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scotchie


Apr 28, 2013, 4:37 PM
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rope and chemical question
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Without asking me, my wife decided to reorganize my ropes into the cabinet where we used to store the swimming pool chemicals. I wanted to solicit thoughts from the community on whether or not any rope damage might have taken place.

General facts:
1. There have been no chemical spills in the cabinet that I know about, nor were there any visible traces of any residue
2. The ropes were placed on a piece of plastic
3. Three of the ropes were in rope bags, but one was not
4. There was virtually no time elapsed after removing the chemicals before placing the ropes
5. Chemicals included muriatic acid, pool shock (both chlorine and non-chlorine), soda ash, algaecide, and "phos-free".

My thought was that they're probably fine, but I was planning to retire the unbagged rope just to be on the safe side. This was actually a "short rope" after having some previous edge damage, so no big loss.

Thoughts / discussion?


6pacfershur


Apr 28, 2013, 4:44 PM
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Re: [scotchie] rope and chemical question [In reply to]
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you only own four ropes?


TradEddie


Apr 28, 2013, 5:29 PM
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Re: [scotchie] rope and chemical question [In reply to]
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Muriatic acid is concentrated Hydrochloric Acid, the fumes of that would eat through your rope and be virtually undetectable until its too late. I'd be dumping the open rope and washing the rope bags.

TE


JimTitt


Apr 28, 2013, 10:50 PM
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Re: [scotchie] rope and chemical question [In reply to]
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scotchie wrote:
Without asking me, my wife decided to reorganize my ropes into the cabinet where we used to store the swimming pool chemicals. I wanted to solicit thoughts from the community on whether or not any rope damage might have taken place.

General facts:
1. There have been no chemical spills in the cabinet that I know about, nor were there any visible traces of any residue
2. The ropes were placed on a piece of plastic
3. Three of the ropes were in rope bags, but one was not
4. There was virtually no time elapsed after removing the chemicals before placing the ropes
5. Chemicals included muriatic acid, pool shock (both chlorine and non-chlorine), soda ash, algaecide, and "phos-free".

My thought was that they're probably fine, but I was planning to retire the unbagged rope just to be on the safe side. This was actually a "short rope" after having some previous edge damage, so no big loss.

Thoughts / discussion?

HereŽs a list of chemical compatability http://www.coleparmer.com/Chemical-Resistance
Tell your wife youŽll die if she doesnŽt buy you new ropes, at least youŽll know if she still loves you.


jt512


Apr 29, 2013, 9:42 AM
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Re: [JimTitt] rope and chemical question [In reply to]
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JimTitt wrote:

HereŽs a list of chemical compatability http://www.coleparmer.com/Chemical-Resistance
Tell your wife youŽll die if she doesnŽt buy you new ropes, at least youŽll know if she still loves you.


I think the wife already had the list.
Attachments: gonna-die2.png (24.0 KB)


JimTitt


Apr 29, 2013, 10:30 AM
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Probably as a reaction to the OP trying to kill her by not disinfecting the pool any more:-)


braaaaaaaadley


Apr 29, 2013, 10:56 AM
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Re: [scotchie] rope and chemical question [In reply to]
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If you don't sense any odor in the closet and there were no spills that could have made direct contact with the ropes, chances are your ropes are probably fine. Acid fumes are pretty reactive, so you can expect them to react/be neutrualized in an open environment rather quickly. I would probably toss the uncovered rope and check the plastic bag to see if there is any sign of chemical exposure. If the bag is not damaged, then I don't think your ropes could have been harmed. It never hurts to be over cautious though...


marc801


Apr 29, 2013, 12:24 PM
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Re: [braaaaaaaadley] rope and chemical question [In reply to]
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braaaaaaaadley wrote:
If you don't sense any odor in the closet and there were no spills that could have made direct contact with the ropes, chances are your ropes are probably fine. Acid fumes are pretty reactive, so you can expect them to react/be neutrualized in an open environment rather quickly. I would probably toss the uncovered rope and check the plastic bag to see if there is any sign of chemical exposure. If the bag is not damaged, then I don't think your ropes could have been harmed. It never hurts to be over cautious though...
1. whether or not the plastic is damaged is irrelevant as the concern is about nylon.
2. it was a "...piece of plastic...", not a plastic bag. Some of the ropes were in rope bags, which are also likely made of nylon.
3. the ropes could still have been damaged without a noticeable chemical odor being present or been damaged before the odor dissipated.


