DIY sonicator to break off clogging in a pipe?

The magic smoke.

Moderators: phlip, Moderators General, Prelates

Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:50 pm UTC

DIY sonicator to break off clogging in a pipe?

Postby heyheywhaticando » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:30 pm UTC

Hi everyone.

I have some piping about 1 cm that has a combination of a metal oxide film and excessive reactants all measuring between 0.1 mm and 2 mm along the inside of the piping. I know that when I inject about 10 mL deionized water into this piping I see some reactions occurring in the form of newly formed metal oxides. I also see slightly discolored water exiting the outlet of this piping. Unfortunately, the piping is all welded together and it's difficult (maybe impossible with destroying?) to disassemble it.

My goal is to get rid of all the undesirable stuff and thus fully clean the piping. I plan to bathe the piping in water and place the container of water + piping on a heat plate to make the reactions go faster. I heard somewhere that using a sonicator to vibrate the whole apparatus would give me very good results as the sonicator would mechanically break off any molecules trapped in the piping inner surface valleys. However, the way I understand sonicators is that they provide sound energy which is converted into heat energy by the material to which the sonicator is applied. Is this right? If so, how would a sonicator benefit me?

More interestingly to me, if not, how can I cheaply make (or maybe even buy if it's cheap enough) a sonicator that would adequately work for my needs?

Thanks in advance.

Moose Hole
Posts: 398
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:34 pm UTC

Re: DIY sonicator to break off clogging in a pipe?

Postby Moose Hole » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:23 pm UTC

I have a sonicare electric toothbrush that's supposed to do some mechanical plaque removal from my teeth. Maybe you could try that.

User avatar
It's pronounced 'double u'
Posts: 674
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:09 pm UTC
Location: California

Re: DIY sonicator to break off clogging in a pipe?

Postby scarecrovv » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:43 pm UTC

How long and what shape is this pipe? Have you tried pulling steel wool through it with a string, or pushing it through with a stick or wire?

Posts: 229
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:49 pm UTC

Re: DIY sonicator to break off clogging in a pipe?

Postby 2.71828183 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:46 pm UTC

You didn't mention what the pipe is made of or what specifically you're trying to clean out of it, but I would flush it with a better solvent than water. For example, to clean copper oxides off of copper piping, I'd flush through with concentrated HCl. If you have a pump setup that can handle your solvent, keep flushing your solvent through under pressure. If not, set up a reservoir above your pipe (could be as simple as a funnel and a bit of tubing) and let gravity do your pumping. If the solvent you use is a good solvent for the stuff you're trying to remove, it shouldn't take long to get a clean pipe. I don't know of any sonic cleaner that would set up flow through a long thin pipe nearly as well as the setup I describe, and when cleaning with solvent, you want a flow of fresh stuff to keep dissolving your contaminants. Merely agitating it will saturate the solvent inside the pipe and then become ineffective.

Return to “Hardware”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests