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snopes
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Comment: Althought not really new, I've heard that putting Draino capsules in a
small container or empty gel capsule and then putting into a fuel tank of
a automobile will result in a fire that will cause the fuel tank to
explode. Any truth to this?

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Purple Iguana
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I would imagine if there is actually fuel in the fuel tank, adding cilantro would cause it to explode if any kind of flame is introduced. [Big Grin]

Have never heard the Drano thing tho.

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alicia
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quote:
empty gel capsule and then putting into a fuel tank of
a automobile will result in a fire

i can't even imagine trying to get draino into an empty gel capsule. oh, wait- that would be impossible [Razz]
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bufungla
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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
Comment: Althought not really new, I've heard that putting Draino capsules in a
small container or empty gel capsule and then putting into a fuel tank of
a automobile will result in a fire that will cause the fuel tank to
explode. Any truth to this?

Crystal Drano contains lye and aluminum shavings. Mixing the two in water results in a highly exothermic reaction - one which would be hot enough to ignite gasoline. However, from what little I could find:

quote:
Crystal Drano...
does not react with gasoline at ALL. I tried it yesterday and got NO EFFECT. Drano fizzes with water but just sits there in gas. Also, an interesting thing to try is to take a bunch of Drano and put it in a bottle that you can make air tight. Fill the bottle with water and then put some medium sizes balls of aluminum foil into the bottle and screw the lid on as tight as you can. The Drano will eat the aluminum foil and turn it into some gasses which will cause the top to blow off the bottle or the bottle to explode...

From what I could find from other sources, it seems likely that the lye in the drano would react with the gasoline to form glycerine or something soaplike. I wouldn't count on dry crystal Drano to cause any pyrotechnics in a gas tank. Drano and water, on the other hand ..

buf 'especially since the "gasses" being formed is hydrogen' ungla

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Griffin at the Maul
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Actually, I think that is supposed to be putting bleach in a capsule and dropping it into a gas tank, not drano.

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Doug4.7
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Maybe this is based on a bit of truth. Back when I worked in a grocery store, we had a drain that got really clogged. To unclog it, we first poured in a lot of bleach. When that didn’t work, we poured Drano on top of the bleach. It didn’t unclog the drain, but it did produce a really toxic gas that filled the room (we stumbled out, coughing and choking). We had to evacuate the store and let whatever gas that was dissipate. It was fun.

If I had poured the Drano & bleach into a tank, it might have exploded...

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jimmy101
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1. I doubt a gel capsule will dissolve in gasoline. Gel capsules are designed to dissolve in water. Things that dissolve in water usually do not dissolve in gas (and vice versa).

2. Drano + water will not get hot enough to ignite anything since you can't get water any hotter than ~212F (in an open container). That's a couple hundred degrees below the ignition temperature of gasoline.

3. Even if the capsule dissolved, the lye will not dissolve in gasoline and of course aluminum doesn't dissolve in gasoline either.

So, putting Drano in gas is not going to cause an explosion.

Lye + aluminum + water does generate hydrogen gas which is more explosive than gasoline. But this combination will also not auto-ignite. If it did explode would you be able to by Drano, which is meant to be dumped into water, at the store?

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WildaBeast
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quote:
Originally posted by Griffin in the wind:
Actually, I think that is supposed to be putting bleach in a capsule and dropping it into a gas tank, not drano.

The Mythbusters tested that one. The bleach and gasoline did react to form some sort of goopy substance*, but it definately didn't explode.

*Although my memory is a little bit fuzzy. They added several different substances to the gas tank on thay episode. But I remember something reacted with gasilone to form goo, and I'm 99% sure it was the bleach.

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Doug4.7
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I once put gas in a styrofoam container, and it turned to goo...

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noysey
The Swordfish in the Stone


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The dry Drano is lye, a strong base compound. What will react with it explosively would be a strong acid. Some of the other drain cleaners are based on a strong acid. Be careful, if you mix them together you will get a strong reaction. That is why they caution you against using different drain cleaners at the same time. Read the warning labels.
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