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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...

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Okay not sure if any one is intrested in this but I just purchased one on ebay an I am going to see how it works out for my DIY water heater element setup for temp control. It only cost 24 dollars. I found this little item on another site listed here. This is what he had to say about trying this out for his system.

http://www.raycotechnologies.org/Raising%20tilapia%20at%20home%20.htm

February 15th update:

Winter has been a cold one with much snow and ice along with single digit temps. The different fish tanks in the basement have all done well. I later moved the 175 gallon tank inside and set that up with the larger of all fish. I have maintained the 82 F or 29.1 C water by put a small hydroponic submersible water circulating pump in the tank and circulating the water through a large hot water storage tank that is used in my house. I searched a long time for temperature controller that would monitor and display the actual water temp and would turn on circulating pump. The prices were very high everywhere, all over the $125 range. Instead, i took a chance at buying one from Hong Kong through EBay, using Pay pal for $15.00 plus $10 air mail! It seemed to good to be true but I got it in the ten days and it was exactly what I needed. Has a 10 amp relay for heating and one for cooling. I wired it into a common plastic double outlet box with an outlet. Works perfect! I can't say enough about this and am ordering more of these. It opens up all different possibilities for heating with hot water. In my case, I make hot water with wood boiler and firewood is free for the labor. I will be able to use this controller thermostat to maintain temperatures for seedling mats and chick brooders, saving on electricity. I have many available for resale as well.

I have yet to have any new fry born, though there has been several of the females which appeared to be carrying the eggs, but for some reason, after several days swallowed them. I am preparing to construct one new tank in the greenhouse that will be divided in to three compartments. This will be heated by a barrel stove that has copper coil wrapped around it with water circulating into a large storage tank. This will maintain the 78 degrees in the grow out tanks. More to come.

110V 10A  Mini Digital STC-1000 All-purpose Temperature Controller With Sensor

Hey this Temperature Controller also comes in 220 volt or 110 volt, this one is the 110 version.

Thank you for sharing this information.  Sounds like this is the way to go.  I have removed my heater from the water because it was just a  nickle plated heater and the copper is exposed in several places.  I did not use this heater much last year and so it seems the nickle plating does not last long at all.  Makes me wonder why they bother to put it on at all.



wes said:

Here is what I found out about the Incoloy type water heater elements. You can purchase them online here also.

http://www.plumbingsupply.com/elements.html

 

 "What does incoloy mean?"
A. Incoloy is a type of extra high-grade stainless steel that helps extend the life of the element, resists burnout and the effects of sand or lime over time. For these elements, incoloy pertains to the element coil, not the threaded base of the elements. The extra low density heating elements are made of incoloy. The normal low density and the high density elements are non-incoloy. Non-incoloy element coils are copper on the inside with a nickel plating on the outside. The threaded bases on all of these elements, including the incoloy, are made of zinc-plated carbon steel.

This part explains the differences between low density and high density water heater elements.

What is the difference between High and Low-density elements?"
A. A high density element is able to transfer more energy flow (higher temperature) per square inch to the water in the water heater but these higher temperatures will wear out the element much quicker than a lower density element. If you have scale build-up a high density element will need to generate this higher temperature for a longer length of time to transfer energy through the added coating on the element which will then cause it to burn out quicker. Lower density elements operate at lower temperatures per square inch so if they encounter a scale build up, the higher amount of energy needed to get through the added coating does not cause the element to get hot enough to burn out the element. A lower density element tends to last longer.