Syd


Apr 29, 2013, 2:11 PM
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Re: [scotchie] rope and chemical question [In reply to]
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Why risk your life for a couple of hundred bucks ?


scotchie


Apr 29, 2013, 8:21 PM
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No detectable fumes from the muriatic, and they would be hard to miss. They can sting the nasal passages if inhaled at the standard 33% concentration. Although I keep 14% because I don't like the stinging when adding it to the pool. The fumes vent quickly (as soon as you close the bottle). My guess is that any fumes would be fully vented after leaving the cabinet open for only a few seconds. I don't know if nylon is more or less sensitive than people are.

The pool shock smell tends to escape the bags. They have that strong chlorine smell of a hottub or indoor pool. They were double bagged in pastic because I don't like the smell.

I don't know about the other stuff.


scotchie


Apr 29, 2013, 8:26 PM
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Re: [Syd] rope and chemical question [In reply to]
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You know if the mechanic told me the seat belt might be busted and it costs $200 to fix, I'd probably authorize it without thinking twice. I don't know why climbing ropes are any different. Maybe because I already expect a possibly huge bill from the mechanic...


shotwell


Apr 30, 2013, 8:27 AM
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Re: [scotchie] rope and chemical question [In reply to]
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scotchie wrote:
You know if the mechanic told me the seat belt might be busted and it costs $200 to fix, I'd probably authorize it without thinking twice. I don't know why climbing ropes are any different. Maybe because I already expect a possibly huge bill from the mechanic...

I trust my rope to save my life roughly 1000 times in its lifespan. I KNOW I'm going to fall on it. I've used my seatbelt exactly once in over a decade. Of course I want both to be in great condition because the consequences for failure are extreme. To me, a questionable rope is statistically far more terrifying; there is a 100% chance that it will be used as my life line in any given day of climbing. Don't climb on a questionable rope.


shockabuku


Apr 30, 2013, 9:34 PM
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Re: [TradEddie] rope and chemical question [In reply to]
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TradEddie wrote:
Muriatic acid is concentrated Hydrochloric Acid, the fumes of that would eat through your rope and be virtually undetectable until its too late. I'd be dumping the open rope and washing the rope bags.

TE

Concentrated? I find that hard to believe if gym employees regularly use it to clean holds.


acorneau


May 1, 2013, 5:21 AM
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Re: [shockabuku] rope and chemical question [In reply to]
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shockabuku wrote:
TradEddie wrote:
Muriatic acid is concentrated Hydrochloric Acid, the fumes of that would eat through your rope and be virtually undetectable until its too late. I'd be dumping the open rope and washing the rope bags.

TE

Concentrated? I find that hard to believe if gym employees regularly use it to clean holds.


Muriatic acid is added into water (diluted) for hold cleaning, not used a full strength.


marc801


May 1, 2013, 7:30 AM
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acorneau wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
TradEddie wrote:
Muriatic acid is concentrated Hydrochloric Acid, the fumes of that would eat through your rope and be virtually undetectable until its too late. I'd be dumping the open rope and washing the rope bags.

TE

Concentrated? I find that hard to believe if gym employees regularly use it to clean holds.


Muriatic acid is added into water (diluted) for hold cleaning, not used a full strength.
Muriatic acid is *not* "concentrated hydrochloric acid". In fact it is diluted hydrochloric acid. The stuff at Home Depot is about 20% HCl.

[Actually, if you really want to nit pick, muriatic acid is just an old, alternate name for hydrochloric acid. However, anytime you see it labeled as such in a hardware store, it is indeed diluted HCL.]


(This post was edited by marc801 on May 1, 2013, 9:12 AM)


knudenoggin


May 22, 2013, 8:49 PM
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Re: [scotchie] rope and chemical question [In reply to]
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At this late offset, where do you stand with the rope/ropes
in question?

Is there any real chance that any emitted fumes could affect
just one rope and not others? If not, esp. with 3 being bagged,
then one course might be to take the rope that was open to the
air and test it for damage : if it survives, then those that were
bagged --and that's in triplicate-- should be fine.

