Thu Nov 23, 2006 11:56 am

That was my next question how safe is it inside a building that is pretty inclosed? I have a 55 gal stripping chemical barrel made out of plastic I was gonna use I guess the only thing needs protecting is the charger. Having one outside in a open area with a roof or covering wouldn't present a problem would it? I would think that would be safer as far as the gases. It wouldn't be corrosive to anything unless it fell into and out of the barrel as bare metal? Rudi Has my interest up again!!!I have a bunch of chargers it seems everywhere I turn I find another one. It has been a real experiance getting stuff cleaned out prior to moving. I didn't know there was a requirement of two shovels per barn and a few more in well used areas!!! Carters Pills ain't got nothing on me!!!!

Thu Nov 23, 2006 12:13 pm

kinelbor wrote:Could you use a metal drum and just connect your charger to the side of that? Might take a flap disk to the inside of it just to clean it up some. this particular instance, the barrel is acting as the electrode........just as the rebars deteriorate in a plastic tank, so would the barrel deteriorate if it were the electrode.

If one has access to a lot of metal barrels, could coat / paint the inside with a fibreglass resin, which would act as an insulator, and seal the steel from the chemical process..........

I would think it might be easier and perhaps cheaper to buy the largest watertight trash barrel you could a rubbermaid roughneck from Lowes, or something like that..... It would be nearly as big as the barrels that Rudi and Cecil are using..... (approximately 40 gallons).....

At my last residence, I used to save rainwater, and greywater from the washer and dishwasher, which I used to irrigate the garden...... (City water, paid for by the gallon, water use restrictions, and all that....)

I acquired all sorts of plastic trash barrels over time buying a few whenever they were on sale..... I stored them under my 16X45 ft deck, and pumped with a small submersible pump....

If I'd have had a sand filter, I could have used sprinklers....... :D

Thu Nov 23, 2006 12:22 pm

I almost chuckled at folks furiously taking notes on Rudi's tank at CubFest.....
It ain't rocket surgery and you don't need to be too fancy. I admit it is pretty stylish compared to the old Frankenstein one with jumper cables and what not stringed together that I used to use. Much easier to keep it neat, especially when cleaing the rebar.

The tank has been working away on my McCormick snowplow, but I had a bunch of smaller parts that needed to be done too. SOooooo, I slapped together a 5 gallon one (once again) using a joint compound bucket in less than 5 minutes it was cooking away at some of the small parts for the plow.

I have been using a couple of old shovels for anodes. Seems it's not worth replacing the handles.

So for those of you that haven't tried it...... give it a shot, no need to be fancy. And it is great fun to watch. Guess I will have to post more photos soon.

Thu Nov 23, 2006 1:13 pm

Buzzard Wing wrote:So for those of you that haven't tried it...... give it a shot, no need to be fancy.

Definitely. The minimalist description I did is really all it takes. My write-up is on Rudi's server.

Thu Nov 23, 2006 7:34 pm

My first tank was a 55 gallon barrel with a whole cut in the side. Like an idiot I just connected the positive cable of my charger to the anode and dropped it in the tank. It didn't take long before I had no clamp left. Then I got smarter and welded a piece of metal to the anode to get it out of the solution. Sure saves on buying new clamps. :lol:

Thu Nov 23, 2006 10:15 pm


You are right, it ain't rocket science.. but there is a bit of a neat freak streak about me. Not everything is perfect of course.. but as I get a little older, I really want to make sure everything is tickety bool.... especially as I have been having tons of company...

My first tank experience was Gord's tank.. nothing special.. just a barrel with the top cut off and a mish mash of wires. It worked real good, but I could not empty it.. it was too heavy and with my heart condition (unbeknownst to me at the time), I found it almost beyond my ability. So I had to come up with something.. and that something is what I have today. I also did a little something with my 5 gallon tank.. and I have to thank Ron for that little bit of ingenuity.. he got me thinking.. so it actually came about after I got Richard to help me with the fabrication.

Anyways, not only is my pole barn going up, but I am getting my shop organized and everything will have it's place and be in it's place when not being used.. including my 3 electrolysis tanks. The 1600 litre one will be built as soon as possible after the pole barn gets finished. Each of the 3 will be permanantly mounted with piped in drains.. and an electric hoist to put the parts in :idea: :D 8) :lol: :lol: I gots me thinkin cap on again.... as well as a few other neat additions.

Now to answer Bill's question:
That was my next question how safe is it inside a building that is pretty inclosed?

The off gassing that occurs during this process I think is pretty volatile in concentration. Depends on the size of tank and how much off-gassing is ocurring. I would not run the tank in an attached garage to the house.. more out of a sense of trepidation.. cause it is attached to the house. BUT, if you have a well ventilated area.. (and in my pole barn I am going to have a few ventilation fans specifically for venting off gassing from my tanks).. they only have to be low velocity. I would think it is pretty safe. The volumes of gasses generated would not be all that substantial. I have already run the tank inside my shop and had the blower run for 2 minutes or so every 1/2 hour to flush the air.. seemed perfectly fine.

That is something we might want to investigate.. especially for those of us who live in colder climes. As for the battery charger problem -- as you can see by the number of questions asked on how I was powering my tank -- the cables were long enough to lead into my shop when the tank was outdoors so that the charger remained safely inside the shop in case of rain....

