I’m putting together several documents that explain MUCH more about the ER50 and it’s options. They are currently in an incomplete form but I’m posting some of them as is, because people are now assembling their ER50 kits and this is valuable information to know BEFORE assembly.
Here is a PDF of the old plate design, which corresponds with the information in Brown’s Gas Book 2 (click). I include this for people who are building their own ER50.
Also, if you are buying your own parts and are willing to pay extra, buying transparent Tee and end caps is very nice, so you can see everything happening. BUT, clear PVC cannot be heated as much as the white PVC (it’ll soften and deform) AND when clear PVC gets hot, it exhudes oils that cause the electrolyte to Foam.
The mixture of water and a catalyst is called electrolyte. In this case we choose sodium hydroxide (aka lye, NaOH or caustic soda) as the catalyst because lye is less expensive, less caustic potassium hydroxide (aka KOH or caustic potash) and easier to acquire. The ER50 is DESIGNED and optimized to be 30% more efficient using NaOH than KOH.
The theoretical ideal electrolyte mixture for lye is 25% lye to 75% pure water by weight. But mixtures as low as 5% lye and as high as 50% lye will work, so lye concentration is not absolutely vital. But the closer you operate to the ideal, the more efficient the machine will be. I usually run on the ‘lean’ side, to reduce the foaming issue.
Very important! Lye is added ONLY ONCE in the lifetime of the machine. Once the initial fill is done you will ONLY add pure water. Lye is a catalyst and will stay in the machine. The water get split into gasses and the gasses come out of the machine, so the only thing that needs to be refilled is WATER.
In any case, the electrolyte level shouldn’t ever get lower than 1/4 inch below the gas holes, assuming your plates have gas holes. If your plates have a flat top, then keep the liquid level within 1/4″ of the flat top. The point is to make sure the liquid level NEVER goes too low.
The thing that kills electrolyzers faster than anything else is LOW liquid level. High liquid level is not ideal for efficiency reasons but it won’t cause any damage to the machine.
If you are going to put in more lye, always mix it with water first. If you just put lye down the tower, it’ll precipitate (settle out) there and will take a long time (could be months) to fully mix with the rest of the electrolyte.
Since the Police have mostly succeeded in getting lye removed from grocery store and hardware store shelves, because of it’s use in making drugs like meth, the most reliable source for small quantities is online. You can find sources of making bio-fuel and candles that sell lye. Personally, I use so much that I just have my hardware store order it in special for me, by the case.
TIP: a straighten’d clothes hanger or a long knitting needle work well to adjust plate placement as you stuff your electrolyzer.
I ordered the ER50 kit.
1. How long can I use the lye provided with ER50 Kit?
In theory, forever. The lye stays in the machine as a catalyst.In practice the lye usually ‘gets better’ with age. When I pour electrolyte out of a machine, I usually just run it through a coffee filter and re-use it.The only time I change the lye is if it becomes contaminated with something that causes excess foaming or if the machine sprung a leak and too much lye leaked out.
If you can provide a reference, that will be helpful as well.
Any source teaching about the electrolysis of water will confirm the above facts about the catalyst used.FYI, my machines are designed and optimized to use NaOH (lye) so DON’T put any other electrolyte in them.
2. Is there a way to measure the release of brown’s gas?
If you have some methods, let me know.
See this link.https://www.eagle-research.com/cms/node/4122
2014 UPDATE!!! Pressure Relief Tubes (PRTs)
I have updated all the ER50 kits to include PRTsHere are instructions to add Pressure Relief Tubes (PRT) to your electrolyzer. PRT helps gas be ‘relieved’ from the cell tubes MUCH easier than the non-PRT design. This assures that liquid level in the cells does not drop as far (particularly under larger gas production) and thus the plate surfaces do not become uncovered (remain active for efficiency). PRTs also mitigate the liquid level rise in the tower (liquid level doesn’t rise as far) because the liquid is staying in the cell tubes.
The ‘fix’ is an upgrade called Pressure Relief Tubes (PRTs).
With the pressure relief tubes in place, the liquid level pressure in the tower tends to push liquid into the cells and the gas can go out either into the tower directly (like usual) OR out the tube on the end, which ends up ABOVE the tower liquid level, so there is additional pressure relief for the gas and a net positive liquid flow into the cells.
This upgrade works VERY well, so well in fact that it’ll become a standard for my electrolyzers. It allows for MUCH higher gas production with virtually no worries that the cells will ever empty of fluid. It only takes about 20 minutes to do the fix, with simple tools and inexpensive parts.
In the picture below, you see my ‘prototype’ (I fixed a customer’s ER50) operating at nearly 4 amps. Here’s a video of it operating as I demonstrate the simple CAL power supply.Before the upgrade, this ER50 electrolyzer was one that couldn’t operate at 1 amp without emptying the cells. (The customer had applied too much glue when putting the cell tubes in place and had plugged the ‘liquid fill’ holes.)