*kN*

ps : This'll learn ya for leaving the toilet seat up!


jt512


May 22, 2013, 10:42 PM
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marc801 wrote:
acorneau wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
TradEddie wrote:
Muriatic acid is concentrated Hydrochloric Acid, the fumes of that would eat through your rope and be virtually undetectable until its too late. I'd be dumping the open rope and washing the rope bags.

TE

Concentrated? I find that hard to believe if gym employees regularly use it to clean holds.


Muriatic acid is added into water (diluted) for hold cleaning, not used a full strength.
Muriatic acid is *not* "concentrated hydrochloric acid". In fact it is diluted hydrochloric acid. The stuff at Home Depot is about 20% HCl.

[Actually, if you really want to nit pick, muriatic acid is just an old, alternate name for hydrochloric acid. However, anytime you see it labeled as such in a hardware store, it is indeed diluted HCL.]

Actually, if you want to not nit pick, nowadays (in the US, anyway) muriatic acid is a name used for commercial concentrated hydrochloric acid. Pure HCl is a gas. By definition, hydrochloric acid is HCl gas dissolved in water. Its maximum solubility is around 36% at ordinary temperatures and pressures, so for all intents and purposes 36% HCl is as concentrated as hydrochloric acid gets. I don't know about Home Depot, but two pool supply web sites I checked and Lowes' web site each lists the concentration of their muriatic acid at over 31%, or 86% of the maximum practically attainable concentration. Thus, what is usually sold as muriatic acid in the US is concentrated hydrochloric acid.


dcfdrescue2


Jul 28, 2013, 5:51 AM
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Re: [jt512] rope and chemical question [In reply to]
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While this thread is a little old, I wanted to make add that BD did a study on this very type of thing. Pool shock is the WORST for nylon.

Check out the article and video:

http://blackdiamondequipment.com/...ab-acid-harness.html


scotchie


Jul 28, 2013, 8:00 AM
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Thanks for posting that link. It was a very interesting read. I should point out that the article suggested contamination with muriatic acid or sulphuric acid, both used for lowering pH. But pool shock is highly concentrated sodium hypochlorite, or another type of strong oxidizing agent, plus usually a little cyanuric acid as well.

I also asked a friend who is a chemical engineer and gear head, and he also suggested retiring the ropes but due to the recent presence of the pool shock (bleach), not due to the recent presence of acid. This was actually my initial concern as well. My experience with the muriatic acid fumes is that, while dangerous, they dissipate extremely quickly. In about 2-3 seconds they go from something that can hurt you to a point where there is noticeable level at all. On the other hand, pool shock does not dissipate rapidly. In a clean pool, it takes about a week to get burned off by UV rays, which is necessary so that you don't have to add chlorine every day. Without the UV or something to oxidize, it probably takes a lot longer.

Unfortunately, the BD tests did not determine how the contamination occurred. That would have been very helpful for those of us who carry groceries in the trunks of our cars and also climbing equipment (not necessarily at the same time, which is to say, all of us). I don't think the experiments were indicative of a real world scenario - they soaked the harnesses for a minimum of 30 minutes. They also didn't test pool shock. Although they did test laundry bleach, which contains the same active agent, the important part is the level of concentration. The difference in concentration between laundry bleach and pool shock is kind of like the difference in pH between household vinegar and muriatic acid.

BTW, in case anyone who climbs with me reads this thread, the ropes were retired and my wife bought me a new one. Problem solved. Thank you honey!


distantThunder


Jul 28, 2013, 11:04 AM
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I can't imagine that there is really anything wrong with any of your ropes. you said that there is no visible contamination, none on the plastic, and the duration of time in the cupboard was very short. i'd say your ropes are just fine. but if you want to be careful, try using the exposed rope for TR purposes only. I would not throw away any of these ropes.

be easy on your wife. it was a fairly simple mistake for someone who does not understand the "care and feeding" of climbing ropes.

