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DIY Heater, build your own 2000 watt heater for $20 ***DONT USE COPPER OR NICKEL ELEMENTS!

submersible virsion... ...this how-to has the link for the stainless elements.

After many variations, this is the simplest heater I've been able to build. I had to come up with this last year while waiting for my $600 heater to be built and delivered. when it finally arrived, I just left it in the box and continued to use the home built unit.

DO NOT USE THE COPPER ELEMENT FROM HOME DEPOT!  YOU MUST ORDER A STAINLESS STEEEL ELEMENT.   ....This is a 2000 watt element from Home Depot, a 1-1/2" to 1" reducer, a 1-1/2" uniseal, and a fitting with net pots to keep the fish off the element. I found that a heavy duty timer works for a thermostat. I run it for 15 mins on the hour to keep my 150 gallon tank toasty. this would be adjusted according to your needs. i have used this on as much as 600 gallons, but would recommend going to the 240 volt, 4000 watt for anything over 400 gallon. Note - the 2" net pots slip right onto a male threaded 1-1/2" nipple.

The top pipe is optional, i like to keep it as tall as the water level will allow. This will create a convective flow of water across the element. Works great!

here is the newer version...

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thats pretty cool. i just zip tie the cord to the riser, and when you drop it in the tank it stand up just fine.

did you get all the parts from home depot?

Hey frank wes here for the one I put together, based on the great insight of Rob is a yes. I purchased all the parts from home depot.

everything but the Uniseals and net pots. they are available online and some of the better hydro shops.

The submersible unit was built out of home depot 100%.

I am running it on a timer, I set it for 30 minutes on then 1 1/2 off it brought the water temp in one 300 gal fish tank and 3 grow beds DWT up from a temp of 60 to 78 in 3 days running them all the time, once the water got up in temp I just un plugged the element until I need it again.

Love you guy you have saved me tons of cash and all my fish here in fla, thank you :)

What department at Home Depot do you find the 
heating element ? And do you buy the iniseal
there as well I have not been able to find them. 
Thanks for sharing great idea. 

in a Rubbermaid 300 gal

Beautiful work!

Rob Nash I am admiring your heater concept and had question... Do you happen to know a thermostat that can turn your heater on at a certain degree and then turn off when it reaches a second set temp? Like for instance turn on at 68 and turn off at 80?

I would love, here in Phoenix, to have this set up in my 400gl outdoor in-ground pound for my tilapia over winter. 

How often their in Austin do you find you need to use this during the winter months? Daily, weekly???

Thanks so much

the heating elements will be with the Hot water heaters in the plumbing dept. and you should be able to get uniseals at a local plumbing supply house in your area, or AES has them but they are available all over online.

Raymond Nunez said:

What department at Home Depot do you find the 
heating element ? And do you buy the iniseal
there as well I have not been able to find them. 
Thanks for sharing great idea. 

in central Texas it gets cold enough for the heater to run for two or three months. i have not used a kilawatt meter to see how much power it uses in that time. but i will warn you... what ever heater you use, you will notice it on the electric bill

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