The fittings are 1/8″ FPT to 3/8″ barbed HDPE fittings. I used some spares from some inline fuel filters (they come with various sized fittings to fit different sized fuel lines). If your hardware store doesn’t have them, check out your automotive supply store. You can also get them online; here’s one example:
I used 3/8″ ID (1/2″ OD) vinyl tubing (bought at hardware store). Polyethylene (PE) tubing would be more durable but PE tubing is translucent and I wanted to see what was going on inside. Vinyl tubing will last quite awhile and is easy to replace.
IF YOU ARE RETROFITTING PRTs onto your ER50:To find the spot to drill, I put a ‘sticky’ paper on the top of the cells that I could see and carefully marked each plate distance, so I could then move the sticky over the endcap and ‘know’ where the cell plates are. I marked the center of the next to last cell (the very last cell is under the curve of the cap and I didn’t want to drill into the curve).
I then drilled (started with 1/8″ drill bit and then an 11/32″) exactly in the center of the cells. The tower holes were a bit tricky, I had to slightly offset the one on the ‘wire’ side, because I didn’t want to drill into the tower wire. Take care as you drill to prevent plastic from falling into the electrolyzer and drill slowly as you break through, in case you catch the edge of a plate. It’s OK to rub up against a plate or move it slightly if you need to. You do drill through both the electrolyzer shell and the spacer ring.
Then I tapped the holes for 1/8″ NPT (National Pipe Taper). The end of the tap fits down into the cell between the plates. Be careful how deep you tap, you want the threads to go tight BEFORE the fitting is entirely screwed in.
NOTE: NPT is my preferred thread for fittings because the threads DO tighten into themselves, assuring a positive seal. However, I’m aware that in some parts of the world NPT taps and fittings are hard to find and/or expensive. It is possible to use straight threads, just be sure they are sealed well with the appropriate washer, o-ring or gasket. If trying to seal the threads, do NOT use liquid thread sealant, the chemical that makes the sealant liquid causes EXTREME foaming problem in the electrolyzer (is NOT compatible with the electrolyte). Seal the threads with hot glue (use a hot air blower to keep the glue liquid as you screw in the fitting), or some sort of electrolyte compatible epoxy.
I used 1/8″ NPT to 3/8″ barbed HDPE fittings. Remember to seal the fitting threads with teflon tape (or epoxy), NOT any type of paste (or liquid) pipe sealant. Pipe sealants contain chemicals that cause the electrolyte to foam.
Once installed, the 1/8″ plastic NPT fitting did not quite go through the thickness of the endcap and pipe, so it works great to ‘relieve’ excess gas pressure and allow a positive liquid flow from the tower to the ends of the electrolyzer.
I used 3/8″ ID transparent vinyl hose and it’ll work for awhile; better to use PE hose it’s stiffer and translucent but is more compatible with hot lye solution. I used plastic zip ties to hold the hoses in place; which also seems to work pretty well (no leaks).
I tried to be really careful to prevent bits of plastic from falling into the cells but some got in anyway. They floated out with the liquid and I cleaned them up later, once they reached the tower and floated around on the top of the liquid.
Yep, that’s my RV sink. I did this while on a writing sabbatical. Good thing I travel with tools 🙂 If you are assembling an ER50 from scratch,then Don’t drill the PRT holes AFTER stuffing. Use THIS PROCEDURE to drill the holes BEFORE stuffing: 1. Glue the endcap onto the cell tube. 2. Drill and tap the hole for the PRT fitting into the endcap. Using this technique you do not need to be concerned about the hole lining up with any particular cell. 3. Clean out any plastic bits (out of the electrolyzer and out of the threads). 4. Stuff the cell tubes with rings and plates; putting the ring gap (at least 1/4″ wide) at the TOP, above the gas hole (NOTE: if you will be going for higher gas production it helps to drill the GAS HOLE out to 1/4″).Note that the above instruction is ONLY for the old plate design that has a 1/8″ gas hole at the TOP of the plate. The NEW plate design has a large flat top and two small ‘fluid equalization’ holes on the bottom. I just learned that some people are drilling out those bottom holes (in the new plate design) to 1/4″. This is BAD and significantly reduces electrolyzer efficiency.
5. Glue the cell tubes into the tower Tee (which already has the neutral zone assembly installed. Glue in the ‘solid’ side first, the side that doesn’t have the smaller ‘floating’ neutral zone plate. Note: If your neutral zone doesn’t already have this modification, drill a 1/8″ hole into the bottom third of the neutral zone plates, to help fluid flow into the cell tubes.
Two more quick questions:
Since my horizontal tubes are completely opaque now (from running the electrolyzer for an hour at a time for BG breathing/bubbling), how can I get into the ballpark of drilling in between two plates since I can’t really measure down from the existing ones that used to be visible?
