Where can I get Lye?
I purchase my lye in bulk with special order at my local hardware store.
Lye used to be available in most grocery stores and hardware stores but police campaigning has mostly removed it from those sources (it’s used to make Meth).
Lye (aka NaOH, sodium hydroxide and caustic soda) can be purchased online in quantity and cheaper than we sell it.
Just order 99%+ pure lye online.
It does not need to be ‘food grade’ as nothing about the lye touches ‘food parts’. That’s for cleaning dairy pipes, etc.
99% pure is OK; food grade is just a bonus.
The main reason to get ‘pure’ is to be sure there are no ‘oils’ in the lye.
Oils (even a tiny amount) cause the electrolyte to ‘foam’ (make bubbles like dish soap) and the lye rides out of the machine on the foam.
You can buy lye online, or example:
It’s a good idea to buy in smaller sealable bottles, so that moisture won’t get in and cause the lye to set up like cement. If it does, it’s still good, but getting it out of the bottle is more of a challenge.
Always buy 99+% pure.
For Australian users I found the correct Lye which has no impurities added for cleaning drains and that is “Glitz” Caustic Soda and is readily available at “Bunnings” Warehouse.
It does not matter what ‘form’ it comes in. Bigger chunks just take longer to dissolve.
For the model EA-H160, you put in maximum 1 ounce of lye: UNLESS you have installed mechanical gas volume adjustment, then you can put in up to 3 ounces (80 grams) of lye.
For the model AC50, 3 ounces (80 grams) is the MAXIMUM to have in the machine at one time.
3 ounces (80 grams) gives you the maximum gas production without excess lye. Excess lye can cause crystallization; which clouds the sight tube and plugging of hoses and orifices.
If using a hydrometer to measure specific gravity of the lye solution, it should read about 1.05 @ 20°C.
Anything close to that is fine (1.03 to 1.07); it does not need to be exact and naturally varies anyway, as the liquid level drops in the machine, the remaining solution becomes more concentrated.