Sunday, August 31, 2008

Electrolyzer for Beginner's, Parts List and Construction Details

Here is a electrolyzer for beginners and those that like to experiment and learn what electrolysis is all about for a very reasonable cost.

Many are against using glass containers and I don't really know why it is so, because I have yet to find a case where the canning jar has broken or exploded in a properly set up system. I have had one break because of freezing.....

There are cases of course where people have brought a flame from a match or lighter to the output hose to see what happens. Usually the plastic cap or lid is shattered but the jar remains intact.
If you are curious to see and hear hydrogen gas explode, it can be done very safely by first putting the output hose in a jar of water and then bringing a flame to the hydrogen bubbles as they rise to the surface of the water. Igniting a small bubble, 1/4 to 3/8 inch in diameter sounds like a 22 caliber rifle shot, a bubble that is 3/4 inch and larger in diameter makes an extremely loud bang like a 45 caliber shot and will leave your ears ringing for a long time.
Hydrogen is very explosive and not to be taken lightly!

This Beginners Electrolyzer or Cell outputs 300 milli-liters of HHO
per minute with 1/4 teaspoon of lye drawing 3 amps.
This is 4.75 times more than a Water4Gas cell
Temperature after 2 hours of running was 115 degrees F
Temperature after 41/2 hours was 150 degrees F

The above photo shows the completed Electrolyzer for Beginners ready to power up!
As you can see by using a glass container everything in the jar is visible, water level and whether there is any crud at the bottom of the jar. This photo was taken after it had been running for 8 hours on my balcony.

Parts List for Beginner's Electrolyzer

6 - 304 18 gauge Stainless Steel Plates 2.5" by 4.5"
2 - 304 18 gauge Stainless Steel Plates 2.5" by 5"
2 - Nylon screws 1/4" by 2.5"
2 - Nylon Nuts 1/4 - 20
8 - Nylon Washers 1.6 mm thick
4 - Stainless Steel Washers 1/4"
2 - Stainless Steel Hex head Screws 1/4" by 3"
10 - Stainless Steel Nuts 1/4"
6 - Stainless Steel Nuts 5/16" (for spacers)
1 - 1/4" Nylon or Plastic elbow ( I used a 3/8" which I had on hand)
1 - Nylon Nut to fit above Elbow
1 - Wide Mouth Mason Jar
1 - Plastic Storage Lid for Mason Jar
1 - Rubber Gasket for the Lid
2 - Rubber Grommets with 1/4" holes
1 - Rubber Grommet to fit the 1/4" Elebow
1 - 7/8" Rubber Stopper

Here we see the plate assembly fastened to the lid with the 3" ss screws

A different angle showing the assembly, etc

A view from the bottom of the plate assembly

A view showing the end plate

View showing the top electrical connections, 3/8" elbow and the 7/8" Rubber stopper in a 7/8" hole which is used for adding water or lye to the electrolyzer.
If you decide to construct this electrolyzer, it is entirely at your own risk and peril. This device is not a play thing or toy. It is your responsibility to make sure that all safety precautions are followed . Neither the designer of this electrolyzer or author of this document will be liable should you suffer any loss or damage by your own actions.
Play Safe Always!

Construction Details

First drill two 1/4 inch holes approximately 2 1/2 inches apart down the center line of the plates. If you have a drill press you can put all the plates together and drill them at one time. I used a 3/8 electric drill using a titanium drill bit, and drilled each one separately.

The outside plates are drilled as well with the holes matching, when all are stood up on end. There is an extra hole to be drilled on each side plate (5 inch ones) centered on the plate and about 1/4 to 3/8 inch down from the top. Using a hacksaw make 2 cuts, one on each side of the hole, about 1/2 inch apart, then using pliers or a vicegrip bend the created tab so it is 90 degrees to the plate. See photos

Before assembling the plates, get some coarse sandpaper and sand the plates from end to end, then sand them from side to side, do this to both sides. If you have a sander, you can use that. The sanding leaves minute grooves on the surface of the plates which helps to increase the production of HHO. Rinse off the plates prior to assembly.