Do you sell the electrolyzer plates by themselves, and if so, how much would you charge for a set?
And I JUST smacked my head so hard that maybe you heard it where you are. There is a fairly easy and inexpensive fix for your issues…
You just reminded me of something I learned to do to ‘fix’ the problem of misaligned PRT holes.
You see, the new kits have the PRT holes already drilled (and tapped) into them, so there is no issue with lining up the hole with a specific chamber)
and occasionally, when gluing the cell-packs into the Tee, the customer doesn’t get the PRT hole vertical enough (need to be RIGHT on top (as you can imagine)).
This comes about when the customer pushes the 2″ PVC pipe in too far when turning it and the pipe binds up before it’s in the correct position. It’s not a common problem, so far has happened only twice.
The ‘fix’ is what’s important to YOU.
I tell them to get a 2″ coupler and cut their cell pack, leaving enough stem (2″ tubing) to glue on the coupler.
This allows them to pull the rings and plates out of the tube glued into the Tee and replace them oriented correctly and then (first the coupler) re-glue the endcap on (stem into coupler) so that the PRT hole is oriented UP.
In your case, you can cut your pipe, take out the rings/plates out of the end-cap and solve TWO problems at the same time.
You can remove the terminal plate entirely, making sure the o-ring is in good shape and re-seal it properly (and you’ll be able to drill the PRT holes, see below).
When I install the terminal plates,
I first put the o-ring on the terminal bolt and slide it down to the plate.
I then put a bead of hot glue around the terminal bolt, just above the o-ring.
I then screw the terminal plate into the endcap just enough that the terminal bolt barely comes through the cap.
I then heat the terminal plate (inside the cap) with a hot air blower (hair dryer works fine) until I feel the bolt end get warm (I put my index finger on the bolt tip).
The reason for this step is twofold. You want the hot air to get behind the plate to melt the hot glue and to slightly soften the PVC plastic (takes about 35 seconds with my hot air gun).
Once the plate/cap/bolt is warm, I screw the terminal plate in enough (flat blade screwdriver) to get a ss nut on the terminal bolt (you do NOT want to depend on the plastic threads to hold as you torque the plate into place).
With the ss nut against the plastic, screw the terminal plate tight against the plastic. The o-ring should now seal between the plastic and the terminal plate and the (now hot) glue should flow into the bolt threads, providing an additional seal.
You do want the terminal plate to seat against the endcap tightly, but don’t squeeze the o-ring flat or it will break when in use. Th o-ring should be compressed about 1/3 of it’s original circumference)
Now that your terminal plates are re-installed, you can drill and tap your PRT holes in your ‘end-cap’ stems, pretty much as per the instructions in the ER50 Resources.
Thus, this simple solution, solves two issues (three if we consider the miss-aligned PRT hole issue too). Sorry I didn’t think of that before.
This technique is applicable for full disassembly/cleaning/reassembly of the ER50 as well. Such extreme cleaning may only need to happen once in the machine’s lifetime.
Extra parts for the ER50
As for ordering more plates:
Since I don’t yet officially sell them, it’s a bit of a process, but here you go:
The inner plates are $3 each
The terminal plates are $15 each
(includes stainless steel bolt silver soldered in place and o-ring)
The neutral zone plate is $15 each
Extra capacitors (ordered from me) are $15 each.
You’ll first tell me what you’d like to buy and your shipping address so I can calculate and give you a shipping cost.
Then you can go online to my General Purchase page
and buy units @ $1 per unit.
So for example:
6 plates would be 18 units making $18
then add $10 (my quote) for shipping costs.
So total of $28 or $28 units.
It’s a really good idea to put what you are ordering into the order ‘Notes‘.
Then (very important) send me an email with the order number so I can find your General Purpose order, modify it appropriately and ship the plates to you.
If you don’t notify me I will NOT know that order exists because ‘general purpose’ orders are automatically ‘completed’ by the eStore (bypass the order filling process).Capacitive Power SupplyFor people having issues understanding the Capacitive Power Supply I invented:I’ve posted a quick and dirty video explaining how the ER50 capacitive power supply is wired.1 On the tower there is a pipe inside that comes out the top. I don’t know what to connect it to. I haven’t been able to find any pictures showing this connection.
That is redundant unless you are adding a float switch (optional). Just plug the bottom hole with the 1/8” MPT pipe plug using two wraps of teflon tape. My newer (tall, clear) tower caps don’t include this option.2 On the ER50 Assembly Tips, page 3, it says for higher gas production it helps to drill the gas hole out to 1/4 inch. I find two gas holes in the plate. What do you recommend, drill one, two or none?In that case drill out the ‘top’ hole in each plate (farthest from the bar)Ok, one more question on foam: why do I have foam?
