DIY inline heater build
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:11 PM   #1
pandamonium
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DIY inline heater build


hey everyone,

So I went to Home Depot and purchased the parts I needed to make a DIY Inline heater. The reason I wanted to make it inline was because this is a DIY themed tank so I had to kinda And also because I read that inline heaters do a much better job of maintaining a uniform temperature throughout the tank. I read about the Hydor heaters and an issue in the way the switch works (bi-metal switch, I think it was) could cause it to jam either on or off permanently. As far as I know, normal submersible heaters do not have this issue as much.
Here we go! So I bought a bunch of parts for the heater housing. This is listed as quantity, size, and part name.
1 - 1'' Elbow, threaded on one side
1 - 1'' Tee, threaded on one opening
2 - Reducers, threaded (1'' to '')
1 - 1'' PVC pipe (approx. 7-8 inches long)
2 - '' Nylon Hose Barbs Adapter ('' ID)
1 - Reducer, smooth (1'' to 1'')
To join them, I used Teflon tape on all threaded ends and PVC cement on all smooth ends.

Assembly of the Tee and Elbow pieces. Attached the threaded reducers into the threaded elbow and tee pieces. Then put in the hose adapters. On the left side is another side project. I created an aquarium drain valve hooked into my intake tube for the canister filter. Makes draining water out of the aquarium a bit easier (I'm lazy, I know ).


Next is the assembly of the housing. Rough, not cemented together yet.


Thermometer assembly. I silicone glued the thermometer into the smooth reducer with GE Silicone 1. From what I have read, any 100% silicone glue with no mold inhibitors should work. There are aquarium safe silicone glues out there as well. Another option would have been to use a cordgrip, but I did not purchase one. I know Heyco sells them.


Finished product!



It has been working for 3 weeks now, very well and no hiccups yet. The heater I used was an Eheim Jager 150W.

comments always welcome and questions if there are any. thanks for reading!
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:30 PM   #2
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I was just in line to post a blurb about why heaters may fail so some of the info is relevant to your question about the "bimetal".

While there are various ways to control heaters, this is kind of prepresentive of many brands. This is a really cheap Penn-Plax while others use somewhat better parts but still many use the design and they have the same problems.
This is the layout of the main parts.


Rather than step all over your build I will post the details of heaters in a seperate item.

Your build looks like a nice job that should avoid many of the problems with heater failures.
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:42 PM   #3
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nice job! thanks for the pics. im going to be doing something like this in the near future. i like how you used a reducer instead of just drilling a hole in something lol. ill have to see what i can do with mine because my submersible heater looks a little thicker than yours.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
I was just in line to post a blurb about why heaters may fail so some of the info is relevant to your question about the "bimetal".

While there are various ways to control heaters, this is kind of prepresentive of many brands. This is a really cheap Penn-Plax while others use somewhat better parts but still many use the design and they have the same problems.
This is the layout of the main parts.


Rather than step all over your build I will post the details of heaters in a seperate item.

Your build looks like a nice job that should avoid many of the problems with heater failures.
thanks planted rich i was hoping to eliminate that problem though im not sure too much about it. only heard about it in passing. would definitely be interested to see/read about your thoughts on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelMcG View Post
nice job! thanks for the pics. im going to be doing something like this in the near future. i like how you used a reducer instead of just drilling a hole in something lol. ill have to see what i can do with mine because my submersible heater looks a little thicker than yours.
yeah the other options were to either use a cordgrip through Heyco (which will give you free items to sample, like a 1 time deal for however many) around a heater or use a cordgrip around a cord for heaters with exterrnal temp controls. i opted for the reducer so i could maintain the water line as close as posisble to what is recommended. should this heater fail, the cost of the housing wsa about 9 dollars, so not much. if you have questions please lemme know too and if i can help i will

