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Thread: Cleaning dry cell and bubbler

  1. #1

    Default Cleaning dry cell and bubbler


    I am changing electrolyte fram NAOH to KOH.
    Currently I am having some foam problems, with the NAOH, and from what I gather it is a problem generated from inpureties in the electrolyte.
    My question is, can I clean the system without disassembling it?
    I have heard that some use white vineger, if this work, how do i get the vineger from the system?
    Last edited by bojer; 11-24-2013 at 05:08 PM.

  2. #2


    rinse 3 times with distilled water

  3. #3


    Thx for the fast replay
    So no vineger, or should I use it?
    If i only use water woulden't that leave some of the impurities in the system and then when I start to use it again wouldent the problem reoccurre?
    Last edited by bojer; 11-24-2013 at 05:08 PM.

  4. #4


    Sure, use some dilute vinegar on the first rinse if you like, but KOH tends to foam also.. There are several reasons that your reactor could be foaming, so why don't you post some photos and give a detailed description of your chemicals, wattage, electronics (if any) setup etc... The more we know about the system the better able we are to help diagnose the problem.

  5. #5


    The system is build from:
    Plexiglas tube (as far as I know)
    A unknown plastic (the black plastic parts, I have tested it and it is acid resistant)
    Brass fittings
    Power epoxy from locktite
    Some plastic fittings/connectors (unknown plastic type)
    Some contact glue of unknown type
    The coerce part of a pan cleaner (unknown plastic type)
    Water tubing, I used some petroleum jelly for the assembly
    316l steel plates
    Polycarbonate plate (back of the cell)
    Rubber gasket (unknown rubber type)
    Pipe sealant (unknown type, the white one, used for gass and water pipes)
    Pipe sealant (horse hair and a unknown muddy substance, used for water pipes)

    I am currently using NAoH.

    The power supply is made from a 700w power supply from a computer, no other electronics involved.

    Based on this calculator my cell has a max amp of 216, is it currently running on 10 to 20 amps

    The system have been under construction for a while so I think that it is impurities that is coercing the foam

    Here is some pictures of the system and problems:

    I have perched some anti foam, see link below, i hope that this will solve the foam problem when i change to KoH
    Last edited by bojer; 11-26-2013 at 06:37 PM.

  6. Default

    Any oil or grease that gets into the electrolyte will cause foam. This is the most common cause. There will be no foam if there is no oil/grease/fat. You are making soap if your electrolyte gets even the smallest amount of any oily substance and of course it will suds up.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed lamb."

    ONE Liter per minute per 10 amps which just isn't possible Ha Ha .

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Dallas, TX
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    KOH does tend to foam a tiny bit more than NaOH does. Both can be a bit annoying at times (like right now for me). I've taken to cleaning every square inch of all the things in my system and still get foaming. A very tiny amount of CaOH can help with this, but it will not completely eliminate the issue. You can also provide a small amount of back pressure to help cause the bubbles to pop.

    I just purchased one of these stainless check valves to be used with the flash arrestor that I intend to install (2 PSI cracking pressure):

    This ball valve should also work a lot better than the plastic ones I've been using towards preventing seepage when the reservoir is under slight pressure (1-5 PSI).

    You can also provide a separate chamber for the excess foam to pass through which can be filled with something like perlite, peat humus, a sediment filter or other drying media which will cause the bubbles to pop. After some run lengthy time the system will reduce foaming naturally given you have only been adding distilled or preferably de-ionized water.

    Generally speaking, I have found foaming to be an all too common nuisance.
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  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo View Post
    KOH does tend to foam a tiny bit more than NaOH does. Both can be a bit annoying at times (like right now for me). .
    Use KOH in two series connected, 21 plate (5 neutrals between) dry cels and, after reading a post here, think have completely solved THE FOAMING ISSUE!! WalMart sells a "CLOROX Spa Antifoam" and the label says "polydimethylsilicone" (assuming 100% 'cause nothing else listed)

    Have read foaming is typical of dry cels no matter how much cleaning - swiped all plates with 90% alcohol prior assembly - now It SIMPLY FLIES with LARGE HHO bubbles and no 'foam' accumulation at all!! Solution is slight milky white in color after adding less half teaspoon.

    Using pure distilled H2O and little KOH (never measured) with 36v dc am pulling almost 35amps with just under 3v per/plate by connecting the 50amp, 12v ammeter between the two dry cel units. (ie: 36v red batt cable to pos(+) on 1'st cel with black batt cable to neg(-) of 2'nd series connected with ammeter in between) To do: need 48-60v dc PWM to connect all four series deep cycle batts at once (rather than tapping individually which leads to batt bubbling)
    Last edited by michaelclyde; 03-21-2015 at 11:05 PM.

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