Assembling the plates

Take one side plate and insert the nylon screws from the tab side, then put one nylon washer over the screws, then put one of the 4 1/2" plates over the screws, now place a 5/16" nut as a spacer, next add another 4 1/2" plate, now a nylon washer, another 4 1/2 inch plate and continue that sequence until you finally add the other side plate with the tab on the outside. Now put on the nylon 1/4 inch nuts to hold the assembly together...tighten the nuts, but not so much that you strip the threads.

See below for the plate arrangement, our design does not have the minus and plus as shown below. The "A" spaces have the nylon washers and the "B" spaces have the 5/16 nuts as spacers.
Above diagram from Smack Booster article

Next insert the two 3 inch SS screws through the holes in the tab and fasten to the tab with a 1/4 inch nut. Make sure this connection is really tight using two 7/16 inch wrenches to tighten it down. If this connection gets loose when the electrolyte level is low and causes a spark, it will ignite the hydrogen gas.

Cap or Lid Preparation

First make sure that the two 3 inch screws of the plate assembly are parallel to one another and line up properly, then invert the assembly over the inside of the lid and mark the spot where the screws touch the lid. You could also measure the distance between the top of the screws and use that to mark the lid for the 1/4" holes to be drilled. Now mark the spot for the nylon elbow and the 7/8" hole for the rubber stopper. Drill them now. I used a step drill for the 7/8" hole.

Final Assembly

Place a rubber grommet over the thread of the nylon elbow, insert the elbow through the hole in the lid and screw the nylon nut to the elbow and tighten it down so that the grommet is compressed.

Next place the plate assembly in the jar, put two 1/4" nuts, one on each 3" screw, add one washer to each one and then the rubber grommet as well. Screw the nuts, etc down far enough so the rubber grommet is slightly below the rim of the jar.
Place the lid so that the screws are protuding through the holes in the lid and screw the lid down. Now place a washer and a nut on each screw, Turn the nuts so that the plate assembly is just resting on the bottom of the jar. Remove the assembly by unscrewing the lid. Now holding a wrench on the nut on the top side of the lid, turn the nut on the underside until the grommet is compressed against the underside of the lid, do this to the other screw as well.
Finally put on another nut on the top and holding the first nut on the screw with a wrench, tighten the nuts together so they are jammed. Add the other nut that will hold the wire, do not tighten it until the wire is connected. Mark one terminal Plus or + and the other Minus or - Does not matter which one is plus or minus at this point. Place the gasket in the lid and and insert the assembly into the jar.

Regarding the grommets, I have generally had good luck with them sealing the area around the terminals, but several times I have had to take things apart and squeeze some Silicon Seal around the thread of the screw and the grommet. You may want to put the Silicon Seal right from the start to avoid problems later.

The Big Test!

To make sure that your creation is air tight, screw down the lid, stick on a length of tubing to the elbow and immerse the entire jar in a bucket of water or the kitchen sink will do as well. Now blow into the tube and if you see any bubbles rising, you have a leak and will have to fix it before proceeding any further. The lids are notorius for leaking if you do not have a gasket in the lid to seal it properly. Once you have no leaks you are set for the final test.

First fill the jar with distilled water to just cover the top of the plates, (99 cents for a 4 liter jug at the grocery store) then add about 1/4 teaspoon of lye (Gillettes from Home Hardware, get the small container)

Be very carefull with the lye as it is very corrosive, don't get it on your skin or eyes and make sure you do not breathe any of the fumes, etc. Never add water to lye, only lye to water....I have a bucket of water closeby in case I happen to get some on me, so can wash it off immediately.

To test the electrolyzer, make sure you are outside or in a well ventilated space or area as hydrogen will rise and accumulate on the ceiling and the slightest spark will set it off. Under no circumstances test it inside your home.

Have your output hose from the electrolyzer go into the bottom of a jar or other container of water closeby. Now connect your 12 volts DC to the terminals and switch on the power, immediately you should see action in the form of small bubbles from the plates and sort of a cloud form near the top of the cell. Very shortly you will see bubbles rising to the top in the jar of water as HHO is being produced.

You Have Arrived!

Anyone interested in how to install it in your vehicle?


Anonymous Kuro said...