 Okay not sure if any one is intrested in this but I just purchased one on ebay an I am going to see how it works out for my DIY water heater element setup for temp control. It only cost 24 dollars. I found this little item on another site listed here. This is what he had to say about trying this out for his system.

http://www.raycotechnologies.org/Raising%20tilapia%20at%20home%20.htm

February 15th update:

Winter has been a cold one with much snow and ice along with single digit temps. The different fish tanks in the basement have all done well. I later moved the 175 gallon tank inside and set that up with the larger of all fish. I have maintained the 82 F or 29.1 C water by put a small hydroponic submersible water circulating pump in the tank and circulating the water through a large hot water storage tank that is used in my house. I searched a long time for temperature controller that would monitor and display the actual water temp and would turn on circulating pump. The prices were very high everywhere, all over the $125 range. Instead, i took a chance at buying one from Hong Kong through EBay, using Pay pal for $15.00 plus $10 air mail! It seemed to good to be true but I got it in the ten days and it was exactly what I needed. Has a 10 amp relay for heating and one for cooling. I wired it into a common plastic double outlet box with an outlet. Works perfect! I can't say enough about this and am ordering more of these. It opens up all different possibilities for heating with hot water. In my case, I make hot water with wood boiler and firewood is free for the labor. I will be able to use this controller thermostat to maintain temperatures for seedling mats and chick brooders, saving on electricity. I have many available for resale as well.

I have yet to have any new fry born, though there has been several of the females which appeared to be carrying the eggs, but for some reason, after several days swallowed them. I am preparing to construct one new tank in the greenhouse that will be divided in to three compartments. This will be heated by a barrel stove that has copper coil wrapped around it with water circulating into a large storage tank. This will maintain the 78 degrees in the grow out tanks. More to come.

110V 10A  Mini Digital STC-1000 All-purpose Temperature Controller With Sensor

@Wes - Is this the one you bought?  I'd like to find out how it works out for you before ordering.

This looks like a 240v element, but it should deliver about 1500w if hooked up to 120v. 

This the one that I bought off the plumbing supply site, but havent gotten it yet. Go to this page an you should see it listed in the first section of the water heater elements.

http://www.plumbingsupply.com/elements.html

 

SHIP VIA: Ground


1        Water Heater Element - Extra Low Density Straight Style - Screw-In - 120V - 1500 Watts - Non-Returnable (#120-1500-ELD)         $20.12  $20.12

PRODUCT SUBTOTAL: $20.12
SHIPPING $8.95
TAXABLE SUBTOTAL: $29.07
FL SALES TAX: $0.00
TOTAL: $29.07

That's ironic.  plumbingsupply.com is here in Chico.  It used to be a small wholesale plumbing store, but Vic the owner decided to close the store, and go completely internet when online sales became 4 times what the counter sales were.  He once told me he was doing 25K per day gross sales!

faucetdirect.com was also in Chico but sold out to J.W. Woods but that's still in Northern CA.  This is just a small collage town but we seem to be the home of online plumbing sales

Thanks again for the info.

Link in article broken -http://www.raycotechnologies.org/hot_water_storage_systems.htm

Here's a link to the controller ( I tihnk) on Amazon - http://amzn.to/PGYUGj

My element burned out yesterday.

I'm not 100% sure, but what I think happened is when I hung the heater in the water an air bubble developed at the top.  As you can see in Rob's photos the vents do not come all the way up to the base of the heater.  When the heater is on small air bubbles develop, and I believe this caused a portion of the element to be exposed to air rather than water. 

I have since replaced the element and placed a foam float at the end so that it now floats with the cord down.  This lets the  bubbles float out and away from the element.    I suppose just laying it flat would work too, but I did not what to take any chances with this new element. With shipping these stainless elements cost about $30.00.

Rob Nash said:

 

Wes, here is the newest submersible style im trying. this is a 2" to 1" threaded reducer with the edges filed off. in this example the coupler is pvc, i didnt have a rubber 2" but would recomend one like the 1-1/2" shown. The cord is pushed through a flex hose "slip" fitting. (you have to find a cord that fits into the hose fitting just right. in this case i think this one is 3/8)



 

 

 

 

 

 

 this shows the reducer before and after filing the edges off. 

  

Bob you are correct, the bubbles have to escape or they will collect and cause the element to burn out.

Here's some lower voltage ones as well for those running off solar or battery power. Less of a shock hazard for our lil fish and ourselves

http://www.hydrogenappliances.com/hotwater.html

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