Foam is natural when there is ANY oils (even oil from fingers) in the electrolyzer. I find oil gets in even from water refills, so some foam is inevitable.
George, have you found a solution to suppress the electrolyte solution from producing that white foam that crawls up the tubes and the tower, and trickles into the bubbler?
Foaming is caused by oil type impurities and it doesn’t take much. Drain and clean the machine, getting out as much crud as you can. Use warm water to rinse out the machine several times. Wipe out the crud in the tower. Refill with fresh lye solution. I’ve found that minimizing the lye ratio to 30 grams in 750 mL also helps minimize foaming. Alternatively or in the meantime, use the vacuum technique I describe in the videos below.Should I just watch the video on vacuuming it out? Only if you need to vacuum it out.I saw the video on vacuuming foam, if we get a little separate vacuum, that we use just for the electrolyzer, we don’t have to rig that extra bottle to catch the foam, correct?NO! The lye foam WILL damage the inside of any vacuum.I see you have changed your design to have that long clear vertical pipe. I got mine together and working well but even when the water level is just above the Tee it still gets so hot that in about an hour water is coming out the tube that the gas comes out of.
Heat is a separate issue, which isn’t the issue you’re having. It sounds like you are having a foaming issue and the foam is rising high enough to go out the ‘Gas Out’ tube. Foaming is NOT normal and indicates that an oil of some type (even finger oils can do it) has entered the electrolyzer, from not cleaned parts, from construction or from the lye or water injected. Foaming is bad for several reasons.1. it reduces electrolyzer efficiency making less BG for the same electrical input.2. it causes a loss of electrolyte (the foam contains lye) which further reduces electrolyzer efficiency.3. the ejected lye is caustic (unlike the pure BG) so can cause health issues if too much bets ingested or aspirated. So I show a couple of videos on a vacuum technique that I use to get rid of (or mitigate) foaming.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOThd-o3XZE&t=19shttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkkSB02xDr4&t=40s Another option (the recommended option) is to drain the electrolyte out of the ER50, wipe out (clean) any ‘gunk’ you see in the tower and rinse out the cell tubes several times with warm water. Then refill the ER50 with a fresh batch of lye solution.People, including me, generally don’t like this option because it’s a hassle but it’s usually the best solution and is what I recommend to do about once a year anyway (normal maintenance). Once the impurity has been cleaned (or mostly cleaned) out of the machine, the foaming issue should be gone or vastly mitigated. Foaming isn’t dangerous in itself, just inefficient and inconvenient. It also ISN’T normal, so once it’s gone you’ll have no more issues unless another impurity is introduced.Did you find that your original design, the one I bought from you, had this problem so that is why in the video you sent me you now have a long clear pipe above the original one? Can you send me these parts that were missing on mine?
No parts were missing on yours. It was simply an earlier design that had the float switch option built in and for which I had not optimized for breathing the BG. The taller tower cap is NOT needed for normal operation of the ER50. I put it on to help mitigate a ‘light’ foaming issue (should you have one) and to make my electrolyzer ‘unique’ compared to others (ones optimized for providing torch fuel or combustion enhancement).It is just too expensive to buy the clear pipe, I would have to buy 20 feet of it at $20 a foot. Then there would be the white connectors to buy too.
You don’t need a taller cap, you need to mitigate the foaming issue and then the cap you have would work just fine. There are hundreds of machines out there operating just fine without the tall tower cap.
Of course a taller cap is optimal when using the ER50 for health. You can make one yourself without using clear tubing, the white schedule 40 PVC tubing will work too. It’s just nice to SEE the foam, if there is any.1. So how come there is no continuous use button? I mean no on and off switch, that can keep it on for some time, like for breathing for couple of hours, rather than timing it?
Because you do not want to EVER (and I mean NEVER EVER) run out of water. The very first time you do, the ER50 will have internal explosions and melt.Pretty much the ONLY thing that can kill the ER50 is to run out of water. So, because I’m the kind of guy that can easily forget things (get distracted), like shutting off a machine that is making zero noise, I melted down TWO of my own ER50s… So I started installing timers on them and never had another problem. I’ve also now heard of a situation where a guy lent his machine to a friend to use. The friend was having good results (like his hair went from white to salt and pepper gray (like mine) BUT didn’t keep the machine filled with water and it melted down (he just kept turning it on without filling it with water). YOU might be a person who remembers 100% of the time and allows NO ONE else to touch your machine and in that case you can just put on a regular switch… But I’m not that good so I design the machine for my failings.3. Can it be transported by car for road trip, with the water still in there, if it is held upright?
Yes. I move mine around the house as needed and I lend machines to family and friends (stressing the need to put in PURE water and keeping the water level high).4. I don’t quite get how to get the water out to clean the system out in a year as you recommend–unless you mean to undo the wire connection on the wet cell, so it can totally come out…
Take the cap off and turn the machine upside down.
