HHO generator is melting my Amp gauge. | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
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HHO generator is melting my Amp gauge.


Active Member
June 9, 2007
Reaction score
City, State
B.C. Canada
Year, Model & Trim Level
93 Explorer Eddie B.
I'm having trouble with my system and haven't found an answer yet. I have a 21 plate dry-cell design pulling around 40 amps, producing 3-4 L/m. For some reason I keep melting my amp gauge!
I used 10awg wire, have tested several times at various locations, wire stays cool. Installed a 50amp breaker and cut off switch for safety. My gauge is + and - 60 amps. It's wired in line with the power going to the cell. I have a small ground wire on the gauge for the back light (is that why it melts, wire to small?). I'm on my third gauge now because they keep melting, might have to disconnect it until I figure it out.
Also discovered that I need some kind of enhancer to see any gains. I have a dual mode MAF enhancer installed, just haven't played with it yet. Is that all that is needed to see a gain on my 93 EX? Or do I need a EFIE as well? ANY help would be appreciated!

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What brand is the gauge?

I got it at PrincessAuto; PowerFist gauge. I though it might be the brand, even though I'm on the third I guess it's still possible, buy a different brand maybe?

Try another brand, and send the gauge manufacturer an email explaining that you burned out a few of their gauges. They might have a manufacturing defect.

It sounds as though the back light wire is allowing the gauge to ground the meter rather than have the meter in line with your circuit.

The gauge will work without the ground, correct? (It should considering the ground is for the backlight, and not the gauge). If not, then the gauge has a defect or is not hooked up correctly.

That might make sense about the ground wire. Right now I have the power coming from the battery (via breaker and such...) to one post on the gauge. The other post goes directly to the cell. The gauge wasn't grounded for the light so I added a small wire to the mounting bracket then to the truck body. As you probably know, it's all plastic on the dash. That would explain why there wasn't a ground for the light. The gauge is meant to be used in parallel not series, correct? I have a day trip planned so will cut the ground for now and test (don't need the light right now anyway). BTW, the ground wire has never melted not sure if it gets warm either.

Ok, now I'm really confused. I cut the ground wire for the back light before I left for the day. At some point during the day the light came on, later I removed the bulb. I'll look closer tomorrow, not sure were the ground is coming from. I did notice that the gauge wasn't as hot as normal. I could touch it and not get burned (still hot though). On the drive home I played with the MAP enhancer. Knowing the road very well and what I would normally get for mileage, half way home I turned the system off. No improvement at all. Noticed another problem. My kill switch was way hotter than it has ever been. The switch illuminates so it is grounded. Any ideas? I'm to tired to think.

I'm at a loss, have no idea. I reconnected the ground wire for the light and that part seems to work fine. Lately my HHO system has been shutting off on it's own for no apparent reason. I was looking at it yesterday and the wires on the cell were loose. I tightened everything up and did a detailed visual inspection. I don't 'see' anything wrong. I timed my cell and now every 13 seconds it will turn on for 1 second, amp gauge max's out then it shuts off for 13 seconds, repeat. Also I can see my gauge melting again, it probably lasted this long because it shuts off on it's own. I could unplug my gauge for testing, it would be hard to tell if the system is running though. Before I knew about these issue's I installed a EFIE (having issue's tuning that to!). I use power from the wiper motor to operate the solenoid, is that enough power?

Info about my system: 21 plate, dry cell design. electrical: 50amp breaker, 80 amp solenoid, kill switch, 60-0-60 amp gauge. I only draw around 40 amp.

Is it wired in parallel? it should not be and that would be the source of your problem. A voltmeter should be in parallel. An ammeter should be in series. With the ammeter in parallel you are shorting the circuit.

It's in series. I have power from the battery through the breaker, solenoid, amp gauge. The other side of the gauge goes straight to the cell. The only other wire is a ground for the light (plus power for light). I think the ground wire and the bolt(s) for the gauge might be connected. Even without ground wire I had this problem though.

hmmm... I don't know now. Any pictures?

I can take some pics if you want. Not sure how or where to post them. What do you want pics of?

I am not sure about pictures maybe of the generator . You can upload to photobucket and link them to the forum. I would start check continuities to ground and seeing what grounds and what doesn't. From there maybe disconnect the HHO generator and see if you have the same issues. Then disconnect the gauge and check the HHO and see if it works without the gauge. From there I don't know if I can help without having my hands on the truck.

Another site I have to sign up for? good thing I have a password manager!

I tested for continuity between the cell and the frame ground. Battery ground is the same bolt. I had some resistance so I removed the wires and cleaned them up. Now I get 0 ohms. Solenoid ground was fine at 0 ohms. Took some pics then the weather started to turn a little. I will try your other suggestions tomorrow.


check all continuities with power off and be sure that nothing connects before power is on that may be an indicator of problems. Also I am not sure how the hho generator works but if you plates are not isolated from each other they will dead short instead of sending power through the water.

I thought of that, the only way to test the cell itself is to drain the system. If I have continuity between the power and ground with no water in it then I must have some plates touching each other. A blown gasket would give me a leak (found out the hard way months ago). Weather permitting, I'll do some testing tomorrow and let you know.

Knowing the issue's I've had with it, the first thing I did was disconnect the amp gauge. Connected the two wires together to get power to the cell and it seems to work fine. My guess is the gauge melted slowly enough that I didn't smell it this time and some how lost the connection? It doesn't make sense. The only wire that has melted in the past was the one coming from the battery, breaker, solenoid in to the gauge. (It only melted an inch from the gauge) It's always been that one post on the gauge that melts. Any ideas? I don't want to replace the gauge (it would be #4!) until I figure this out.

Doesn't look like it's the gauge. I haven't been using one for awhile now and still shuts off on it's own (briefly) then turns on again. I have noticed that the eyelet connectors (would normally bolt on to the gauge, currently bolted together) are getting real warm. Maybe it's my breaker? Ohm's law tells me that a 50amp breaker should give me 0.24 ohms. Is their another test I can do on the breaker? I'm going to give it a week, if I don't get any positive results from this HHO then I'll completely remove the system and wait until I get a different vehicle. Won't be much longer before the snow fly's anyway.

I believe I made progress with the HHO. I ended up replacing the breaker with another 50amp (have a working ammeter now). Looks like I'm getting enough heat from the engine, I have to keep my amp draw %20 less than the breaker. At idle it pulls 30amp and while driving (especially under heavy load) I pull around 40amp. The other day on the hwy and it only cut out three times, a big improvement. That was the problem? (explains allot). Will see if I can get more air on it while driving. I noticed my lights dim almost as often as the HHO would cut out. How big of a concern should this be? Headlights aren't the brightest to begin with, I don't need them dimming!

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I’m sorry did you find out why your ammeter was melting? I’m currently on my third and I don’t want t to actually connect this third one and waste the money. I don’t know why mine is melting. My hho system is a wire connected to an ignition on source that goes to a relay the relay is connected to the positive battery terminal, the ground, and a 30 amp fuse. The fuse goes to the fuel cell positive and the fuel cell negative goes to the ammeter positive and the ammeter negative is connected to the negative battery terminal. I know nothing about electrical works I just followed the diagram that was sent along with the hho system and I was winging it with the ammeter wiring because the diagram didn’t instruct how to set up the ammeter. Can anyone identify something wrong in my wiring description? Or what was the solution to the OP’s melting problem?

My hho system also just turns off randomly, the wire at the relay that’s connected to the fuse that goes to the positive terminal on the fuel cell loses power. Maybe it’s the relay? The relay gets warm to the touch.