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Thread: Fire in my pump room partially melted acid jugs

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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Fire in my pump room partially melted acid jugs

    I had a fire in my pump room that, by absolute luck, was noticed by a mason working on my deck. He put it out with water. I wasn't home at the time. Could have been a disaster.

    The fire burned a 4 pack box of gallon 20 baume muriatic acid. The top portion of the jugs are melted and collapsed and lifting them causes them to leak. I moved them into the alley behind my house, first dusting the ground with baking soda.

    I tried to neutralize one of the gallons by pouring it into a water filled 5 gallon pail, then adding baking soda to that. Lots of foaming and it took 2 of the Costco $7, 14 lb bags to neutralize it. Finally got it to above 7 pH.

    Is this an OK approach? It's a little time consuming waiting for the foaming to subside before adding more and more baking soda. Would soda ash be a better way?

    Thanks
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Fire in my pump room partially melted acid jugs

    Do you have a funnel and another plastic jug to transfer the acid into? I don't think the acid would have gone "bad", and don't see any reason it couldn't be recovered and used as normal.
    23,000 IG Plaster pool w/ spa, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE Filter, Hayward RS1000 Main pump, Polaris booster pump, CPSC48 SWG, Legend pool sweep. Dallas, Texas, Full sun, Taylor K-2006

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Fire in my pump room partially melted acid jugs

    I agree Just get some good clean jugs or a 5 gallon bucket with a sealed lid and spout and recover the acid. Be sure to mark the container well so everyone knows that it's acid.

    You can neutralize it like you're doing but it's fairly dangerous and time and expense costly.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Fire in my pump room partially melted acid jugs

    Whatever you decide to do, use extreme care handling the compromised bottles, you certainly don't want to spill / splatter any of the acid on you. On a side note what was the cause of the fire, is there a lesson here for the rest of us?

    Ike
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    Re: Fire in my pump room partially melted acid jugs

    I have developed the habit of saving a couple of old bleach bottles/caps just in case something like this happens to the MA bottles. That caught up with me this past weekend as I accidentally dropped the MA bottle causing a small leak to develop. I calmly grabbed one of these empty old bleach bottles and transferred the MA into it. Problem solved and former bleach bottle is just fine holding MA, though it was prepped well in advance as shown below:

    Note: Old bleach bottle must be thoroughly rinsed with water several times and then air dried so that absolutely no bleach remains. Do not skip this step! You do not want to mix bleach and MA under any circumstances. Remove the bleach label from the old bottle. If MA is ever added, place a label indicating that bottle contains MA.

    If you choose this approach, I would begin saving & prepping the bottles now so they are ready to go if they are needed.
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    Re: Fire in my pump room partially melted acid jugs

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1
    Whatever you decide to do, use extreme care handling the compromised bottles, you certainly don't want to spill / splatter any of the acid on you. On a side note what was the cause of the fire, is there a lesson here for the rest of us?Ike
    Wife emptied ash can from charcoal barbeque into old charcoal bag and placed in pump room. She is quite distraught over her mistake.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Fire in my pump room partially melted acid jugs

    Aren't you glad the mason saw it and acted quickly. I'm sure she is distraught, but at least it was a lesson learned without costing too much.

    It's amazing how long those coals stay hot!
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Re: Fire in my pump room partially melted acid jugs

    Yes it certainly was fortuitous that the mason was there. The pump room is attached to my garage where I'm in the process of restoring a car and have lots of solvents and flammables.

    I did decant the remaining 3 jugs into a 5 gallon pail which I'll transfer to clean dry gallon jugs later. I'll return the the bags of baking soda I bought from Costco. Thanks very much for all your thoughts.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Fire in my pump room partially melted acid jugs

    Okay, I have to ask. What kind of car is it? I've got an 87 Camaro IROC Z I've been slowly working on.
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
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    Re: Fire in my pump room partially melted acid jugs

    Sounds like a great project to tackle!

    I actually have 2 cars normally occupying the garage. One is a 1974 TVR 2500M. The other, which is the one I'm restoring, is my first car (really a truck). It's a 1959 Morris Minor Quarter-Ton Van which I managed to save from my high school years in the early '70s. If it doesn't sound familiar that's because they only brought 108 into the US although they were the standard Royal Mail vehicle in the UK for many years. You can search Google Images to see lots of examples. Luckily, the fire didn't come close to either car.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Fire in my pump room partially melted acid jugs

    Sounds like you have a fun project going on there. I wouldn't mind seeing pictures of the process if you don't mind. If you want to share, start up a new thread in the Coffee Bar. I'd love to see the restoration.
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
    Wanda the Whale pool vacuum, home made heater, Taylor K-2006
    Cloudy Pool? 1) Order test kit. 2) Follow SLAM
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    Re: Fire in my pump room partially melted acid jugs

    I did the same thing, but it was 2 day old charcoal still in my big green egg that I dug out with my bare hands and put in a bag of charcoal I didn't like.....9 hours later trash can on fire. $19k in damages as trash can was sitting in front of garage doors, 5 mins longer (I put it out at 3 in the morning) and they said the house would have gone up in flames. Dogs woke us up due to garage smoke dector going off, now all of ours are wireless and linked, one goes off they all go off.
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