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Cast Iron Cleaning and Seasoning Help With and Tips & Techniques For Cast Iron Cookware Restoration

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  #1  
Old 10-16-2015, 12:20 PM
Steve MacDow Steve MacDow is offline
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Location: Northfield, NH
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Default E tank question

I set up an e-tank yesterday. I had grandiose ideas of using an old stainless sink, but it was not as deep as I thought. I scavenged stuff from around the house, and my only expense was an old 4 amp battery charger I bought at a yard sale for $3. I have my eye for an upgrade on that.

I have 2 stainless steel pan grates inside 1 13 gallon trash can. They stay along the front and back. There are battery cables attached to each grate, and they are connected to each other with a nut and bolt. A 2X4 lays across it with a hole drilled in the center for a 1/4 inch threaded rod which is held in place with a washer and wingnut. There is a hook on the bottom of the rod that the pans hang on.

I had it outside yesterday, and it worked great. I ran 4 pans through it yesterday, and everything was fine. Woke up this morning to cold rain, so I thought I would be smart and move it into a bathroom. I dumped the waster out and started over.

It's set up identically. I started off with 12 gallons of water and one cup of washing soda. (1.3 tablespoons/gal). I put a pan in, and the amp gauge shot all the way over and shut off the charger. The gauge is marked to 8 amps, and it shoots past that to the stop.

I thought maybe I had too much electrolyte, so I poured out several gallons and replace it with fresh water to get the solution down to about 1 tbs/gal. No change.

I dropped down to one stainless grate, and that helped a little. Instead of shooting all the way to the stop, it goes to 8 amps (on the 4 amp charger). It stays there for about 30 seconds and then trips.

I am especially befuddled on why it worked so well yesterday but is fritzing out today.

Suggestions??

[SIZE=1]---------- Post added at 11:20 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:08 AM ----------[/SIZE]

I guess it was the electrolyte after all. I replaced a couple more gallons, and it dropped down into an operational range. However, when I tried hooking up both grates it shot up off the gauge again.
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  #2  
Old 10-16-2015, 01:40 PM
JustinR JustinR is offline
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Default Re: E tank question

my guess is that the ss pans are too close to the CI pan and its creating a connecting and shorting out the charger.
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  #3  
Old 10-16-2015, 02:48 PM
Steve MacDow Steve MacDow is offline
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Default Re: E tank question

There is a gap pf 9" between the SS grates, so the pans are 3-4 inches away from the plates. There is no direct contact. Still too close?
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  #4  
Old 10-19-2015, 05:40 AM
JustinR JustinR is offline
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Default Re: E tank question

I dont know where but it is reacting as its shorting out, which would mean something is crossed
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  #5  
Old 10-19-2015, 04:18 PM
Stan D Stan D is offline
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Default Re: E tank question

Here's a thought. Take the charger and hook it up to your car battery and see if it trips.
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  #6  
Old 10-20-2015, 05:18 AM
JustinR JustinR is offline
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Default Re: E tank question

He said it only seems to be tripping when both plates are hooked up. Functional when only 1 plate is hooked up. Leads me to believe the charger is fine but testing the charger is a good idea to make sure!
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  #7  
Old 10-20-2015, 08:17 AM
Dan Farmer Dan Farmer is offline
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Default Re: E tank question

If you happen to have a multimeter, here are instructions for testing the charger: http://www.ehow.com/how_5556504_trou...-chargers.html
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  #8  
Old 10-20-2015, 08:49 AM
William J William J is offline
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Default Re: E tank question

I am guessing here:

I would think the more the electrolyte is diluted the higher the resistance of the solution. The higher the resistance the lower the current if given the same voltage. If the solution is more saturated I would think the lower the resistance and the higher current with the same voltage. This saturation could get high enough to be a short circuit blowing fuses, tripping circuit breakers, creating smoke, etc.

If I were doing the electrolysis method I would use a plastic container and a piece of cast iron to forfeit the critical chemical elements and keep the stainless steel out of the tub.

My memory is fading somewhat, but, I seem to recall reading somewhere about stainless steel components used in electrolysis can cause dangerous by-products. You might want to do an internet search for details.
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  #9  
Old 10-20-2015, 02:23 PM
JustinR JustinR is offline
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Default Re: E tank question

Quote:
Originally Posted by William J View Post
I am guessing here:

I would think the more the electrolyte is diluted the higher the resistance of the solution. The higher the resistance the lower the current if given the same voltage. If the solution is more saturated I would think the lower the resistance and the higher current with the same voltage. This saturation could get high enough to be a short circuit blowing fuses, tripping circuit breakers, creating smoke, etc.

If I were doing the electrolysis method I would use a plastic container and a piece of cast iron to forfeit the critical chemical elements and keep the stainless steel out of the tub.

My memory is fading somewhat, but, I seem to recall reading somewhere about stainless steel components used in electrolysis can cause dangerous by-products. You might want to do an internet search for details.
Per my research, which should be taken with a grain of salt considering my experience, shows that stainless could release a chemical but due to how low the voltage it, its nearly impossible.
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  #10  
Old 10-20-2015, 02:45 PM
ShawnE ShawnE is offline
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Default Re: E tank question

You are thinking about hexavalent chromium. It is not a problem in in the small quantities and power levels used in our e-tanks with SS anodes. I personally use NaOH electrolyte and steel anodes, but to each their own. Perhaps JefferyR can chime in about the effectiveness of this combination.
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