Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

DIY submersible water heater, build your own water heater

***Be sure to use a GFI plug with this!***

here is a link to the Through-Wall version

 COPPER WARNING! most of the elements are made from nickel plated copper and should not be used!

I have not found stainless elements at Home Depot. Some of the Lowes stores have them.

A quick search on the web will find several types in the 240volt range.

Some links to try:

 1500 watt in the 120 volts stainless steel unit.


 here are some stainless steel options. they only make them in 4000 watt+ at 240 volts.


I've made a few changes to the heater parts list and instructions..


1500-5500 watt stainless element

12 awg cord

1-1/2" rubber coupling

1-1/2" reduced to 1" threaded

1-1/2" reduced to 1/2" threaded

1/2" water tight connector


Temp controller
















install the element into the 1-1/2" - 1" reducer.

...these are made to be inserted in one direction, so you will need to use a grinding wheel, or improvise, to remove the "stop" portion of the fitting.

some are sold with a round edge (pictured here) and some are squared (pictured above)

after removing the stop, connect the wires and install into the rubber coupler.





Here are a couple different

submersible options.

the top one has the wire ran inside the 1/2" irrigation "funny pipe" and fittings.

both work great!










I have used a heavy duty timer to control the temp. 15 mins on the hour will keep 300 gallons warm.

pex supply has thermostats

Use a GFI plug with this unit!





Views: 26930

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Is the 2000 watt heating element Stainless Steel?

i think so, it doesnt say on the package. they sell titanium in the 4000 watts.

Thank you Rob,

This is wonderful. I will try to build one. 

BTW, have you tried to incorporate with a thermostat? 


i have not tried it with the thermo, only because the timer has workded so well. i do plan to order a thermo from and will keep you posted on my findings.

Which model timer are you using from

for this 2000 watt i think you only need to use the $49.00 one.


How do we connect the thermostat with this heater?  Thermo usually doesn't have 120V outlet... 

Great post Rob! My goal is winter aquaponics via hoop house or double hoop house in New England. I may definitly need some water heating assistance like this.

One more question. How cold does it get in Austin, TX and what water temperature do you shoot for with running the heater every fifteen minutes? 


Well done Rob. That's nice and clean!
The thermo will have a place to hard wire the heater.
Austin gets pretty cold,but rarely snows. The fifteen mins is only when it's in the 40's and it will keep it in the 70's. When it starts to get into the 30's you will have to wrap it and cover it to keep it warm. This is the time of year when I start to regret having tilapia.

Reply to Discussion


© 2024   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service