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Water for Gas? And a Bridge to Sell You...


The First Law of Thermodynamics

How stupid do they think we are, anyway?

Go ahead, try it. Google "gas mileage" and you'll almost certainly see a sponsored link on in the left hand column touting a way to run your car on water. Water.

Now this scam - and yes, I am so, so sorry to bust a hole in your gas tank, but it is a scam — has been around almost since the invention of the internal combustion engine. Like many confidence plays, it relies on a shred of truth, the promise of an evil conspiracy and the endless gullibility of those who want to try and save a buck or two.

The World Wide Web is perfect platform for an old ruse that used to take place at carnivals and swap meets. Witness a site such as A simulated post-it note, oddly attached with a simulated paperclip, promises, "A regular $700 Value! Only Today You Can Get This Technology For One Time Payment Of !!! $49 !!!"

"This Is Your Lucky Day," it adds happily. Lucky, I guess, that the laws of thermodynamics don't apply at But hey, thermodynamics is a big word that only pointy-heads use. What do they know about cars?

The water-for-gas "kits" are all based on the idea that by applying electricity to water, one can extract the hydrogen and oxygen from it, which can then be burned. And this is a fact, Jack. The other, less comforting fact is that the amount of energy (in this case electricity) required release the hydrogen and oxygen exceeds the amount of energy they will produce when burned.

In fact, it's fairly easy to create a system that will electrolyze the water, and channel the resulting gases into the combustion chamber of an automobile engine. If the car in question has a fully charged battery, the thing will actually run for a while. But engine's alternator won't be able to generate enough electricity to recharge the battery. The system will fail, probably within a matter of minutes.

But that might be long enough to convince someone who has already spent their day's pay filling their gas tank to drop another fifty on an instruction manual that promises to "Triple Your Mileage."

For those still not quite convinced, these sites add the allure of the conspiracy. "The oil companies don't want you to know about this. They are doing everything they can to suppress this revolutionary technology."

I'm sure they would. If it really worked.

I really wish it did. I'd also like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.

OK, so I'm the guy with the big can of buzzkill. But as long as people believe you can "Burn Fat While You Sleep", and "Make Big Money at Home", the water-for-gas bunco artists will have plenty of marks. Even though their "water-powered" cars sputter and stall, they can fool enough of the people enough of the time to keep their scam from running out of gas.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to finish filling out my Publisher's Sweepstakes entry.



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Thanks for writing this article. I've been seeing more and more web sites selling their e-books on how to use water to run your car instead of gas....your article reveals the truth behind these scams.

Sent by Neyka | 11:42 PM | 7-13-2008

Was wondering if the author has tried installing the kit in his car or questioned someone who did. I would like to see hard results. Perhaps a follow-up article? I haven't seen any sites claiming to triple gas mileage, but a 30% increase would be worth it.

Sent by Frank | 1:23 PM | 7-15-2008

After some sifting through the spam, I found a thorough explanation of why this water-for-gas business is just hype. For a serious debunking, check out:

Sent by Andy | 3:22 AM | 7-20-2008

It's really sad, I'm assuming the author have not tried any device. I'm using a variety of designs with great result. You will not run your car on water alone, You will add HHO/Brown's gas to you combustion chamber and reduce your gasoline intake. Your design will have to produce enough HHO/Brown's gas for you to see any improvement on gas savings. some designs produce less than others so make sure to pick the ones that produce the most.

Sent by Sergio | 4:05 PM | 8-14-2008

I've noticed that whenever common sense takes hold in the conversation about HHO, someone always chimes in with the comment..."well but I use it and it works so good for me!!!"

Almost always the very same people who own the "buy the information the oil companies don't want you to know", flood the internet with websites and blogs with useless talk about why it is not a scam.

If you do a search about HHO being a scam, you will see all the top results will always be sites that are selling these worthless units.

I've tried it. Even built my own. Never worked. I even had less MPG on the unit that is most popular.

PT Barnum said it right...." There's a sucker born every minute."

Sent by Steve Troyer | 2:00 PM | 8-23-2008

I built one of those, I put it on a 1986 Jeep,I got 34 miles to the gallon.
I am not trying to sell those things for myself or anyone else,but it will work.
I used baking soda in the water. I noticed that the more Amps of current there was the more it produced,voltage did't matter.
I had trouble keeping my lids tight for some reason,and couldn't get the same everytime, but never got less than 20mpg.The jeep by the way only got 15mpg on gas.

Sent by johnny W Turner | 12:18 PM | 8-31-2008

Steve Proffitt's article helped me make my mind up. I'll give a try to this HHO systems.
Did anybody pay attention at the way he finished his article???? quote:Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to finish filling out my Publisher's Sweepstakes entry.
A guy who believes in the Sweepstakes, must be more ignorant that a guy who's trying to save money risking $ 49 or so. My friend has a 3 bottle system and it works for him.

Sent by Danny Herg | 12:31 AM | 9-7-2008

To Danny Herg who wrote:

"A guy who believes in the Sweepstakes, must be more ignorant that a guy who's trying to save money risking $ 49 or so. My friend has a 3 bottle system and it works for him."

I believe he was being sarcastic.

Sent by Egan | 4:53 AM | 9-14-2008

I would like to know whether you have built a hydrogen generator and tried it in your car or truck? I have and I can tell you that water for gas is just one of several ways that folks can lean out their gasoline engines and get a more complete combustion of the gas molecules thus adding additional mpg to factory rated mpg. No matter what your interpretation of the laws of thermodynamics says. Try it first then report it. And while you are at it why not say something about the tragic government scheme to bailout all of Wall Street's mistakes. Now there is something to talk about when you mention-scams.

Sent by James Ott | 7:53 PM | 9-20-2008