You can generally pour run the electrolyte through a coffee filter and re-use it (unless you are having a foaming problem from contaminated electrolyte).
Or you can discard the electrolyte (lye solution) down the sink, it’s environmentally compatible and is the main component of most drain cleaners anyway;
then make a new batch of lye.
Rinse out (clean) your ER50 several times with warm water before pouring a lye solution back in.5. I don’t have the tower tube screwed on enough so that it is flush with the electrolyzer chamber, but it is as far as it would go….
Only tighten the tower cap hand tight, the threads will seal with the teflon tape.
I am trying to be prepared to put the electrolyzers together when they arrive. I have a couple of questions (maybe more along the way) that I need to ask.
I now have access to a miter saw and a plywood blade. So what is the best way to do the cuts? How can I set it up so that all the cuts will be uniform?
Set a stop so that when you push in the pipe it stops at the right distance, also add the block on the outside of the pipe (away from the fence) see video in ER50 Resources.
Do you cut out the gaps before you cut the rings or after?
After. I just clip them with a large side cutters. A hacksaw works too.
I just assumed that it would be done after, but I wondered if doing it first would help by giving a flatter surface when cutting the rings.
Since I struggled with the pvc glue and getting the cell packs into the Tee, I really don’t want to mess that up this time. I think using the white tubes may help with that, but I do still have one kit that has the clear tubes. So is there a way to prep both the Tee and the tube so that it will slide all the way in without so much resistance? I must get this one right!
Just use lots of primer on both and a liberal even coating of glue. Then do most of the 180° turn in the first inch, pushing it fully in only after it’s lined up properly.
2017 UPDATE: FULLY ASSEMBLED ER50 FAQ and NOTESAgain, my product is going out without instructions in the box. The assembly instructions are in these ER50 Resources, which I’m constantly ‘updating’, here’s what you need to know.What we received is a wooden box. Is our first step that we should we unscrew the phillips head screws to open the box? It’s not a phillips head. Use a #2 Robertson head screwdriver (it is a ‘square’ head). It’s a common screw in Canada but not in the USA. I use it because then the ER50 crate becomes ‘tamper-resistant’ for the USPS.
Starting August 2014 (after my BG presentation in Albuquerque) The USPS (and UPS) were SMASHING all of my assembled ER50s. So I tried several shipping changes to keep them from being smashed, but each time I made a change (to confuse their tracking computers), they’d figure it out within a couple of shipments and then start smashing them again. I had to send 4 to one customer before he got an unbroken one (the unbroken one had to be in a crate). Before Albuquerque I had shipped out (since 2001) dozens of ER50’s and the USPS (and UPS) hadn’t broken a single one. Obviously (in my opinion) the Albuquerque presentation caught the eye of the Vested Interest. (this wasn’t my first experience with suppression techniques). I even tried to put an ER50s into a double boxes (with padding between each box) as suggested by the USPS website.
They then OPENed BOTH the boxes, smashed the ER50 and repackaged the broken ER50 so they wouldn’t have to pay my insurance claim (because there was no damage to the boxes). Even the insurance claims were STUPID CRAZY to get them to pay… I pointed out (literally to the USPS lawyer) that I was taking steps to sue the USPS and I’d go into court pro se (without a lawyer), because it didn’t matter if I won or lost the court case, because the PUBLICITY I’d get from suing (being an inventor suing the USPS for deliberately smashing my products) would allow me to make a HUGE number of sales. NOTE: This wasn’t my first rodeo, so I had been gathering information on their shenanigans as it happened, so when they erased the information from their computers (which they DID), I still had copies (proof of this craziness).After I started the suing process, they immediately paid all the claims, (except the one where they opened the boxes). So now I put the ER50’s into a CRATE, using #2 Robertson head screws… So far not a one in a crate has since been smashed (I’m lucky they are lazy bast….s) or ‘lost’ (I do pay the extortionist tracking and insurance fees). But it’s costing me an additional $70 to build the crate, etc. ON the bright side; I figured out how to assemble the ER50 right IN THE CRATE, so solving this ‘smashing issue’ and making the crate actually helped me advance the ER50 usability (FULLY ASSEMBLED ER50’s are now available). It’ll be interesting to see what Suppression Technique they’ll use on me next.I have not set up as I’m terrified I will mess something up so I will wait till the weekend when I can review the set up videos you posted on YouTubethat I found several times. Yes, good. This most recent offering of a FULLY ASSEMBLED ER50 is a modified version from the original kit, so some minor changes, like the filling and final assembly which I detail below. Note: just tighten the tower cap hand tight (about 5 wraps of teflon tape) and the little fittings finger tight (three wraps of teflon tape). The teflon tape seals really well so no need to crank them in (possibly breaking them).I see a plate that goes from nothing to 30m on up, when I get it working, which button do I push?
