Cast Iron (general info) > Cleaning and Restoration

trouble shooting my electrolysis bath

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Scott Sandone:
I built what i thought was a pretty nice bath out of a tub two steel plates and some heavy cable to connect the plates. i cleaned about twenty pieces and had great results, scraped and cleaned the plates and reversed them to use the other side after the first 10 pieces. Recently my unit seems to be not working very well, trying to figure out why. my plates are definitly showing signs of breaking down and pitting. i scrape them as best as i can and still not working. My charger is a older unit sears diehard maybe 20 years old i set it on the manual 40 amp charge. guage only goes up to like 10 amps when working on a pan I thought it wen higher before but not sure. water used to get warm when cleaning pans not so much any more and the tough carbon will not come off and it seemed like it exploded off when i first built the unit. dumped the water and made a new batch that did not seem to help. how do I know if my plates are no good any more or if my charger is not doing the job/

Russell Ware:
A photo of the parts in your setup would help. The fact that the water is not warming up and it used to could be a problem with your connecting wires. Without seeing what they look like, how they attach, or what they are made from, it's tough to give more help.
Are you using sodium carbonate or sodium hydroxide in your electrolysis solution?
All connections on an electrolysis setup are very important for proper function.

Dwayne Henson:
Can you flip the plates? It may be time for new ones. Sometimes moving the plates closer may help, but not to the point of touching. But like Russell said we may need some photos.

Scott Sandone:
Hey guys just wanted to give a update I had a new set of plates made out of stainless steel and unit works like a champ again. my old plates where pitted and eaten away. stainless seems to be the way to go I have cleaned numerous pieces and plates still look like new. Still have the old sears charger. i recently set up a lye bath its nice to have both options and the lye bath keeps me ahead on my cleaning i just out two or three pieces in there and let them sit until i have time to clean them

Cheryl Watson:
Scott, I have found it helpful to pull my plates and scrub them down with Bar Keepers friend, and rinse well.  I used to do that twice during the summer when running a lot of pieces.  :) 

I always use the lye baths first.  Makes a huge difference in the life of the Anode material.  :)


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