Hi everyone, thanks for having me on your forum.


If I take two .75mm dia stainless steel pins 1.5mm apart from each other in water (H20), one is the anode and the other the cathode. What is the min. Volts and/or the min Amps I need to apply to produce hydrogen gas? Oh, does any one have a fools prove way of testing for stainless steel. I understand that a magnet will not stick to SS. Is that correct?


Thanks again everyone,

 for having me and reading my post.

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Where are you getting your H2O from?

Tap, well, rain, sea, river, lake water will all have minerals dissolved in them and this will mean that their conductivity will vary as will the potential to split and produce Oxygen and Hydrogen. Depending on their salts they may also produce other gasses as well e.g. sea water will produce chlorine gas.

H2O itself is a poor conductor of electricity which is why some computer over-clockers put pure water in their cooling circuits because it will not easily conduct electricity without some salts dissolved in it.

So when you say "water" you are going to need to be a bit more specific.

Regarding stainless steel. Again - it depends on the grade. 316 or 316l is generally considered to be non magnetic because it does not contain much iron. whereas 304 contains more steel.

The degree of magnetic response or  is derived from the microstructure of the steel. A totally non-magnetic material has a relative magnetic permeability of 1. Austenitic structures are totally non-magnetic and so a 100% austenitic stainless steel would have a permeability of 1. In practice this is not achieved. There is always a small amount of ferrite and/or martensite in the steel and so permeability values are always above 1. Typical values for standard austenitic stainless steels can be in the order of 1.05 – 1.1.

It is possible for the magnetic permeability of austenitic steels to be changed during processing. For example, cold work and welding are liable to increase the amount of martensite and ferrite respectively in the steel. A familiar example is in a stainless steel sink where the flat drainer has little magnetic response whereas the pressed bowl has a higher response due to the formation of martensite particularly in the corners.

In practical terms, austenitic stainless steels are used for “non-magnetic” applications, for example magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In these cases, it is often necessary to agree a maximum magnetic permeability between customer and supplier. It can be as low as 1.004

Divers knives are not usually 316 grade because they will not keep an edge so they will be a grade with a higher steel content and so will also tend to rust. Just leave your finest stainless steel cutlery in the dishwasher for a few days and watch them start to pit as the steel is eaten away.

Without meaning to be an arse too much, all of this can be found with a 30 second search on Google rather than waiting for someone to answer here.

You might also see that using stainless during electrolysis causes dangerous fumes to be released. Hexavalent chromium compounds are genotoxic carcinogens. Chronic inhalation of hexavalent chromium compounds increases the risk of lung cancer.

So be careful.

Hello Robin: The question was answered pretty well in the previous reply. 

I will add that any amount of voltage between two opposite charged poles will create a field.

It is just a question of how little gas you want to produce, how long you are willing to wait for it,

and how accurately you can measure the results. Regards

You can put 2 rods in a solution with some baking soda (mild base) using distilled water. Hook up an amp gage on the input and use a multimeter to test voltage.

You should not let the water boil because as the temp goes up your resistance goes down. It's like adding more baking soda.

What you are making is called a bath cell. It will pull huge amounts of power and produce very little HHO. You only need about1.5-3volts to produce hho. It depends on the resistance of the water. If you are using 12v use less baking soda. If you use 3v use more baking soda.

If you are just experimenting with hho this setup is fine. If you plan to collect it and use it in a car or other device you will need to make a better design. A series cell separates each plate using a gasket. The fluid is shared thru holes in the plates limiting current loss. The output goes outthe top of the cell into a bubbler which also supplies the cell with return solution.

Look into different designs and see what you think will work best for you.

Electrolysis  happens at 1.5volts At about 3 volts it starts to produce heat and will start to erode the electrodes. You can add more volts and the amp draw will be determined by how much NaOH you add to the water ( electrolyte)

You should use non magnetic stainless either 304 or 316. Not all stainless is non magnetic.

One more thing.

Please be very careful with HHO gas because after splitting it is just itching to recombine and is in the ideal ratio to ignite.

If you compress it,even a little, it will almost certainly ignite (read explode).

Static electricity will ignite it. And static can occur in an empty container wherever there are convection currents and warm dry gas running around (look up rain clouds and they are wet!). In fact - Static can even occur inside a wet container. There are recorded incidents of plastic fuel cans going up because of static building up within void/non liquid gap the inside of a plastic petrol container (sorry a bit off topic there).

HHO does not rise as quick as plain Hydrogen and so can hang around a bit inside a closed area.

HHO burns VERY quickly the subsequent explosion has caused more than one experimenter's kit to be scrapped. Some experimenters were killed in the US a year or two ago when their set-up took the roof off their lab.

If you have a void larger than about your fist in your equipment design then you have a potential bomb!

last year an experimenter blew apart a small cell made from 15mm thick polycarboate plastic - it cracked like an egg - and yes it really was polycarbonate - the stuff used to make shock-proof protective shields. I was there observing when it went off.

Look up "bubbler" as a safety device and make it a long tall one to stop any flame flashing back to your cell.

Also invest in some in-line anti-flash-back valves for any gas line you are using. They are very cheap and you really have no excuse for not using them.

After all that - have a nice safe day ;)

I agree with most that Martin Moore states. But you may wish to check on the net. Two people use refrigerator compressors to raise the pressure of the HHO they've produced. Another man capped off his wet cell & powered it up. At 85 or 90 P.S.I. the cell split open. No boom just electrolyte on his concrete. As with all burnable gases just don't have a source of ignition, until your ready to burn your fuel.

Sorry but Flash-back valves are not fast enough to stop a flash back getting to your cell.  . .     

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