That is the electronic timer switch I prefer to use with North American 120 VAC. It’s made by Leviton. Press whichever minutes you desire.And when I am done, do I push the nothing (bottom) button?
You can do that at any time, to shut off the ER50, but it also automatically shuts off when the timing is done. You’ll also see it ‘count down’ as the timing gets less.So if you push the 30 minute, you’ll see the light next to it light up, then the 15 minute light comes on, then 10 minute and 5 minute as it counts down.The bottom light is on when it is off. The main thing is to NEVER let the electrolyzer run out of water. That’s pretty much the only thing that will kill it. That’s why I use a timer switch, so it will always automatically shut off if I forget to do it. Just remember to check the water level each time before you turn it on. I recommend keeping the water level about level with the top of the PVC Tee (bottom of the clear tower), so you can just see it in the clear tower tube and in the PRT tubes. The ER50 uses about 10 mL/hour of water.Just wondering, will I need to purchase the bubbler/diffuser stone and any hoses or nasal cannula separately or is it included?
None of those are included at this time. So yes.If i need to buy them, i need to know which ones.
I just buy the diffuser stones on eBay (any that fit in your bubbler top opening will do) or in a local pet shop (fish tank bubbler) and I give links to cannulas in your ER50 Resources. I also show videos on how to build your own bubblers (see this page) for less than $10, so it’s crazy for me to provide them since postage alone costs $13 and (because of the time it takes to hand build them I’d need to charge at least $20 each).Also, I suppose full instructions are included? Not in the box. Full details are in your ER50 online Resources. That way I can upgrade the intructions (like what you are reading now) on the fly, so you’ll always have the most updated information. I DO usually include lye, which is listed as not included in the assembly instructions. The bottle that comes with it has the amount of lye in it that I recommend you add to about 3/4 of a quart (750 mL) of pure water. Once cooled (after mixing) pour the electrolyte into the ER50 (funnel recommended) and add additional pure water as needed to maintain a liquid level slightly above the cell tubes (when the machine is OFF, producing no gas). Level with the top of the Tee is good.A good funnel can be made by cutting off the top end of a pop bottle. After the initial fill, you’ll ONLY add pure water via the ‘water fill’ fitting (no need to take the tower tube/cap off). When you get the operation instructions from the website (these online ER50 Resources), you will see that the new ER50 looks different (white cell tubes). This is because I’ve discovered that the transparent PVC goes permanently cloudy when overheated for long periods of time (which I do when breathing the BG for hours). So there is no good reason to waste the extra money on the more costly transparent cell tubes.Further, I’ve recently discovered that most of my ‘foaming’ issues were actually caused by the transparent tubing; evidently it has oils in it that contaminate the electrolye. The white PVC is MUCH more temperature resistant and since I couldn’t see through the transparent anyway (after long periods of use), I’ve changed to the white. The ‘innards’ are exactly the same as before. I built your ER50 right into it’s shipping crate, so it’ll be easy to transport anytime.You’ll need a #2 Robertson head screwdriver (square head) to open the crate lid and to screw down the chamber retaining strap. Put the crate lid screws into a plastic ziplock bag (provided) and keep them with the ER50 crate lid, in case you need them in the future. You’ll see how it should stand upright once you open it. DON’T let it tip over once it has lye in the chamber; you DON’T want the lye solution (electrolyte) to come out your ‘gas out’ tube. Mix the lye in a jar, let it sit and cool. Put the tower tube through the crate hole first (you may need to temporarily loosen the chamber from the crate, to screw on the cap), then pour the lye into the electrolyzer chamber and screw the tower tube/cap onto the chamber (tighten hand tight). DON’T spill the electrolyte. If you do, wash the area with water until the slippery feeling is gone. It really helps to use a funnel to pour the electrolyte into the machine. I cut the top off a 2 liter pop bottle to use as a funnel. Finally, carefully (so as not to strip the threads in the wood) screw down the chamber retaining strap, to affix the chamber into the crate. It occurred to me, after I sent out the first few FULLY Assembled ER50s, that it might be easier if you cut out the front-sides of the round hole, so the tower tube/cap could be just tipped into place while screwed onto the chamber (I’m going to do that in future crates)… You will need to (about once a year or if the electrolyte solution gets too mucky) take the chamber out, dump out the electrolyte (through a coffee filter), rinse out the chamber a few times with warm tap water and then either pour the old electrolyte back in or mix up a new batch. Being able to tip the ER50 in and out without or before unscrewing the tower tube/cap would be easier (in my opinion).Shouldn’t there be a long hose included in which to direct the gas?