I've just built a HOD cell too, 4 SS plates. Havent tested production rate, but I just read your posts and it sounds discouraging. You didnt get any significant gains it seems. (Just reading your post called Venture Testing)

Kind of curious as to why you are teaching people how to build a HOD cell if you arent getting very good gains... (no offense, just curious)

How much sodium hydroxide you add?
I added 3 mls of 50% NaOH into 300mls of water. I seem to have good production and the power source doesnt seem to get hot.. I'll need to test the voltage/current once I buy a voltmeter.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Rebel said...

Hi Kuro,
Thanks for posting, appreciate it.

Fine on building a cell, hope it all works for you, I am sure it will. Yes, it can be discouraging, but since I have nothing else to do, it keeps my mind active trying other things LOL. I do have gains of 31% or so from my original figures , but I should be getting much, much more.... 90 to 100% plus ?

About the teaching part. Well, I started a group known as HODers for people in Ontario (and then the rest of Canada) to help them locate parts, etc for their projects and also as a place to get to know other HOD experimenters and perhaps get together at times to showcase their wares to one another and others interested in HOD. So far I have met many very interesting people personally, many who think "outside the box" and keep trying to improve on their projects.

I found there are many that do not have a clue how to go about building a cell, testing it, getting the LPM output so I try to pass on such info whenever I can.

I have a friend that got 15% gain immediately with nothing but the HOD, then replaced the O2 sensor that had over 80 K on it and as a result got around the 30% gain. Then they added the extender to the O2 Sensor and are getting around 46% gain in MPG with nothing else added for the last 4 months.No EFIE, enhansers or other stuff that many spend money on and want to try immediately.

I don't bother figuring out percentages regarding the strength of the electrolyte. Every cell I have built, I start with a 1/4 teaspoon of lye, let it run at least 4 hours, checking out the amperage drawn, the rise temperature and the LPM every hour or so. From there I decide whether to add more or cut back on the lye to create more or less HHO depending on the amperage I want to run the cell at.

Regarding your purchasing a voltmeter, I suggest you buy just a straight 30 - 0 - 30 ammeter which you can place permanently in your power lead to the cell. Most are about 2 inches in diameter and cost from $8 to $12 or less at surplus stores. You can see mine mounted in a plastic box with the on/off switch for the cell in one of the archived posts.
Multimeters are fine but the maximum DC amperage you can measure on most of them is 10 amps ( that includes my $200 plus Fluke) Buy a cheapy multimeter for checking AC and DC voltages,
amperages, resistances, etc

Cheers, Ted

6:03 AM  
Anonymous Kuro said...

I'm in Ontario, if you are anywhere in the GTA, let me know about your meeting places cuz I wouldnt mind dropping by one sometime.

I plan on adding another 2 SS plates to the cell later. But I find that the water is getting rather warm. I've only run it about 30 minutes and its definately warm to the touch. Do you ever get that too? I'm afraid if I leave it for hours, it'll overheat. I guess I should start looking at making the design more efficient... but the question is how. The only thing I can think of so far is to reduce the spacer width between each cell. If you have an email account, I can email you pics of my HOD cell. Its probably on your blog somewhere, I'll look for it and show you. This is my third one, first was made of non-stainless steel aircraft cable, 2nd was aluminum plates, and my current one is the stainless steel.

I'm getting 170mL per minute.... not very efficient. There may be a small leak somewhere... but I'd say at most I'm gett 0.2LPM.

5:46 PM  
Blogger Rebel said...

Hi kuro,
OK on your efforts to get a cell working without too much heat, etc

OK on being in Ontario, I am in Hamilton and so far we have not had any meetings arranged, but I have had the pleasure of meeting couple of the HODers group members and am sure that some where along the way we will meet more of them.

If you are interested in joining the list of members and the group please fill out the following info and send it to


The list is private and all information is only available to others on the list. We also have a private Google Group known as HODers (Hydrogen on Demand) where people can contact one another, ask questions and read up on how to articles, and many plans for different types of generators or boosters.

There are links to many sites on the internet which are related to HOD. You can also show your HOD setup in photos and describe them in detail if you wish. Everyone that gets on the list will get an invitation to join the group. There is no obligation to join.

OK on the production of HHO there, well it is much better than the Water4Gas cell which only outputs about 63 milli-liters per minute.


