Posted on Leave a comment

Gas leak

1. Is the green gas production light on?  

Yes = proceed.

No = get in touch with me

Since your green light stays on and does not flicker, we’ve eliminated the possibility of a partially plugged gas out hose.
So the issues we’ll now test for are:
1. Not enough gas production (usually a lean lye mixture)
2. A gas leak (fairly easy to find)
3. A bad electrical connection (power to or from the electrolyzer)

Next: Remove the Cap from the Water Fill stem (black top water-fill cap or the Tower Cap as appropriate) and look down the silver stem with a flashlight to confirm bubble production…  Do this with the fan running (so power is on and timer is activated) and liquid level near full…
For this test, the fluid should be about 1/4 inch (6mm) above the plastic block inside so you can see the bubbles coming out of the top holes in the white plastic block.
It helps if the machine is cool when you do this test, so that the ‘lye mist’ isn’t rising to cloud your view.

Are there lots of bubbles, few bubbles or no bubbles?

2. Is there gas being made in the electrolyzer?

With the green light on, take off the black water fill cap (or tower cap) on the top of the machine.  Check (look) down the stem with a flashlight and see if there is bubbling (gas being made).  This assumes your water level is above the plastic block inside, so you can see the bubbling.

Yes = proceed.
No = get in touch with me

3.  Re install the fill cap or Tower Cap and look for gas leak(s).

You can check if gas is coming out your cannulas by putting them in a glass of water.  Yes, gas will come out only one or the other of the tubes, depending on which has the least restriction under the water.

If gas is being produced and not coming out your cannulas, then it is leaking out before it gets to the cannulas.  Find the leak (see below).

If you are getting bubbling in one bubbler and not the next, then there is ABSOLUTELY a gas leak between where the bubbles are coming out and the next bubbler.
Same if you are getting bubbles to the final bubbler but not out the cannula, there is a leak (usually in the bubbler lid) that isn’t allowing the gas to get to your cannulas.

Common reasons for leaks are loose or miss-threaded container lids, loose fittings (seal broken to lid), hose connections and Humidifier pressure release. 

OR, (if bubbling in the Humidifier and not in the Drinking Water Bubbler) it could be a plugged Drinking Water Bubbling Stone, so the ‘gas leak’ is gas venting out the pressure relief valve on the top of the Humidifier

You can find gas leaks using the ‘soapy water technique below OR (if it is the bubblers) by submerging the bubblers under pure water in a bucket or sink.

To make a soapy water solution, put a good squirt of dish soap into 1/2 cup of water.  Mix it in gently to minimize bubbles.  Then you’ll use a small paint brush to brush the solution over any seal (some people use a small spray bottle), trying to make a soap film that will trap any escaping gas and show you bubbles.

You’d need to turn on the machine to do this effectively (gas flow makes leaks show up by making bubbles).  
It also helps to PLUG (with your finger or a vinyl cap) the gas output fitting on the top of the Drinking Water Bubbler, because this will allow pressure to build up and make the leak ‘worse’ and easier to find.

Don’t just tighten hose connections and get frustrated (that leads to broken fittings and hoses stuck on too tight to remove, increasing frustration).  
Use one of the ‘gentle’ above techniques to actually find the leak, so you can address it and fix it.  All the connections should seal without excessive force.

Do you have a video I can watch? 
I really need to make such a video.  In the meantime, here is a ‘gas leak’ video that kinda (uses spray bottle instead of brush) shows how to apply the soap and what to look for.  You are making a ’soap film’ that will ‘capture’ escaping gas (if there is any) and make bubbles.

You MAY need to plug the end of the accessory hose to help find the gas leak, so pressure will build up and make the leak worse (and easier to find).

If I was trying to find if there is an additional tiny leak and isolate it, I’d start by plugging the gas output of the machine by taking the Tower cap off and installing the shipping black cap to seal off gas release.  See the green gas production light go out.  If the Green gas production light does not go out, the gas leak is in the cap or inside the machine.

Then (assuming it passes the tests so far or any found leaks have been fixed) I’d put the Tower Cap on and plug the Tower Cap gas output. See the green gas production light go out.  If the Green gas production light does not go out, the gas leak is in the Tower Cap, likely the Tower Cap threads but might be the cap you use to seal the Tower Cap gas output.  We include such a ‘plug cap’ in the Torch Kit (don’t lose it)..

Then (assuming it passes the tests so far or any found leaks have been fixed) I’d add the Humidifier and plug the gas output.   See the green gas production light go out.  If the Green gas production light does not go out, the gas leak is between the Tower Cap gas output and the Humidifier gas output.

Sealing the Tower Cap base with Teflon Tape 

Leave a Reply