There does need to be a short hose (1/4” ID vinyl) to connect the gas output from the check valve (gas output) to the bubbler hose that goes down to the air stone. You’ll also need a 1/4” hose coupler to connect the gas hose to the bubbler. The nose cannula already has a long hose on it. You just hook that to the bubbler output (hose that just goes to the lid). Fill the bubbler with pure water (distilled or deionized) to it’s shoulder (leave at least 2 inches clear space for gas to gather). Then after bubbling for at least 10 minutes (you can breathe the BG at the same time) you can drink that water (so you do two things with the BG at the same time). All I see is the black tube where the water goes in
Good. After the initial fill with electrolyte, ONLY put squirt pure water into that fitting. Be sure to put the cap back on after filling or your BG will leak out. and then there is other black tube with a very very short hose with some kind of cap on the end
That is the check valve, where the gas comes OUT of the ER50. Connect that to the bubbler as instructed above. So you may need to buy a short piece of 1/4” ID vinyl hose and a short piece of 1/4” OD tubing. Any hardware store should have these. If you want to direct the BG into a bag (like for an arm for carpel tunnel) you can use the nose cannula or you can buy a longer 1/4” ID vinyl tube. Once you start using the BG, you can add attachments (like hose to a rubber cup) that would allow you to put the BG on specific painful spots (like to release muscle knots or treat wounds).
My ER50 fully assembled, arrived OK.
However, the power plug isn’t the correct configuration. For the benefit of your Australian customers, our mains plugs are composed of three flat bars or tabs…
Yes, I’m aware that plugs are different in different parts of the world. I’ve been to Europe and Australia and seen them for myself. I’m also aware (being a world traveler) that there are adaptors available ‘locally’ everywhere, usually in airport stores or in luggage stores.
I apologize that I didn’t give you the heads up on the need for this adaptor, some details of my instructions haven’t yet caught up with my latest offerings.
NOTE: I’m now including this adaptor with ALL fully assembled ER50 going to international destinations.
Can you tell me in what market / region the plug you provided comes from, so that I can specify what kind of adaptor plug I need to buy?
The plug included with ALL the machines is North American (Canada/USA/Mexico). There are ‘adaptors’ sold at any luggage shop that will convert that plug to any worldwide standard plug. In the future I will include such an adaptor with every international ER50.
My wife and I are planning to keep the ER50 in its box, replacing the lid when not in use with a couple of screws to keep it in neat storage. We might even wood stain it to make it look like furniture!
I’ve been thinking, trying to figure out how to make the crate/stand more presentable and still keep it’s strength (because the USPS and UPS were deliberately crushing the ER50s).
…we just hooked up the Browns gas unit for the first time we’ve got two flasks going and we are just curious as to how long it takes for the second flask to start to bubble? It’s been about three minutes and it’s not bubbling yet. Looks like we hooked it up right so just assuming there’s not enough pressure yet? Any thought would be great
I’m pretty certain that your bubbler(s) have gas leaks. You can find BG leaks using a solution of water and dish soap. When you brush on the solution, you’ll see bubbles form wherever there’s a leak.
I couldn’t thread the fittings into the PVC parts
First, the threads may need to have been cleaned. I’ve noticed that sometimes, when the tap gets hot, plastic bits stick in the threads as the threads are made.
Before trying to thread fittings into the holes, make sure the hole threads are clean. It may help to clean the threads using a 1/8″ NPT tap. I also use a pointed steel ‘pick’ originally designed to remove o-rings from their grooves.
Silicone sealant is NOT compatible with Lye and will leak immediately as the silicone liquifies. Do not EVER use silicone sealant in any place it’ll touch lye solution.
I haven’t tried Super Glue. I have tied various plastic compatible epoxies with varying success. Whatever you use needs to be compatible with BOTH PVC (the pipe fittings) AND HDPE (the tube fittings). HDPE is very inert and most glues/epoxies will not stick to it.
Further, whatever sealant you use needs to be compatible with lye or you will cause a SEVERE foaming problem in your electrlyzer. Do NOT use ‘liquid’ or ‘paste’ type pipe thread sealants, they ALL contain oils that will cause SEVERE foaming.
This is why I’ve traditionally used Teflon Tape (not Teflon Sealant) to seal the fitting threads and it’s worked fine for me for years, in hundreds of electrolyzers BUT…
My ER50 fittings are leaking
People are now ‘over-driving’ my electrolyzers. Using them to produce far more gas for a far longer time than they were designed for.
This over-heats the electrolyzers. So ‘heat-related’ leaks are happening.
The ‘problem’ is that different materials have different expansion rates and ‘softening temperatures’ when they heat up. So as the plastics heat and expands, they soten and ‘reform’ into their ‘new’ shapes and then when they ‘shrink’ as the cool, tiny gaps form and thus leaks appear.
The ‘proper’ solution is ‘prevention’, to properly install the fittings and then not to over-heat the machines.
I do not recommend that the ER50 to be operated for more than 15 minutes at a time when operated a 1 amp current flow (this is 1 of 40uF capacitor at 240 VAC or 2 of 40uF capacitors at 120 VAC).
