Another electrolisis

Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:38 pm

Is there a particular way i need to connect the battery charger. Positive to peice being cleaned or negative to peice being cleaned. In all the post i read on the tanks being made i havn't seen anything written on that part of the process. :?

Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:42 pm

The negative lead goes to the piece being cleaned. The positive goes to your collector (anode)

Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:48 pm

unless it's a green tractor piece :lol: :lol: :wink: :wink:

Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:50 pm

Thanks . Now if i can just remember it long enough to make it out to the shed. :oops:

Fri Nov 24, 2006 8:14 pm

Well i have it working i think, no bubbles just some movement in the water/tsp. Only getting 1 amp according to the meter on the charger. It is a 10 amp monkey ward. I have 6 -5/8's sucker rods for anode with 12 gauge copper wire connecting. I did grind the surface of the rods so i had a good connection. and ground some of the area in the water also.

They are really getting loaded up with some sort of gray stuff. Guess i will go out and check on it later. I have it outside under cover of shed so hydrogen fumes can escape.

Now i think i need more anode surface as i have the whole seat assembly in the tank. I guess if i have to i could take it apart and do smaller peices.

Fri Nov 24, 2006 8:23 pm

Speed and current draw are dependent on not only the surface area of the anode / anodes but also on the distance between the piece being worked and the anodes. So, as you can see, there are multiple factors that come into play. Including the solution strength and capacity of the charger. There are many things you can "play with" to optimize the tank.


Fri Nov 24, 2006 8:26 pm

Hi 2busy,

My experiementation reveals that one needs about 144 sq inches of
anode surface to really be effective. Now let me say that is using washing
soda. As of now I have not tried TSP. I will be trying TSP in the next
few days as I have to move one of my vats and cleaning it out. It has
been in constant use for over two years and sludge is about two inches
deep in the bottom. I have a 3/8 inch thick piece of steel about 10 inches
by 18 inches as an anode. Works great though and cleans anything very
thoroughly anywhere in the vat and also inside of tanks, etc.

Fri Nov 24, 2006 8:41 pm

The nice thing about TSP is that there is no flash rust after washing the cleaned part. One thing don't just hook the positive clip off the battery charger to the anode. It will dissapear real quick. No don't ask how I know that. :lol:

Fri Nov 24, 2006 8:44 pm

Thanks guys, i think i'll go dig in the scrap pile and find a peice of flat steel and see how it affects things.

Fri Nov 24, 2006 9:24 pm

2 busy:

If you are getting activity.. then that is good. If you are getting crap migrating to the rebar.. then that is good. This is not a magical process here.. it does take time. It all depends on how much TSP you put in solution. You can safely use a lot more ... up to the point where maximum absorption is reached. As the water evaporates, simply add more water.

A good rule of thumb is to use as much area as possible for the electrodes.

One of the reason why Russ's tank does so well with the washing soda is the really great surface area he is using. However, with the TSP, the rebar is more than satisfactory. It all comes down to finding an optimal balance with what you have available, what you are working on and if you are using TSP or Washing Soda or baking soda.

Personally, I am with Cecil on this. I got turned on to TSP, and I am hooked. As far as I am concerned, the little bit extra that the TSP may cost initially is far more than adequately offset by the amount of coin I save by not having to spray cheap primer or any primer on the parts as they come out to prevent flash rusting... or rusting of any type.

I like that.. easy is good, easy and good is even better :!: :wink: :D 8) :lol: :D

Sat Nov 25, 2006 1:41 am

Well it is working as i checked the seat and it has loosened some pretty thick paint already. I'm getting about 2 amps draw.

I did stick some more anode in there as the rebar is getting pretty coated with junk.

As long as it is taking the crud off i'm happy.

Sat Nov 25, 2006 9:42 am

2 Busy wrote:Well it is working as i checked the seat and it has loosened some pretty thick paint already. I'm getting about 2 amps draw.

I did stick some more anode in there as the rebar is getting pretty coated with junk.

As long as it is taking the crud off i'm happy.

2 Busy:

I neglected a couple things in my previous post...

1. You NEED to CLEAN the re-bar when it gets coated and your draw drops. You can do this with a wire brush by hand, or with a twisted wire cup brush on a 4" or 4-1/2 angle grinder.

2. If you are not achieveing 8 amps in the beginning then you NEED to Check for proper connectivity. There must be good contact between the clamps and the rebar and the part and anode... this is critical for effective operation.

This is what the tank should look like or similar as the part begins its journey from rust to sparkle.. Rudi's Electrolysis Tank


3. Sticking more electrodes in there to combat the crud build up is counter-productive. The crud being attracted to the electrodes is WHAT YOU WANT.. cause it is the CRUD that was on your part being cleaned... :!: :wink: :D :D

You NEED to CLEAN the electrodes, as well as the anode connection for maximum amperage...

Hope this helps a tad..

Sat Nov 25, 2006 10:48 am

Rudi, Are you saying the anode needs to touch the part being cleaned also? I figured that would be a direct short and kick the charger off or let the smoke out.

It seems that there are different explainations on which is the anode and electrode. Russ is calling the peice with the positive clamp the anode and I think Rudi is calling the peice with the negative clamp the anode.

I have always called the sacrficial peice the anode. But it has been too long to remember the anode ,cathode theory. Now that being said Maybe i am the one saying it wrong. Correct me if i'm wrong , i think i have it right now ( the anode being sacrificial would be the one that is loosing the rust).

Here is what i did. I Did put a bigger peice of steel in the tank for more surface area since i had such a big peice to be cleaned. Non of the positive /negative peices are touching in the tank.

There was a slight film of bubbles on the top of the solution this morning but still the same amp draw as the beginning of the process.2 Amps.
Last edited by 2 Busy on Sat Nov 25, 2006 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sat Nov 25, 2006 11:22 am

NO! NO! Do not let them touch!

Sat Nov 25, 2006 11:35 am

I hope i havn't confused everyone reading this :oops: . I just think there are two different ideas of what the anode and electrode are.

I think Rudi is correct in calling the peice to be cleaned the anode and the peices collecting the crud the electrode. As current is neg to pos , the negative peice is losing the material to the positive charged peice.

Like i said it has been a long time since i thought about anodes and electrodes and cathodes, dissimular metals.....