Home made water heater

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Old 02-24-09, 09:23 PM
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Home made water heater

I'm trying to make a small 40-50 gal water heater for as little money as possible. Although I probably shouldn't call it a water heater as it won't be hooked up the the plumbing and it won't be pressurized. I need to heat the water to at least 150F. It won't be plugged in all the time, just occasionally. Any ideas?
 
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Old 02-25-09, 04:16 AM
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Welcome to the forums! Yeah, don't do it. Approved water heaters are too cheap to chance a catastrophe. You will wind up spending alot more money building your prototype than a water heater would cost. If you, like me, need a point of use water heater, buy one of the 3 gallon heaters that operate off 120 volt receptacle, and are placed under your sink. I use one in my shop to wash my hands, or to have warm water to wipe glue or clean latex paint from brushes. 50 gallons would be alot of water at 150 degrees without approved precautionary devices installed.
 
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Old 02-25-09, 06:01 AM
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What are you going to use it for if it is not hooked to your plumbing system? Will it just be a hot water tank with an open top?

The hard part is going to be making a threaded hole for the elements to be screwed into. Then all your wiring will be exposed on the outside of your tank so you would have to protect that somehow.

I think you could do better finding a cheap used one on your local craigslist craigslist classifieds: jobs, housing, personals, for sale, services, community, events, forums . I just checked mine and see one for $50 (although not sure if it is gas or elec.) Also check your local free shoppers.
 
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Old 02-25-09, 07:27 AM
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Maybe call a local plumber and ask him to save a broken one for you? When faced with the repair vs. replacement cost a lot of people choose to just throw the old one out.
 
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Old 02-25-09, 07:41 AM
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Buy a 55 gallon drum. Put it on top of your range and turn on all the burners.

Seriously, since we have absolutely no idea what you plan to use this for, we have no idea what might be a reasonable suggestion. There are a million ways to do this, but I'm sure 99% of them won't meet your requirements.
 
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Old 02-25-09, 08:52 AM
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[QUOTE=Tolyn Ironhand;1528470]What are you going to use it for if it is not hooked to your plumbing system? Will it just be a hot water tank with an open top?

Yes, I forgot to mention it will be used to heat things up in the water. So it will have an open top or a removable top.
 
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Old 02-25-09, 09:01 AM
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Perhaps a sweet corn cooker and a barrel? You can get them from a BBQ place in either electric or propane.
 
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Old 02-25-09, 09:54 AM
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are you taling about one of these or these?
A BBQ place will sell me a corn cooker or a barrel?
 
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Old 02-25-09, 10:10 AM
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Like the first one, but bigger. I know they make them up to washtub or half-barrel size -- roughly 100k-200k BTU. Like the "high pressure banjo cooker" in the bottom left frame of your second link. Is that big enough?

Water heater elements will take hours to raise 50 gal to 150F. The high pressure burner will probably cut that time in half.
 
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Old 02-25-09, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
Like the first one, but bigger. I know they make them up to washtub or half-barrel size -- roughly 100k-200k BTU. Like the "high pressure banjo cooker" in the bottom left frame of your second link. Is that big enough?

Water heater elements will take hours to raise 50 gal to 150F. The high pressure burner will probably cut that time in half.
The banjo cooker is only a heating device. I don't know enough about propane to say whether or not it could heat 50 gal of water. My only issues with using propane are it burns very hot so the temperature near the bottom may be different from the top when in use. And the heater will need to stay in the range of 170-145 for an hour. I imagine a well insulated container could retain heat and after an hour I could remove the contents of the barrel (except the water) and reheat the water. But the banjo cooker does not look like it was designed to hold very much weight. I imagine a 50 gal barrel would either break the cooker or be broken by the cooker's small supports. Do you know of something I could use to support a heavy barrel and made of metal so I can put the cooker below it? Like a heavy duty metal rack.
 
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Old 02-25-09, 01:16 PM
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I was thinking he meant something like this:


You could use a couple of stacked concrete blocks on each of three or four corners to support the barrel..
 
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Old 02-25-09, 02:25 PM
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You know, now that all is coming to light, it takes me back to moonshine days, and the kettles......nevermind, I'll get in trouble.
 
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Old 02-25-09, 02:41 PM
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I'm wondering if he wants to do some wood bending. You need to get a bit hotter then 154 for good moonshine. If it is wood bending maybe the wood working forum would be a good place for him to ask also.
 
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Old 11-01-09, 05:05 PM
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Deep fried turkey cooker

How about a simple version of one of these? They're available at the big-box home improvement stores seasonaly for around $25 on sale. They average around 5 gallons in size, I'm guessing.

 
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