Solar hot water system using recycled materials

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by chelloveck, Jun 2, 2014.


  1. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

  2. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    I have all the materials I need to do an excellent solar water heater. My local mentor in the in all things mechanical (he is sort of a Gyro Gearloose) has one he uses with a family of 5. It probably cost him no more than $30-$50 to build and install. He was getting water at 185 degrees from it routinely here in Florida. Initially as installed he added a mixing valve to reduce the output temp. His backup for multiple overcast cool days was his original electric water heater (a big one of 40-50 gallons). He was only having to turn on the electric to that 3 or 4 times a year. Not satisfied he recycled another large electric water heater as a storage unit between the solar water heater and the backup original water heater. The mixing unit was moved to the output of the original electric water heater. His family has since reduced to 4 (his oldest child married and moved out). The storage water heater has new heating elements (which he now considers a complete waste, as he has never hooked up electric to this unit, or needed to for any reason). When last asked about the system, and when he last had to turn on the electric to the backup water heater, he smiled and said, "I honestly cannot remember, but I don't think ever since the last modifications were complete". I will see if I can do a simple walk thru and block diagram of all connections, check valves, etc. Maybe even some pictures also and do a follow up post.
     
    GOG, Yard Dart, kellory and 1 other person like this.
  3. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Thankyou for the offer tac....I posted for the benefit of those monkeys who are off-grid, or would like to experiment with something that doesn't require much in the way of material inputs.
     
  4. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    I spoke with my mentor and two points stand out that I will have to research before I can go into any detail of his installation. #1 he is using a 1/6th hp 120vac bronze circulation pump in his system (forgot to ask how he was controlling when it was on), and he has a special fitting attached at the cold water entry point to his backup electric water heater (this fitting is used normally when recovering heat from an AC unit and bringing it into the electric water heater). His system has been in use for 9 years now. Once I have the specs on these special items, so that anyone can easily find them I will come back to this with the entire layout.
     
    chelloveck and kellory like this.
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