Last edited by pandamonium; 07-05-2012 at 02:09 AM.. Reason: add
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:41 AM   #5
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Heaters are improving and the Penn-Plax is among the worst design-wise. Just knowing Ebo-Jager, I would expect better and I can see from the outside some good points. The design of the top of your heater looks good. If you spill water on your heater it is likely to run off the edges. The brown cover on the Pen-Plax is a cup where the adjustment sets. Any water spilled on it will set in the cup and eventually find it's way along the screw and inside. I know we are not supposed to get water on them but that is like telling a five year old not to get wet when it rains. Just happens!
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:44 AM   #6
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yeah i read many reviews on the eheim series. i believe this one i bought after eheim was bought out or something so it isnt the old school nuke-proof heater but it still got good reviews on this forum and others too. the way i assembled the top was to silicone it up to the edge. any water that lands on top would fall off yes. i had an incident with my heater and turkey baster full of bloodworms and fall off the bloodworms did...onto my floor but at least no water got through that i knew of.
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:31 AM   #7
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did you hook it up to your inflow or outflow?
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
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did you hook it up to your inflow or outflow?
i hooked this up to my outflow (from filter to tank). that way the water coming into the tank is as close to what i want it to be (temperature wise) as possible.
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:45 PM   #9
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Thanks, man.. I was gonna order a hydor, but I got one of these laying around I might try this first.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:51 AM   #10
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Yeah I was in your shoes before. I was going to get the Hydor but they are huge and the knob turns a bit too easily from what I am told. Both problems easily fixed but I figured that this casing cost me about 12 dollars to make and the heater was 32 through Dr. Foster and Smith. Still cheaper than the Hydor and I must say, about 5 weeks later, my temperature remains at 81 with almost no deviation. So I am happy
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Old 06-23-2013, 02:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pandamonium View Post
hey everyone,

So I went to Home Depot and purchased the parts I needed to make a DIY Inline heater. The reason I wanted to make it inline was because this is a DIY themed tank so I had to kinda And also because I read that inline heaters do a much better job of maintaining a uniform temperature throughout the tank. I read about the Hydor heaters and an issue in the way the switch works (bi-metal switch, I think it was) could cause it to jam either on or off permanently. As far as I know, normal submersible heaters do not have this issue as much.
Here we go! So I bought a bunch of parts for the heater housing. This is listed as quantity, size, and part name.
1 - 1'' Elbow, threaded on one side
1 - 1'' Tee, threaded on one opening
2 - Reducers, threaded (1'' to '')
1 - 1'' PVC pipe (approx. 7-8 inches long)
2 - '' Nylon Hose Barbs Adapter ('' ID)
1 - Reducer, smooth (1'' to 1'')
To join them, I used Teflon tape on all threaded ends and PVC cement on all smooth ends.

Assembly of the Tee and Elbow pieces. Attached the threaded reducers into the threaded elbow and tee pieces. Then put in the hose adapters. On the left side is another side project. I created an aquarium drain valve hooked into my intake tube for the canister filter. Makes draining water out of the aquarium a bit easier (I'm lazy, I know ).


Next is the assembly of the housing. Rough, not cemented together yet.


Thermometer assembly. I silicone glued the thermometer into the smooth reducer with GE Silicone 1. From what I have read, any 100% silicone glue with no mold inhibitors should work. There are aquarium safe silicone glues out there as well. Another option would have been to use a cordgrip, but I did not purchase one. I know Heyco sells them.


Finished product!



It has been working for 3 weeks now, very well and no hiccups yet. The heater I used was an Eheim Jager 150W.

comments always welcome and questions if there are any. thanks for reading!
Got any pictures of the finished project? I'm interesting in building one too.
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:07 AM   #12
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That was pretty much it It's not hard to build and it definitely saves money. I took my heater off though because I am no longer using a canister on that tank. PM me if you have specific questions aquah20!
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:41 PM   #13
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Old thread, I know, but I'm researching the photo links are broken. Are they still available?
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:50 PM   #14
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I can upload some pics later tonight when I get home. I built a super simple pvc one. Took 5 min.
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:29 AM   #15
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