and what's the best procedure?
Instructions say remove as much water as possible first and then add water once you have put in 125ml acid - obviously I can get rid of the all the water in the trap but I was taught never to add water to acid...
Is it best to slowly add to the water in the trap and then wait and then flush some cold water from the tap?
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On 02/04/16 15:52, John Smith wrote:

Personally I've found the Mr Muscle foaming drain cleaner extremely good for situations like this as it coats all the gunk in the pipe. I've cleared a slow draining shower - took 3 goes but now the water just runs away rather than filling the tray to 3" deep.
To answer your question, we'd need to know the make of the cleaner - or its ingredients.
Your teaching only applies to adding water to concentrated acids where the mixing releases a lot of heat - notable conc. sulphuric acid. Conc. HCl is no problem mixing with water. Also applies to sodium hydroxide crystals.
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On 2016-04-02 15:14:24 +0000, Tim Watts said:

It's basically 90% sulphuric acid - see (Amazon.com product link shortened)
Just pondering whether this is best not used in plastic drainage pipes...
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On 02/04/16 16:29, John Smith wrote:

To be honest, it does not seem the best. Bleach is sufficient to take out the living scunge and to a degree attacks grease - the problem is it doesn't get to the upper parts of the pipe, which is where the foaming stuff comes in handy. I've only ever used acid on limescale.
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On 4/2/2016 5:47 PM, Tim Watts wrote:

Agreed, but you don't need to worry about sulphuric acid attacking plastic drain pipes.
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On 2016-04-03 20:38:03 +0000, newshound said:

If you provoke a reaction you can release a lot of heat that can melt plastic. That's the point.
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As with acetone that depends on the type of plastic
According to this chart both 75-100% and hot and cold concentrated sulphuric acid have a severe effect on PVC and are not recommended for any use.
http://www.calpaclab.com/pvc-polyvinyl-chloride-chemical-compatibility-chart/
And its PVC which I believe, many drainpipes are made of.
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On 03/04/2016 21:38, newshound wrote:

It comes in a plastic bottle and has been around for twenty years without that being a problem.
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Indeed. Plastic's plastic, it's all the same stuff really.
Just the same as wood.
Which must come in handy when explining to the punters why you're knocking up decking from piles of old pallets.
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On 04/04/2016 11:35, michael adams wrote:

As regards acid resistance it pretty much is, One Shot has been used for donkey's years. If it damaged plastic pipes it would be well known & the bottle would have a warning on it.
Do you have any evidence that sulphuric acid attacks any kind of plastic???

Totally ridiculous analogy.
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On 04/04/16 13:10, David Lang wrote:

Pretty sure that it does, from A level chemistry.
Its a very strong reducing agent IIRC. So any plastic with oxygen molecules in it is prone to attack
http://www.plasticsintl.com/plastics_chemical_resistence_chart.html
looks like the PVC/polythene classes are OK, but acetal which is a sort of nylon, is not.
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On 4/4/2016 1:17 PM, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

It's an oxidising agent.
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Not according to numerous websites. The fact it may not damage plastic drainpipes is only because its diluted with so much water. Maybe you're suggesting there's no problem either in storing it in old plastic milk bottles or plastic lemonade bottles.

You're right. It would have been far better to suggest that the body of your Makita or whatever it is drill, is made from exactly the same stuff as are plastic milk or lemonade bottles
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On Mon, 4 Apr 2016 13:10:17 +0100, David Lang

LOL to that! Ignorance is bliss!

