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Disposing of old flux

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:39 pm
by jim s-w
Hi all

Is there a proper way to dispose of old liquid flux. I'm assuming tipping it down the drain isn't a great idea

Cheers

Jim

Re: Disposing of old flux

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:28 pm
by steamraiser
As we wash our models to neutralise the flux, which commercially is around 12.5% acid, why not flush down the drains with more than equal parts of water, providing it is in small quantities.

Gordon A

Re: Disposing of old flux

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:40 pm
by ClikC
jim s-w wrote:Hi all

Is there a proper way to dispose of old liquid flux. I'm assuming tipping it down the drain isn't a great idea

Cheers

Jim


Jim,

Official Answer: You will have to check for a local hazardous waste disposal business, who will collect, store and dispose/ recycle your hazardous waste. It'll probably cost you.

https://www.gov.uk/dispose-hazardous-waste/overview

Un-Official answer: Most of what goes down a drain is Neutral (water) to Alkali (Soap). Dilute it, and poor it down the drain.

Most of what went down the drain as foul water in the Industrial Laundry sector was heavily Alkali. For the continuous tunnel washers, we had to neutralise the rinse section with acid, in order to decrease the overall wash time.

Regards

Matt

Re: Disposing of old flux

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:26 pm
by Andy W
I was told that most fluxes are safe to drink. If that's so swig it back, then an hour later dispose of it at your convenience.

Re: Disposing of old flux

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:49 pm
by steamraiser
I understand Phosphoric Acid is a constituent of Coca Cola, but I am not sure I would like to drink it.
Have you seen what cider can do to concrete?

Gordon A

Re: Disposing of old flux

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:09 pm
by Andy W
No, but I've seen what it can do to Bristolians.

Re: Disposing of old flux

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:30 pm
by martin goodall
I have only ever used phosphoric acid flux, and I go on using the bottle until it's empty. So how does it come about that there is any 'old' liquid flux to dispose of? I have never had any left over - only an empty bottle.

Re: Disposing of old flux

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:31 am
by Albert Hall
The fluxes at least in the Carr's range are made from a mixture of chemicals and not just acids. I think to suggest that they might be safe to drink even in jest is foolhardy. A number of them are designated as harmful to aquatic organisms so should not be allowed to enter water courses even in diluted form, just like you would not flush unwanted medication down the toilet. It is not just the acidity which is a factor. Storage and handling is covered by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations and each component has its own Safety Data Information which provides guidance on how they should be stored. As an example, the two chemicals which make up Green Label flux have to be stored separately to the acids used in yellow/brown/red and orange. One of them is most definitely a potent skin irritant in its raw form and has to be handled with extreme care.

I think the answer to the original question is to use them up as Martin suggests or take them to your local council recycling centre for advice.

Roy

Re: Disposing of old flux

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:27 am
by Enigma
Would a local pharmacy be able to dispose of it in the same way as old medicines etc.?

Like Martin, I've never had any 'old' flux that would need disposing of. All my fluxes are 'old', I haven't bought any potentially hazardous ones in years. For general use I use Powerflo which can be used on water pipes. Even that is several years old and has taken on the appearance of Marmite - but still seems to work OK.

Re: Disposing of old flux

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:33 am
by LesGros
Surely, there is a responsibility, if not an obligation, on the vendor to provide information about safe disposal.

A letter from the S4Society could carry sufficient weight to encourage vendors to supply advice.

Re: Disposing of old flux

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:29 pm
by jim s-w
I used to use 3 different fluxes. One for white metal, one for brass/nickel silver, and one for steel. Problem is the containers go all manky. I've switched to the stuff Eileen's sell (which works on W/M, brass and N/S) so I just want to bin off the old stuff. The labels on the containers are long gone so I don't know if there were any disposal instructions.

Cheers

Jim

Re: Disposing of old flux

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:50 pm
by Joe Newman
I have two bottles of Carr's flux. One contains yellow flux and the other green flux.

Each bottle has a label giving good advice on safe handling of the solution. In each case there is the phrase 'Avoid release to the environment'.

Both bottles have pictograms showing the hazards they may cause. In both cases, although the pictograms for the same hazard are different, they show that both liquids are corrosive and also dangerous to the environment.

In the case of the green flux there is the additional statement 'Refer to special instructions/data sheet 231-592-0'. This turns out to be a Safety Data Sheet for zinc chloride - although there is no mention of this compound anywhere on the bottle.

For the yellow flux, which I believe to be phosphoric acid, there is no corresponding reference.

The bottles of Carr's fluxes give clear instructions for safe use and each contains the statement 'This material and its container must be disposed of as toxic waste.'

None of which would help Jim of course because he does not know what chemical compound he was using in his old bottles.

Perhaps if the active compound were identified by the supplier he might have remembered. I would certainly welcome such a move.

Joe Newman

Re: Disposing of old flux

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:37 pm
by Jol Wilkinson
Three options for Phosphoric Acid (other than using it to make your own Cola)

http://www.ehow.co.uk/how_8715762_dispo ... -acid.html

Re: Disposing of old flux

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:48 pm
by kelly
Most council tips will have a hazardous waste section, which includes things from battery acids to waste car oil, though you might need to phone them first as the section is likely mainly for commercial users rather than individuals with a small bottle.

Re: Disposing of old flux

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:23 pm
by Albert Hall
Joe Newman wrote:In the case of the green flux there is the additional statement 'Refer to special instructions/data sheet 231-592-0'. This turns out to be a Safety Data Sheet for zinc chloride - although there is no mention of this compound anywhere on the bottle.


Zinc chloride is the principal chemical used in green label flux. It is the one which causes skin irritation.
Roy

Re: Disposing of old flux

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:45 am
by billbedford
I think that people need a sense of proportion here. If there was a lot of the said flux, say more than a pint, then The Thing To Do™ would be to take it to the local tip with the relevant SDS or MSDS sheet. If on the other hand there was only a half empty 50ml bottle then flushing it down the toilet would likely dilute any harmful substances to homeopathic levels fairly quickly.

Re: Disposing of old flux

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:25 am
by jon price
Homeopathic flux. That's where I've been going wrong.

Re: Disposing of old flux

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:58 pm
by MarkS
Homepathic flux - preferred tipple of Father Jack of Craggy Isle...