Acid Washing Old NRS Fittings? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-19-2018   #1
 
Kingsport, TN, Tennessee
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Acid Washing Old NRS Fittings?

I got some older generation LoPros from a guy and they are all very corroded, some with pipe ends stuck on that he had to cut off.

Any of you have advice for acid washing these or do you have suggestions for alternative methods? Hydrochloric acid seems to be the way to go. Where have you sourced yours from?

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Old 06-19-2018   #2
 
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Muriatic acid (mostly sulfuric acid with a bit of HCl) can be found at most hardware stores. It's used as a cleaner and also sold as "swimming pool acid".

A heavy base (like Drano or oven cleaner) will eat aluminum oxide. It should remove the oxidation fixing the parts together, but will remove the anodizing on the pipe, yet won't eat the base metal.
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Old 06-19-2018   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT4Runner View Post
Muriatic acid (mostly sulfuric acid with a bit of HCl) can be found at most hardware stores. It's used as a cleaner and also sold as "swimming pool acid".

A heavy base (like Drano or oven cleaner) will eat aluminum oxide. It should remove the oxidation fixing the parts together, but will remove the anodizing on the pipe, yet won't eat the base metal.
Muriatic acid is just industrial grade (less pure than reagent grade) hydrochloric acid (no sulfuric).

Whatever you do, DO NOT try both the acid wash and the Drano anywhere close to the same time
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Old 06-19-2018   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT4Runner View Post
Muriatic acid (mostly sulfuric acid with a bit of HCl) can be found at most hardware stores. It's used as a cleaner and also sold as "swimming pool acid".

A heavy base (like Drano or oven cleaner) will eat aluminum oxide. It should remove the oxidation fixing the parts together, but will remove the anodizing on the pipe, yet won't eat the base metal.
Muriatic acid is just industrial grade (less pure than reagent grade) hydrochloric acid (no sulfuric whatsoever).

Whatever you do, DO NOT try both the acid wash and the Drano anywhere close to the same time
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Old 06-19-2018   #5
 
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I would stay away from those nasty acids and try some aluminum wheel cleaner instead.
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Old 06-19-2018   #6
 
Kingsport, TN, Tennessee
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Originally Posted by MT4Runner View Post
Muriatic acid (mostly sulfuric acid with a bit of HCl) can be found at most hardware stores. It's used as a cleaner and also sold as "swimming pool acid".

A heavy base (like Drano or oven cleaner) will eat aluminum oxide. It should remove the oxidation fixing the parts together, but will remove the anodizing on the pipe, yet won't eat the base metal.
I have some pretty heavy oxidation to clear off. Does anyone have input on using one of these above methods over the other?
Can you soak the parts? How long? I have a length of pipe stuck on a couple around the end that fits the pipe inner diameter.
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Old 06-19-2018   #7
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The kitchen draino that says "not for aluminium" is what I used as desmut for my home made anodizer. Do not leave in there too long because it will eat the aluminium too. 3 to 5 minutes in the lye solution will remove the aluminium oxide and the old anodizing. Now a length of pipe, I wouldn't want that much lye or battery acid around to anodizer that. I don't want my garage to become a hazmat site. Never mind the electricity it would take to boil that much water to seal the ano. I'm pretty amiture at anodizing, I have a home made set up i made with storage bins and a $30 adjustable power source that I do small parts with.

If your just cleaning the parts then John has the safest way, just go down the auto parts store like Napa or carquest not vatozone and ask for wheel acid. It's a whole lot safer. I think it uric acid but don't quote me cause I'm rather not confident with that answer.
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Old 06-20-2018   #8
 
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Watch some YouTube videos on removing anodization with lye/drano. It's a quick and active process. You won't leave it and walk away. It will bubble immediately.

My understanding is that the lye/drano will only eat the oxidation. Anodizing is a heavy oxide.

As far as I know, you NEED the oxide for the lye to react, and it shouldn't eat the base aluminum. Drano apparently has tiny aluminum chips in it that don't react until they're exposed to oxygen/water. This gives it some of its bubbling (and heat) reaction.


NoCo, I anodized three aluminum DO's. I did probably 15gal of battery acid and ran a 40A battery charger! To get rid of all that acid, I diluted it 3x with water, and poured it under my pine trees (pine trees like acidic soil). It killed my grass, and my trees all jumped up that year! haha
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Old 06-20-2018   #9
 
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Oh, and one concern I would have is whether the lye could react with any impurities in the old-skool cast NRS fittings. This was a concern expressed to me when I was looking at anodizing a couple of old-school aluminum dutchies of unknown origin or alloy.

I don't believe the lye would eat them away to nothing, but there's a reasonable chance you might have some minor pitting. It shouldn't reduce the structural integrity of the fitting, but they might not be as pretty.

If they're stuck in a pipe and unusable, then you're not really out anything anyway.
The good news is I had VERY minor pitting in a couple of spots in my DO, but they were originally there, so I assume it was original impurities that already existed and may have reacted with acidic foods for the previous owner.

Oh! and if you don't plan to reuse your pipe, consider chopping it off right behind the fitting, and use a dremel tool to split the tube lengthwise, and chisel it off.
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Old 06-20-2018   #10
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i would love to see a picture of your set up. I was thinking about making a set up long enough for pipe once and all i could think to use was a cattle trough for my sealing tank and cut in half pvc for the other tanks. now using the acid as weed killer, hmm lets see if my wife buys that.
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