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Homework Help: Pouring acids and bases over sinks

  1. Jan 22, 2016 #1


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    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Which of the following would you not do in a laboratory setting?

    I. Pour acids and bases over a sink
    II. Wear goggles
    III. Heat a stoppered test tube

    (A) I only
    (B) II only
    (C) III only
    (D) I and III only
    (E) I, II, and III

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I chose D but apparently it is C. I thought you shouldn't pour acids and bases over sinks, can someone clarify? (I have seen this multiple times)

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 22, 2016 #2


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    i would still say its D because it is never a practice to pour excess chemical into the sink (at least when i was in college). Weak Acid or Base maybe are permitted by some school? Better refer to your teacher and ask him/her the reason.
  4. Jan 22, 2016 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Drain cleaners contain either strong base (NaOH) or strong acid (H2SO4), and they are routinely used throughout the world in millions of households. While the general idea that you should not get rid of excess chemicals by pouring them into the sink is definitely right, such simple rules sometimes become blatantly absurd when compared with the reality.
  5. Jan 23, 2016 #4


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    Gold Member

    Agree with Borek.
    It does not say, "dispose of acids and bases into the sink."

    which certain situations and necessity will dictate.
  6. Feb 3, 2016 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    My take on this question is when transferring from a container to a smaller one, should it be performed over a sink to catch any spill. Otherwise, you'll be cleaning up the spill off the bench and other apparatus (and possibly the floor and yourself).

    Pouring "over" in this context can have a meaning quite different from "into".
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