BTW, I just went back and read the last sentence of your previous post. if you don't want those ropes - I will take them. I will pay for mailing costs for the 3 ropes that were stored in bags. I rarely do lead climbing these days - just TR's. so they will work fine for me!!

cheers,
dT


(This post was edited by distantThunder on Jul 28, 2013, 11:06 AM)


dcfdrescue2


Jul 28, 2013, 2:32 PM
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You're right. I was commenting on it from (my usually pretty good) memory. While they couldn't figure out how the contamination occurred, I did think it was an interesting look into how bad this stuff can degrade nylon.


shotwell


Jul 28, 2013, 7:10 PM
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distantThunder wrote:
I can't imagine that there is really anything wrong with any of your ropes. you said that there is no visible contamination, none on the plastic, and the duration of time in the cupboard was very short. i'd say your ropes are just fine. but if you want to be careful, try using the exposed rope for TR purposes only. I would not throw away any of these ropes.

be easy on your wife. it was a fairly simple mistake for someone who does not understand the "care and feeding" of climbing ropes.

BTW, I just went back and read the last sentence of your previous post. if you don't want those ropes - I will take them. I will pay for mailing costs for the 3 ropes that were stored in bags. I rarely do lead climbing these days - just TR's. so they will work fine for me!!

cheers,
dT

Because the consequences of failure in a top roping situation are...different?

If the rope is affected by chemical contamination it is not ok for any critical use. Top rope included. I personally have my doubts that a bagged rope was affected, but I certainly wouldn't advise that a potentially contaminated rope is safe if you are just toproping but not if you're leading. That is just plain stupid.


billcoe_


Jul 28, 2013, 7:40 PM
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distantThunder wrote:
I just went back and read the last sentence of your previous post. if you don't want those ropes - I will take them. I will pay for mailing costs for the 3 ropes that were stored in bags. I rarely do lead climbing these days - just TR's. so they will work fine for me!!

cheers,
dT

I've only seen one kid nearly die when his compromised rope fell apart. He weight maybe 145 lbs, max, and was rapping. RAPPELLING. So much less weight than you would put on it top roping. You can't tell that a chemically affected rope will fall apaart in advance,

We made a rope stretcher, carried the kid out and drove to the hospital. Feel pretty confident that act saved his life.

Although I have only witnessed one rope fall apart personally, I've read of others...Here's something you might try, show your partners this thread, and see if any of them would ever tie in with your again. Live is already too short to die squeezing an extra nickel with your neck in the rope.


distantThunder


Jul 28, 2013, 8:07 PM
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I'm not singling out any specific person when I say this - I don't quite subscribe to the level of paranoia here. I'm comfortable with the situation described by Scotchie. I don't think the ropes in the bags were at all affected by the very short time in the cupboard. If I receive them I will wash them, and inspect them. If they pass, I've got no problems with that gear. I'd be more concerned about the amount of previous use they have already had from falls or general usage by Scotchie - I would need to ask Scotchie about that before making any decisions.

Scotchie - the offer stands.

It's probably a moot point, because if he's retired them then he probably threw them away or cut them up.

Here's an old story for you. a long time ago I was at the bottom of El Cap. I was retrieving a lost jumar that I had accidentally dropped. I did find it, but after reflection decided that the gear should be retired. It did not have any obvious cracks, but had fallen hundreds of feet. While I was there, I met another climber from Camp 4. I asked him what he was doing, He said that he went there regularly to retrieve gear, and most of the gear he owned "he got from the base of El Cap". Hahahaha!

dT


(This post was edited by distantThunder on Jul 28, 2013, 8:10 PM)


USnavy


Jul 28, 2013, 8:51 PM
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JimTitt wrote:
scotchie wrote:
Without asking me, my wife decided to reorganize my ropes into the cabinet where we used to store the swimming pool chemicals. I wanted to solicit thoughts from the community on whether or not any rope damage might have taken place.

General facts:
1. There have been no chemical spills in the cabinet that I know about, nor were there any visible traces of any residue
2. The ropes were placed on a piece of plastic
3. Three of the ropes were in rope bags, but one was not
4. There was virtually no time elapsed after removing the chemicals before placing the ropes
5. Chemicals included muriatic acid, pool shock (both chlorine and non-chlorine), soda ash, algaecide, and "phos-free".

My thought was that they're probably fine, but I was planning to retire the unbagged rope just to be on the safe side. This was actually a "short rope" after having some previous edge damage, so no big loss.

Thoughts / discussion?

HereŽs a list of chemical compatability http://www.coleparmer.com/Chemical-Resistance
Tell your wife youŽll die if she doesnŽt buy you new ropes, at least youŽll know if she still loves you.
One chemical that is not on that list that is known to cause serious damage to nylon ropes is pH lower, which is as I understand it, part of a pool boy's standard kit.

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