Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

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

submersible virsion... http://community.theaquaponicsource.com/forum/topics/diy-heater-sub... ...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...

Views: 21721

Attachments:

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

That's a very good price for such a well built heater, but once again it's an inline heater which is unforgiving if the water flow stops. 

Here's a way this heater could be made to use convection.  The red portion is the heater.

I like the submersible because as long as you don't run it with the cord at the top there is no way it's going to burn out.  When I placed my heater in the tank I made sure the entire chamber was full of water.  But it did not occur to me that bubbles would come off the element and fill the top.   I hate this learning curve..

Craig Mullins said:

Might look into that one for future setups of mine. Mine is setup so the pipes always stay full of water. They are setup like "traps" like we have in sinks. I didn't notice where the temp probe is or if it has one. If you have it in a trap like design like I have you better locate temp probe inline in the pipe or could possible have a boil in the pipes or a fire.

I didn't look if the element is copper, but you can buy stainless replacements or maybe one of the other designs on that web page has a stainless element.

Any engineers in here know how to figure out the best water speed thru the pipes to get the most efficient heat transfer from the element to the water.

Submersion is not enough.    Flow rate really doesn't effect efficiency, but water must flow past the element.  The convection design would have to be designed carefully for adequate flow to keep the element from getting too hot..

Craig Mullins said:

Might look into that one for future setups of mine. Mine is setup so the pipes always stay full of water. They are setup like "traps" like we have in sinks. I didn't notice where the temp probe is or if it has one. If you have it in a trap like design like I have you better locate temp probe inline in the pipe or could possible have a boil in the pipes or a fire.

I didn't look if the element is copper, but you can buy stainless replacements or maybe one of the other designs on that web page has a stainless element.

Rob

i wired a cord to 240 heater element & plugged into 120 gfi & it trips the gfi 

should i just use a 240 gfi ?

trying to warm up 2000 gal system

i'm floating unit through a raft foam in holding tank, so only the bottom seal is in the water 

could it be a bad unit ?

It IS important to only use properly wired 3 wire cord assemblies in the proper vloltage rated gfi receptacle. the devices monitor the difference of current flow in each of the three wires. Any difference between the two power conductors or any flow in the grounding conductor will trip the device.

Generally with many if not most types, The heating elements must be completely submerged in water before applying power. Failure to completely fill the tank prior to applying power will result in instant heating element burnout and will require replacement - again. This is a number one cause of failure and requires constant awareness to never allow the energized element to be out of the water at any time.

Your heater coil probably has only two connections one goes to line (black)  and the other to neutral (white).  It does not matter which way, each connection is the same.  There is no ground so you will have no connection to ground.  If you connect the ground to neutral it will trip the GFI.  



Brad Moreau said:

Rob

i wired a cord to 240 heater element & plugged into 120 gfi & it trips the gfi 

should i just use a 240 gfi ?

trying to warm up 2000 gal system

i'm floating unit through a raft foam in holding tank, so only the bottom seal is in the water 

could it be a bad unit ?

i used 12/2 with ground

black & white to element, green left open away from all wires & metal

plugged into 20 amp 120 GFI receptacle

element always completely submerged without any air bubbles in fitting

GFI trips within 1 second

 


Bob

I left the ground open not touching anything & white & black to element

still trip within 1 second


Bob Campbell said:

Your heater coil probably has only two connections one goes to line (black)  and the other to neutral (white).  It does not matter which way, each connection is the same.  There is no ground so you will have no connection to ground.  If you connect the ground to neutral it will trip the GFI.  



Brad Moreau said:

Rob

i wired a cord to 240 heater element & plugged into 120 gfi & it trips the gfi 

should i just use a 240 gfi ?

trying to warm up 2000 gal system

i'm floating unit through a raft foam in holding tank, so only the bottom seal is in the water 

could it be a bad unit ?

A GFI measures the current going in on the line, and compares it to the current leaving through the neutral.  If there is a difference it will trip the GFI.  There might be an electrical leak through the water.  If so then the heater may be defective.  The outside of the element should no have any electrical connection to the terminals.  You could check this with a continuity tester.  The meter should indicate an open circuit.

Brad Moreau said:

i used 12/2 with ground

black & white to element, green left open away from all wires & metal

plugged into 20 amp 120 GFI receptacle

element always completely submerged without any air bubbles in fitting

GFI trips within 1 second

 

 Are you using a thermostat in series?

Do you have a volt/ohm meter?

If so you could check continuity across the element terminals. While disconnected. you should read some ohms of resistance. if not there is a direct short in the element. An infinity or very high resistance would indicate a defective element. 

If you don't have a vom, you could try using a high wattage load like a toaster/iron plugged into your gfi while the heater is unplugged. This might indicate if you have a defective gfi receptacle or upstream wiring issue.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Glen

no thermostat

I do read around 500 ohms across terminals & the same from terminal to heater element 

Glenn said:

 Are you using a thermostat in series?

Do you have a volt/ohm meter?

If so you could check continuity across the element terminals. While disconnected. you should read some ohms of resistance. if not there is a direct short in the element. An infinity or very high resistance would indicate a defective element. 

If you don't have a vom, you could try using a high wattage load like a toaster/iron plugged into your gfi while the heater is unplugged. This might indicate if you have a defective gfi receptacle or upstream wiring issue.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2020   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service