'Plastic' is an imprecise and generic term. 'Plastic' embraces a large range of chemical compositions. Basically, anything that becomes moldable at moderate temperatures can be and is described as 'a plastic'.
This, from http://tinyurl.com/huycaad
Quote "Corrosivity to Non-Metals: Sulfuric acid attacks plastics, such as nylon (all concentrations), polyvinylidene chloride (50-100%), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) (60-100%), styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) (90-100%), polyurethane (rigid) (40-100%), polyetherether ketone (PEEK) (50-100%), olyethylene terephthalate (PET) (40-100%), high-density polyethylene (80-100%) (HDPE), thermoset polyester bisphenol A fumarate (80-100%), thermoset polyester isophathalic acid (70-100%), polystyrene (80-100%) and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA)(75-100%); elastomers, such as butyl rubber (isobutylene isoprene) (80-100%), nitrile buna N (nitrile rubber) (90-100%), chloroprene (neoprene) (75-100%), isoprene (60-100%), natural rubber (60-100%), hard rubber (60-100%), soft rubber (30-100%), chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CSM) (90-100%), styrene-butadiene (SBR) (10-100%), polyacrylate (10-100%), polyurethane (10-100%), chlorinated polyethylene (all concentrations), nylon 11 and 12 (20-100%), silicone rubbers (120-100%), flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC) (95-100%), low density polyethylene (LDPE) (90-100%) and ethylene vinyl acetate (50-100%); and coatings, such as coal tar epoxy (10-100%), general purpose epoxy (30-100%), chemical resistant epoxy (60-100%) and vinyls (90-100%). Sulfuric acid does not attack plastics, such as Teflon and other fluorocarbons, like ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE; Tefzel), ethylene chlorotrifluoroethylene (ECTFE; Halar) and chlorotrifluoroethylene (Kel-F) (all concentrations), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) (up to 96%), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) (up to 96%), polypropylene (up to 98%), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) (up to 50%), high-density polyethylene (up to 75%) (HDPE),ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) (up to 100%), cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) (up to 96%), polyetherether ketone (PEEK) (up to 50%) and polystyrene (up to 70%); elastomers, such as Viton A and other fluorocarbons, like Teflon, Chemraz Kalrez and Fluoraz, ethylene propylene(EP) (up to 100%), butyl rubber (isobutylene isoprene) (up to 80%), nitrile buna N (nitrile rubber) (up to 80%), chloroprene (neoprene) (up to 70%, flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC) (up to 50%) and , low density polyethylene (LDPE) (up to 80%); and coatings, such as polyester (up to 80%), urethanes (up to 80%) and vinyls (up to 80%)." End quote
The figures in brackets refer to the strengths of acid to which the particular plastic is vulnerable. Note that there are some plastics that are attacked by moderately dilute sulphuric acid, but not by concentrated sulphuric acid.
So yes, sulphuric acid attacks 'plastic'. The fact that it's sold in a 'plastic' bottle, merely shows that the mfrs have carefully selected a suitable plastic for that purpose.
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On 04/04/2016 14:22, Chris Hogg wrote:

And the fact that it has been used for years without a problem shows that the mfrs have carefully selected a suitable plastic for waste pipes.
Do you really think that B&Q, Wickes, Screwfix, Homebase, Amazon, Asda, Plumbase, Robert Dyas, Tesco, Wilkinsons and every independent plumbers merchant in the UK have been selling a product that damages waste pipes for the last 20 years?
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On Mon, 4 Apr 2016 17:03:41 +0100, David Lang

ABS solvent weld is commonly used in domestic waste pipes. This, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acrylonitrile_butadiene_styrene
Quote "ABS polymers are resistant to aqueous acids, alkalis, concentrated hydrochloric and phosphoric acids, alcohols and animal, vegetable and mineral oils, but they are swollen by glacial acetic acid, carbon tetrachloride and aromatic hydrocarbons and are attacked by concentrated sulfuric and nitric acids" Un-quote.
So there's little doubt that One Shot is capable of attacking a great many plastics, including one commonly used in domestic waste situations. That is undeniable. But you make a reasonable point. I note that One Shot is described as a 'drain cleaner'. Perhaps the mfrs don't expect people to use it in domestic waste pipes, only drains, which may be less susceptible to attack than domestic waste pipes, especially if made of stoneware (not that much is, these days). If that's the case, it should be made clear. It's also possible that when the One Shot is poured into a domestic sink, for example, there's enough water in the trap to dilute it down to a safe concentration.
But there's still the case reported in the DM, for which the most obvious explanation is that the One Shot attacked and ate through the pipework.
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Chris

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Indeed. On the B&Q web page
http://www.diy.com/departments/one-shot-drain-cleaner-bottle/254799_BQ.prd
they don't actually say it can be used on waste pipes. And given that they claim it can dissolve "grease , rags, soap, paper towels in minutes" it's rather surprising that the bottle itself, or the web page isn't plasterd with hazard warnings; maybe other websites are more informative. It's the "rags" bit there that seems a bit scary.
As most people will only discover they have a blocked waste pipe as a result of the pipe filling with water maybe the product is sufficiently diluted during those minutes when its dissolving the grease , rags, soap, paper towels so as to not to effect the plastic, or any joints.

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On 04/04/2016 17:36, Chris Hogg wrote:

But in practice it doesn't.

I do.
I

From the One Shot website; DO NOT USE ON ALUMINIUM, GALVANISED METAL, STAINLESS STEEL OR WASTE DISPOSAL UNITS. MAY ETCH ACID SENSITIVE PORCELAIN, ACRYLIC AND ENAMEL FIXTURES. WILL NOT HARM IRON, STEEL, CLAY, LEAD, COPPER, PLASTIC PIPES OR HARM SEPTIC TANKS WHEN USED AS DIRECTED.

I don't think we can entirely trust the DM to report things accurately. We simply don't know what happened. The DM reported "But the liquid was so strong that it melted the pipes, floor and ceiling".
How much did he use? Did he follow the instructions & flush?
The manufacturer clearly states that it will not harm plastic pipes.
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On 2016-04-04 17:26:05 +0000, David Lang said:

As I've noted a few times, it may be that some water was added to concentrated acid and the heat from the reaction (not the acid) melted a plastic pipe.
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On 04/04/2016 19:26, John Smith wrote:

That's entirely possible, we simply don't know, but it would make no sense to remove all the water, add the acid & replace the water.
I suspect pilot error played a large part.
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