DIY Water heater

Discussion in 'Heating or Cooling of your AP system.' started by rccooper, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. rccooper

    rccooper New Member

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    Indiana, USA
    New here but I Found this do it yourself water heater on you tube, looks pretty easy to build. Made from PVC pipe and a electric water heater element. May be old news to some but it is a easy build.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWZ3qQ3R8_A
  2. Dillon

    Dillon Member

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    These DIY submersible immersion heaters encased in PVC tubing are a disaster waiting to happen and are so wrong on so many levels it’s unbelievable so many, apparently educated people are extolling their virtues.

    Has anyone published test results on the expansion and contraction of the PVC fittings? PVC starts to lose its structural integrity at 60°C, has anyone measured the temperature of the water within the PVC heater sleeve? I have yet to see any Thermal Overload protection for the element should the thermostat fail and boil the water, incidental Earth Leakage protection via bared wires in the hope that a known semiconductor will conduct a fault current sufficient to trip the protective device, the list goes on.

    Don’t just believe me, ask a local qualified and/or licensed Electrician for their advice on such a device before you take the plunge or ask yourself, would you go for a swim in a swimming pool heated with such a lethal device, “you would be a braver man than I am Gunga Din†:)

    Regards
  3. aedwards

    aedwards New Member

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    you make very good points aboult the electrical being under water. But I never heard of pvp flexing due to temp. how has the pvp pipes in my lawn, hot tub, above ground water lines to fountains and my aquaponic systems all surive the test of time with no leeks. They all range from 100 to freezing temps all year long. I have no leeks.
  4. aedwards

    aedwards New Member

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  5. Dillon

    Dillon Member

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    Hi aedwards

    100°F is only around 38°C and it is my belief the temperature within the PVC heater sheath will be by far in exccess of this, my earlier concern was "has anyone measured the temperature of the water within the PVC heater sleeve?"

    I think you'll be surprised when someone eventually does!

    Regards
  6. hickernutter1

    hickernutter1 New Member

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    Coop-

    I don't like the idea of making a submersible heater element. Just because of the danger it can produce. However, I have seen where people make those inline heaters with the plumbing outside of the tank I think that would be a safer idea. I also know that there is a lot of talk about using stainless steel only. Do not use copper or zinc because of the chemical that can be release in an aquaponics system. I'm still a new at this so make sure you really research before constructing the project. I'm using 2 1,000 watt stainless steel bucket heaters that can be purchased at almost any farm supply shop (Big R - $30.00 USD a piece). They are able to keep my water between 75-67 F with out any trouble. I also am from Indiana. I have been researching aquaponics for almost 3 years and this is my first year with a running system. My system has been up and running for almost 5 months. I am experimenting on how to heat my greenhouse in our climate the cheaper way possible. I am researching rocket stove's and geothermal methods for next years heating and cooling. This forum has been a big help for me. I hope this information helps! Good Luck!
  7. Biggles1212

    Biggles1212 Member

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    Hi,

    Depending on the quality of plastic one uses in the system, it can be a design challenge. I doubt PVC should be though. If you are keeping you temp low and reasonable around 25C say, and you maintain high flow rates, then you should never see a problem. The thermostats we have available at out local hardware store can be set as low as 25C. I would not recommend use of high wattage elements though.

    Just sitting here though, I think if you can get one of those tiny gas geysers they sell in most hardware stores that use a torch battery to ignite the gas, you could set a thermostat to start a pump, run the water though the gas geyser (set on low) and the water will eventually heat up. You might still have a copper issue though.
  8. Earthscape

    Earthscape New Member

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    I've got a system similar to this, and as long as the heater is installed horizontally instead of vertically, you'll have no problems. If you do install it vertically, the trapped air inside of the heater piping will heat up, and the watertight connector will fail. Horizontally, the heat is carried away through the water as it's warmed and rises out away from the heater element.


    Most schedule 40 PVC is rated for fluid up to 140'f, and its unlikely you'll be able to get an Aquaponics system to this temperature anyway.
  9. Tracy Holz

    Tracy Holz Member

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    Anna, Texas USA
    Submersible heater are used all the time in the Home Brewing area without much issues. I think the issue would be quality of the work more than anything else.
  10. panzig

    panzig New Member

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    Hickernutter1- How big is the fish tank you are heating with the two bucket heaters? We are doing the same- trying to find ways to heat the greenhouse for our aquaponic system without paying a small fortune. This sounds like a great idea. Seems like you would loose heat as the water is sent through the grow beds- has this been a problem in your system?

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