1 amp will produce 50 liters per hour of BG and is sufficient for most health related applications (breathing, bubbled water, etc.).You can add more ‘health’ minutes during a day by using the ER50 more times during the day. This is MUCH more effective for treatments than adding all the time at once. After about 10 minutes, a liter of bubbled water is saturated. Additional time does not further enhance it.After 15 minutes, the blood of an adult is saturated. Additional time does not further enhance it. The exception would be if you are using the BG oxygen to replace bottled oxygen (an excellent use of BG), then you would want to run the ER50 nearly continuously. It’s not BAD to bubble water longer or to breathe the BG longer (at a time), it just doesn’t further improve the beneficial effects (for most illnesses). I’ve bubbled water for days and breathed BG for over 6 hours straight to confirm this for myself.Obviously scientific testing (which will happen eventually) will also confirm this. In any case, the ER50 as currently designed are not designed to operate longer than 30 minutes MAXIMUM at 1 amp of current (which produces 50 liters of hour of BG). So I recommend operation of no more than 15 minutes at a time (several times a day) UNLESS you cool the electrolyzer with fans or water. As long as the ER50 does not exceed 110°F, it can operate continuously. The issue is that excess heat deforms the plastic, which leads to leaks. Leaks are inconvenient (requiring repair) and make a mess to clean up. As for the ‘other’ things that can go wrong, they are ALL related to heat, from operating the ER50 too long without allowing it to cool. It should never exceed 110°F (slightly warm to the touch). Additional things that can happen when the ER50 is over-heated.1. the black pressure relief tube (PRT) fittings can become loose and leak lye solution2. the electrical terminal bolts can become loose and leak lye solution3. the tower cap can become loose and leak lye solution4. the clear plastic pipe can soften enough that it deforms (usually getting sucked in from the vacuum formed as the gasses cool). If the ER50 does not overheat, the only thing you should do (for maintenance) is rinse it out about once a year, putting in clean lye solution (can pour the lye through a coffee filter to clean it). Some people REALLY want or need to operate their ER50 for long periods of time. Some of those people are using fans to prevent overheating… Which seems to work fairly well. I originally recommended putting the ER50 (just the chamber) in a water bath (like a large plastic cooler), which works well but 1. has a ‘shock’ risk (don’t touch the water when the ER50 is plugged in).2. needs pure water (impure water conducts electricity which would bypass the electrolyzer)3. the cooler needs to be plastic to prevent electrical shock4. the cooler needs to be large, which makes it heavy and inconvenient.
A more permanent solution is to use PVC for BOTH the ER50 chamber AND the fittings (instead of HDPE). This allows ordinary plastic epoxies to glue the fitting into the PVC pipe and there shouldn’t be any leaks, even if the ER50 is gets excessively hot.
But while this will help, it is not a ‘cure’. The best solution, for long term operation, is to keep the ER50 cool.My check valve stopped working and my ER50 backfilled from the bubbler. I had to pour out the excess (lye)water. First, the electrolyzer works just fine ‘overfilled’ so in the future you do not need to pour out the extra fluid (which leans out your electrolyte mix). It’d be good if you could pour that back in. Second, the check valves can be ‘reset’ using the technique I show in the ‘assembly’ video. They sometimes get ‘stuck’ open in certain conditions (a bit of lye and water making them ’sticky). They aren’t ‘bad’ just not designed to operate at such low pressures (the slight ’sticky’ doesn’t matter at higher pressures). They will ‘generally’ work and (so far) were the most practical solution I could find. I use them myself. So you don’t need a new one, just clean the one you have and re-install it. Use water and your syringe to work the check valve until it starts working again properly. If the ER50 is operated as originally designed, (1 map max and 15 minutes use before allowing cool down) a check valve isn’t even needed, because a vacuum only forms when the ER50 cools down from HOT. I thought of a solution that would prevent the need of a check valve… Simply install a NO vent valve (solenoid operated) that would vent the ER50 chamber to atmosphere whenever it is shut off. This would prevent a vacuum from forming. I’ve recently discovered (was shown) a more practical solution (elegant actually) that does reliably work at low pressure, preventing the vacuum that sucks water backwards from bubblers (so a check valve wouldn’t be needed). The solution involves using a ‘duck bill check valve‘ to automatically allow atmosphere into the ER50 but NOT allow BG out (ever).This solution is retrofittable to existing ER50s and I will be letting everyone know about it once I’ve tested it for myself (I’ve ordered parts). In the meantime, a 100% reliable means to prevent water backfilling from the bubbler is to take the rubber cap off the ‘water fill’ fitting each time after you are done using the ER50.This will equalize pressures, inside and out, of the machine and prevent the vacuum.A bit inconvenient, but it works.Using this technique you don’t even need a check valve.