Ideas Needed to Heat Baptismal Font

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Old 11-23-10, 07:30 PM
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Ideas Needed to Heat Baptismal Font

I do volunteer maintenance at my small church and it has a ~1000 gallon baptismal fount that is fed by a 50 gallon water heater. We would like to have the water lukewarm, but it is hard any time of the year, but especially when it is below freezing outside. Our method for 50+ years is to dump ~200 gallons of hot water at a time, then let the water heater reheat. Slow and not that effective.

The best solution I have seen is a instant water heater, but we have electric only and these are inefficient. The next option is a recirculating pump on top of a water heater, but this is more involved then we have time and budget for.

Lastly, some have thought that a resistive coil that is dipped into the water is a good option, but I find it hard to believe that this is feasible.

Any thoughts?
 
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Old 11-23-10, 08:26 PM
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Wow... this may well be the most unusual request yet seen here!

First, do NOT let anyone rig up some kind of resistive coil... I don't want to read anything about electrocutions at a church... PLEASE! You want to BAPTIZE them, not EX-communicate them! I'm actually somewhat surprised that these same people didn't also suggest that you build a wood fire under the font!

Your font is normally emptied after use, then refilled as needed? (makes sense)... and that it is (obviously) outdoors?

If I were to investigate this myself, I think the first thing I would look into would be a swimming pool heater, but again, you are talking about a significant expense... I don't think you will be able to do this on a tight budget.
 
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Old 11-23-10, 08:31 PM
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We have a contract for a customer that requires us to use hot water to clean the coils. ( which is a bad idea) we have an instant propane heater on a hand truck the bottom of the truck we use a propane tank from a gas grill! Hook up the hose and let it go. This should work for you.
 
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Old 11-24-10, 04:29 AM
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Resistance heater-wise you might loook into stock tank water heaters, but I don't know about the efficiency or how much of a dent 1250 watts of heating would provide in the chilliness. Plus you would need a nearby GFCI outlet. Another thought: Insulate the tank better?
 
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Old 11-24-10, 04:41 AM
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"Lastly, some have thought that a resistive coil that is dipped into the water is a good option, but I find it hard to believe that this is feasible"

I used to go to a church that used one of those. It wasn't something rigged up but was store bought specifically for that purpose. I don't know where it was bought or how much it cost. It plugs into a 220 socket and will warm the water up nicely - usually plugged in 24 hrs before the baptismal service. Common sense dictates that you unplug the heater and remove it before anyone enters the water.
 
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Old 11-24-10, 05:24 AM
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I'm glad (I guess...) that I have "he most unusual request yet seen here".

To clarify, the concrete font is indoors, but it rests on the ground in a crawl space, and sits at ground level on a raised stage. Therefore, the outside of the font is exposed to cooler air.

Secondly, I found a link to some immersed resistive coil heaters. Electric Immersion Water Heater 240V just so you don't think I'm crazy. As marksr mentioned, it is recommended that you remove the heater before baptism...

The immersion heater is a 120/240v. However, if I'm going to rewire for this heater, I'd rather rewire (in the furnace room) rather in the crawl space for the immersion heater.

However, the portable tank for the instant heater is a very intriguing option. I'm going to look into that further.

Thank you all for the great suggestions! I'll keep looking into it and let you know how it goes.
 
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