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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!





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AMPS = Watts divided by Volts

For 3 Phase divide by 1.73

Amps=(Watts/volts*1.73*Power factor) Wording through me off a bit.thanks Vlad .

Yup, they do make 'em...I know it sounds weird...(like having a 3 phase lamp, hehe). They are mostly large-ish 3kW, 6kW, 9kW etc...

alex batista said:

Amps=(Watts/volts*1.73*Power factor) Wording through me off a bit.thanks Vlad .

Learn something new everyday,lol...liked your article on Pl lighting btw hope to get my hands on a couple soon.

Thanks a lot Alex, glad you liked it. I'm pretty happy with them so far. 

Is this heater designed to install through the wall of the fish tank only or can it just be dropped into the tank.  I have a 300 Gallon Rubbermaid use for my tank.

Hi Ron,

here is the one for thru wall instalation. i have one in my rubbermaid, works great!

Thanks for the Info.   What I would like to know if I have to put it through the wall or can it just be dropped into the tank.  I am trying to avoid draining the tank because I have already starting cycling it with fish.  If I just drop it in the tank can it just set on the bottom or does it need to rest on rocks?  Great design and thanks again for the info.

Sorry Ron,you need to drain to install this.I keep some 55 gallon barrels around just in case I need to drain the tank.The heater is only waterproof on one side.

thanks for the reply.  Do you know if the heater in the post below can be dropped into the tank? 

DIY heater, submersible heater, build your own 1500 - 4500+ watt element heater

You dont have to drill your tank to put one these heaters in if you dont want to. Ron go to this other thread about the water heaters that Rob Nash has going you can set this up with out drilling your tank.

Thanks for the reply.

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