I hope that helps a tad...
Last edited by Rudi on Fri Nov 24, 2006 11:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

Thu Nov 23, 2006 10:21 pm

The gas given off is hardly benign, it's in fact hydrogen and very volatile. You should always be in a well ventilated area. Oh and don't smoke around the tank either :shock:

Thu Nov 23, 2006 10:45 pm

Donny M wrote:The gas given off is hardly benign, it's in fact hydrogen and very volatile. You should always be in a well ventilated area. Oh and don't smoke around the tank either :shock:

Yeah, bad choice of words there.. And I guess this is a reason for further discussion and research.. best not to be glib about it, but actually empirically correct.

It is hydrogen and it is volatile in concentration.. but how much is going to be around the tank.. :?: :?: That is the question I guess. When I smoked, I never thought about it.. but I guess that went along with the smoking when spraying celuloids as well.. or using contact.. sometimes we do stoopid stuff just cause we get away with it. And we always did stress that you do it outside or in a WELL VENTILATED area....

I did say it is best to be in a well ventilated area.. and with that provisio, I guess it is still reasonable aside from the use of the work benign.. I think I will remove that.. and substitue volatile..

:roll: :oops: :roll: :oops: :roll: :wink: :!: It was late last night, I am pooped.. that's my story and I am sticking to it :!: :shock: :lol:
Last edited by Rudi on Fri Nov 24, 2006 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

Thu Nov 23, 2006 11:47 pm

That was a side-ways complement Rudi.... That tank really is nice and there are two features that I especially like.... no need to clamp the anodes to the side of the tank is really a great time saver (also allow better 'circulation' around the rebar) and the pre-wired cables sure do work better than my ugly and somewhat unreliable early connnections.

My point was that good results can be had with a less elegant (and much cheaper) setup. Sorta like the one my friend cobbled together with what he had around the house to clean a gun barrel that was in a fire.... ... 156eeb.jpg His neighbors call me the one from RI with that special magic process. In 8 hours it looked like new.

Now if we could just figure out how to make gold with it!

Fri Nov 24, 2006 2:10 am


We need to remember that the gas given off is Hydrogen.....the lightest gas on the planet (By a lot!!!))

It's not going to lollygag about the tank, and lurk in corners waiting to's heading right up to the ceiling or roof, rather rapidly.......

One might wish to put hoods over the tanks, with the other end vented outside, and, as long as the hoods started with an upward draft, and you piped it like you would a stove pipe (a little upward pitch to the outside) you'll be just fine. I think a stovepipe would be ideal, because you could place a damper in the pipe to shut off the draft when not needed.......

The escape velocity of hydrogen will be much higher than the hot but heavy smoke we normally use gravity to eliminate for us......

Fri Nov 24, 2006 2:17 am

Buzzard Wing wrote:Now if we could just figure out how to make gold with it!'s a little tough, but if you have access to a one hour photo's developer and fixing COULD use it to recover some silver....

Electrolysis is the way that the big film developers recover silver from photographic chemistry.....

If you know anyone who still develops a lot of black and white film....OH BOY!!! you've got yourself a veritable silver mine!!!!

Electrollis Ohms pulled

Fri Nov 24, 2006 7:37 am

Be very careful working inside with this set-up. I spent my carreer working with Hydrogen atmospheres and they can be very dangerous. Because H2 is so light, it will accumulate at the highest point inside of a building and the more that is generated, the thicker the accumulation. The oxygen is held below the H2. At some point there is the exact ratio of H2 molecules to O2 molecules to be extremely explosive. Be sure to vent from the top of the room and hoods do NOT catch 100% of the generated gases. I only use my system out side.
Larry Dotson

Fri Nov 24, 2006 10:54 am


I am going to ask a few more questions... again because I want to use my system year round, and here that means about 4-5 months will be during the winter and I do not want to be digging my parts out of the tank with an AXE and a shovel....

I do agree that the Very Best place to do this is oustide.. which is where I do most of it -- but that requires summer and temps above freezing.

1. How much hydrogen is produced via off-gassing say a torque tube?
2. Can that hydrogen be evacuated say by a squirrel cage at in the gable of the pole barn?
3. My pole barn will have through ventilation -- new roof covers old roof of shop.. vents from north face soffit to south face soffit by natural means. The pole barn WILL NOT have a ceiling. With a squirrel cage mounted up on the gable end -- will there be sufficient air movement to evacuate all the hydrogen.

I am assuming from what little bit of experimentation I have done so far.. that the amount of hydrogen produced would be minimal, otherwise, electorlysis would become almost viable for producing hydrogen commercially one would think.

I am not trying to minimize.. I forgot that hydrogen is a by-product, but how serious is this????? I certainly would not want to make light of it or lessen the safety precautions... but I find it hard to believe that by simpy electolysing a torque tube that one could accumulate sufficient amounts to cause a dangerous situation....

But then again, I have been wrong so many times about things over the years, I have given up thinking about it :!: :roll: :wink: :lol: :lol: :? :lol:

Fri Nov 24, 2006 11:12 am


Imagine your shop is a hydrogen balloon, just too heavy to fly. Even if your shop were much lighter it couldn't fly because of the leaks near the top. I think its' a problem created where there really isn't one. :shock:

I'm surprised that everyone is too polite to point out the confusion of ohms for amps in the subject line. It's the amps that makes the process work and ohms that resist it (pun intended). :lol:

Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:13 pm

Well, Mr. GW,

Politeness has it's place :lol: I thought about saying something form the first time I saw this thread. I think after all the discussion the confusion has been cleared...maybe :wink: :lol: :lol: