My new electrolysis tank not bubbling off rust

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Stevetractor
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My new electrolysis tank not bubbling off rust

Postby Stevetractor » Wed Jan 05, 2022 11:33 am

Well I finally got around to making one. I’ve got some old steel grain drill tubes and cub parts to clean up. The drill tubes are still solid, but are rusted all over with flaky rust inside them. I left them in the solution for 24 hours with my manual charger set on 10 amps. Gauge on charger shows approximately 4-5 amp charge rate. Solution is washing soda at between a 1/3 and a half cup per 5 gallons water. The outside of the tubes look decent, but rust on insides is loose but not bubbling off. Is this normal? Just need more time or I’ve read about trying a battery between charger and tank. Just curious as I’m new to this. Looking for suggestions or am I being impatient? Thanks for your input.
4DB456ED-09FA-44F1-B0A5-842AF46CA426.jpeg
This was taken just as I was starting it up. Parts hang on heavy copper wire connected to the negative terminal. Anodes to positive. Old mower blades, maybe I need more ? Tubes just don’t seem to bubble much ?

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Re: My new electrolysis tank not bubbling off rust

Postby inairam » Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:12 pm

I add washing soda until it will no longer stay in the solution. You really can not overdo that. Doing the inside of a tube is hard. The current is going to do the outside but will not want to go in a tube. you would need to try to put a rod down the middle of the tube and that is dangerous.

. you may have better luck with soaking it a rust dissolver for the inside

I have tried a few things from this company https://www.theruststore.com
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Don McCombs
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Re: My new electrolysis tank not bubbling off rust

Postby Don McCombs » Wed Jan 05, 2022 1:11 pm

I'm a little confused by what I see in the photo. Do you have the positive cable attached to a plate in the bottom of the tank, then the parts to be cleaned sitting on the plate?
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Re: My new electrolysis tank not bubbling off rust

Postby Mht » Wed Jan 05, 2022 1:24 pm

It sound like your set up is fine. I don’t think you need to add a battery. Sometimes when I’m cleaning real rusty parts I’ll take them out after 24 hours and pressure wash them then put back in the electrolysis tank. As was stated in a previous post sometimes internal parts such as the inside of a pipe don’t do as well. Longer won’t hurt anything so give them some more time. Sometimes I clean my connection point by hand with a file to be sure I get a good connection. This goes for the parts I’m cleaning and the anodes. My parts usually appear black when I remove them from the tank but look almost like new steel after pressure washing. I have also had a few parts that for some reason the electrolysis seems to have no effect on. My tank is a 55 gallon plastic barrel and I hang my parts vertically just like my anodes. You may get better results if you could hang your parts rather than laying them on the bottom of your tub

Stevetractor
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Re: My new electrolysis tank not bubbling off rust

Postby Stevetractor » Wed Jan 05, 2022 4:25 pm

Don, my parts are lying across two heavy copper cables that create a sort of cradle to hold them off bottom. The clamp is attached to them where they come through the wood supports. The negative to the parts, positive outside of tank to wires running to mower blade anodes.

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Re: My new electrolysis tank not bubbling off rust

Postby muleboss » Wed Jan 05, 2022 5:06 pm

[quote="inairam"]I add washing soda until it will no longer stay in the solution. You really can not overdo that. Doing the inside of a tube is hard. The current is going to do the outside but will not want to go in a tube. you would need to try to put a rod down the middle of the tube and that is dangerous.

Why is that dangerous. That is the way I clean gas tanks.

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Re: My new electrolysis tank not bubbling off rust

Postby Don McCombs » Wed Jan 05, 2022 5:21 pm

I have found that you need to clamp the cables very tight to the parts and to the mower blades to make good electrical contact. Especially the parts. As has been said, you can’t have too much TSP or washing soda. Depending on how long you need to “cook” the parts, you may need to periodically clean off the mower blades to maintain good current flow.
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Stevetractor
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Re: My new electrolysis tank not bubbling off rust

Postby Stevetractor » Wed Jan 05, 2022 6:43 pm

Thank you to all for the tips. I’m going to try cleaning anodes off every 12 hours and pressure wash part after 24 hours, then try 12 more. Thanks again.

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Re: My new electrolysis tank not bubbling off rust

Postby Mht » Wed Jan 05, 2022 9:16 pm

If you don’t get the results you hope for it might be worthwhile to try using steel wire to connect to your parts. I use copper wire to attach to my anodes (rebar with a hole drilled thru the end and my copper wire run thru the hole and twisted tight). If that connection gets down in the soda water solution it quickly develops a nasty green corrosion and the cleaning process really slows down. I’m no chemist but I’m assuming galvanic corrosion due to the dissimilar metals. I hang my parts vertically in a 55 gallon drum on hooks made from welding rods with the flux removed. The hooks are like big s hooks with one end holding the parts to be cleaned and the other end hooked to a 2x4 with holes drilled in it that lays across the top of the barrel. Then I use copper wire with alligator clips to jumper the steel hooks together and then clip the battery charger to one of the steel hooks. I’ve been very satisfied with my results. The solution in my tank is two years old and looks like muddy water but still works great. As soon as I turn the battery charger on bubbles start forming at the surface of the solution around the hooks. If I don’t see bubbles within a couple of minutes I pull the hook out and clean whatever hole in the part I’m cleaning that I run the hook thru. I typically use a chainsaw file to clean the hole. I’ll clean my steel hooks with a wire wheel on my bench grinder after every two or three batches of part I’m cleaning. I’ve been so pleased with the results that I’m putting a 275 gallon tank (IBC root beer tote with top cut out) so I have a tank big enough to do rear wheels

Stevetractor
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Re: My new electrolysis tank not bubbling off rust

Postby Stevetractor » Thu Jan 06, 2022 5:01 am

So, after 24 hours I cleaned off the tubes I’m cleaning well with the garden hose. Dropping them lightly on concrete floor loosened a lot of the rust inside of tubes. I cleaned off my anodes just with my gloves and put them back in for another 24 hours. I checked this morning before I left for work and they look almost done :lol: As far as the washing soda goes, I’m going to add more for next batch of tubes. Had read somewhere that too much could make solution too conducive and burn out charger. That’s why I asked all of you. I also think the steel connections tight to the part would help. As would hanging vertically. I’ve really wanted to try this so I’ll make improvements on next tank. This is a great group of folks who don’t mind sharing their experiences and is appreciated. When I build my shed on the back of my shop this summer, I see a big tote I can fit wheels in too Mht!


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