Also consult the article regarding mechanical inspection.
Check your entire system for vacuum leaks. It is best to do so with the engine at idle, which is when you have the most vacuum. If you have a dual-output system, you'll need to check that portion of the system when the idle is up, which is when that system has the most vacuum.
Check your entire setup for leaks:
- Check all the connections to the vacuum and to the air intake,
- Check all the hoses for cracks and breakage,
- Check each fitting for leaks,
- Check each fitting on your collector/manifold and the collector itself, if you have one, and
- Check the jar lid and each fitting on the jar lid for leaks.
NOTE: the check valve on the lid of the jar should only allow for air to go OUT of the jar (this for safety purposes, to prevent pressure build-up) and air should never come into the jar via the valve. Unless it is broken (check it by blowing thru from the top - it should be shut off) the check valve will not create vacuum leaks.
Many experimenters have found that they were having a hard time getting the white plastic lid to properly seal the jar - unless you apply great force to it (and sometimes even that doesn't do the trick). To get a tight vacuum seal with less effort, use a rubber O-ring or gasket inside the lid (where it touches the top of the jar). Some use gaskets made to order from EDPM (Ethylene-Propylene-Diene Monomer which is uncured rubber), neoprene (synthetic rubber) or natural rubber, some use "Form-a-Gasket" which is a paste type product available in auto parts stores and Ace Hardware. I have never used any of these in my vehicles (and got good mileage despite minor leaks), but considering the effort to open and close the lid, I'd love to start using the O-ring solution, which I like better than gaskets because it's more readily available at almost any size.
For material selection visit www.everyoring.com/pages/O-ring_material.html
and for size selection see www.allorings.com/size_cross_reference_framed.htm
The cost per unit is roughly 50 cents. I think the perfect size is 2 mm in thickness, and OUTER diameter of 3.4 inch (86 mm). Since standard O-rings are sold by INNER diameter, you have to experiment with the O-rings available locally. The slightly larger-diameter choice (that still fits) will seal better and will not fall out of place during assembly or maintenance. The cheapest I have found so far is from Grainger: www.grainger.com/Grainger/items/1KLG2 which is $11.55 for a pack of 50. The material "Buna-N" has good resistance to petroleum hydrocarbons, oils, fuels and alcohol. Its temperature range is -40 F to +250 F which is perfect for our purposes.
Several Water4Gas experimenters have been successful using RUBBER GROMMETS (great solution for the metal lids) or rubber washers to seal the jar's lid leaks. That's good for sealing the electrical terminals. The rest of them lid leaks solve quickly with good old Plumbers Goop or similar strong glue like Gorilla Glue, J-B Weld epoxy or (Australia) Quiksteel epoxy.
The easiest source for gaskets and O-rings that fit perfectly to our jar type: search the DIY Parts category on our website Water4Gas.com
METHODS OF LEAK TESTING:
1) Use the "Brake Bleeder and Vacuum Pump Kit" which is a standard tool available for under $20 from Harbor Freight Tools www.HarborFreight.com (item number 92474-0VGA). Connect firmly to a jar or system that is suspected of vacuum leaks, and use the pump to see if it holds vacuum. If the gage on the vacuum pump does not hold pressure, find out where the leak is and fix it. The problem with this tool is that it does not show you WHERE the leak might be, but you may be able to LISTEN to the device or hose and maybe hear where air comes in.
2) A simpler method that actually SHOWS you where leaks may be, is applicable to any electrolyzer, vaporizer, PCV Enhancer, even Fuel Heater of any sort. The only disadvantage of this method is that you must have the device by itself and not installed in the vehicle. The best way to SEE leaks is to submerge the device (must be empty) in a bucket of tap water, pumping air into it using a bicycle pump, and observing any bubbles coming out of its outer surface. It's like testing a bicycle or bike tube.
When testing an Electrolyzer that has a Pressure Release Valve on top, remember that this valve is supposed to leak out! To prevent it from bubbling out, seal it temporarily with a small rubber/plastic cap (make one from a short piece of 1/4" hose if you can't find a cap that fits). If any leak is detected, examine the area and fix, glue or tighten accordingly. Then test again in the bucket until the unit shows no bubbles coming out anywhere.
This technique sounds primitive but is actually very powerful in detecting ALL leaks from any device, or any system that is small enough to fit in a bucket. If you are producing a multi-cell system, I would suggest submerging the entire system, with the manifold and hoses, in a small tub or any home tub.