5:46 AM  
Anonymous Kuro said...

Thats it ?! 64mL/min
Thats terrible, i dont see how thats going to help at all. They suggested wires, but thats not a whole lot of surface area. I'd assume the larger the SA, the better.

I got a multimeter for 20 bux and it read 33A from a 5VDC power supply, which is just as bad. Gonna need to reduce the space between each plate.

Alright I'll send an email over and join.

Know anything about the charged water system? where you bubble the H2 and O2 gas through water for about 1hour, then add 4 capfuls of 3% hydrogen peroxide and that supposedly has the same effect at their electrolyzer? I havent been about to come up with something to explain that yet....

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Rebel:
No one has helped me more than your posts. I was able to measure the LPM of my HOD by using your simple method. I would like to ask you a question. I used a jar from Dollar General store that allowed me to make my tower 3" in diameter instead of 2.15" as per Ozzie's example. I spaced 1/4" apart by notching the tower. All this allowed me to use 90" per wire which is considerably more than in the water4gas book. Still it only produced .125 LPM using 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Connecting 6 of these into a manifold only produced .4 LPM. I only used one jar on my 2001 Chevy S10 4.3 V6 engine. Almost everyone talks about how they could FEEL more power and so forth but I did not see anything nor did I feel anything different. Now here is the thing. I had a scanguage II hooked up and did this test at idle rpm. Without the HHO the idle was between 620-640 rpm and using about .5 gal per minute on the scanguage II. Then I hooked up the HHO and did another test at idle rpm. Still same 620-640 and using about .5 gal per minute. If this HHO was working and producing a better burn then shouldn't the rpm have increased. If I adjusted the MAP sensor enhancer then sure the idle rpm dropped and gal per minute dropped. If I leaned the mixture using the MAP sensor the engine ran very rough and the valves pinged. I don't believe these water4gas jars produce enough to amount to anything. What do you think. My partner and I tried 6 of these jars on his 1988 GMC V8 and got very erratic readings as follows. Base line we got 13.5 MPG then we filled gas tank and hooked up the 6 HHO jars and ran the same 28 miles and got 14.5 MPG. We filled tank again and did exact same test again without changing anything and got 19.5 MPG. Good uh, well not yet. We filled tank and unhooked the HHO and did exact same miles again and got 16.9 MPG. So the last test without HHO was better than the 2nd test using HHO. I saw where you got the same erratic results. I am like you I think we are seeing results from all the MAP sensor adjustments and etc. and not from the HHO. Anyway if you post negative results on the water4gas forum you are critized and made fun of. They then start telling you to check for leaks and blah blah blah, as if we didn't do this before we ever tried anything.
All your tests and posts and videos are very, very good and helpful (example HHO doesn't need vacuum). I want to thank you for good honest testing and sharing with us. Let me know where you are and what you think about what I have said if it is not too much trouble. Thanks

Leroy Hindman
Cedar Bluff, AL

2:04 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Hello Rebel
looked an looked at your plate design assume this is only a scematic and there are power hook ups missing. you don,t show power to each plate . surely you need power to every plate , not just the out side ones. a mearurement between the + and - plates would be over 2 " an this would slow down hho production.

5:46 PM  
Blogger Rebel said...

Hi Richard,
There are no power hook ups missing...By looking at the photos you should be able to see that there is only power to the outside plates. These plates (plus and minus) are insulated from the other "neutral plates" by nylon washers, as are the neutral plates themselves. The neutral plates consist of two plates, each of which are electrically connected to each other by the SS washer between them.

The current flows between them through the electrolyte and when operating you can see the hydrogen bubbles forming between the plates all the way across. Did a demo to 14 people today who were interested in HOD to illustrate the action in the cell.

This configuration allows a fairly high output (up to 2 LPM) on one of my larger cells with heat generation not a problem unless you push it to its limits by lots of lye.

6:35 PM  
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2:19 PM  
Blogger Nick Stockton said...

Hi Rebel,
I write for Wired and we are putting together a slide show of home made technology. I'd like to use your images of the electrolyzer in the Mason/Bell jar from this post, if that's ok. Please email me and let me know what you think.
Thank you,
Nick S.
nms406 at nyu dot com

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