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Old 11-11-2007, 10:38 AM   #46
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Turning it upside-down shouldn't make much/any difference because the whole assembly is 3-4ft below water level in the cupboard underneath the tank to start with. Therefore its already under positive siphon pressure + the outlet pressure from the canister filter pump.
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Old 11-12-2007, 06:49 PM   #47
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Just placed my order for free samples. Great find and description of build. Thanks Snazzy.
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:06 PM   #48
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Just saw this thread... nice DIY project! I was doing a search for DIY external heater since I new I had seen it before and might be building one. I am curious how everyone's heater who has built this or similar has been holding up long term?

I dont think its a huge deal, but my cold water coming from my auto water changer is dropping the tank temp a little more than I'd like. About a 2* drop now even thought its trickled in slow over almost an hour and is only about a 10% pwc. I am not quite sure how effective this will be at heating cold water up but for as cheap as this is to make its worth a shot. I have an extra 400W Theo that I can just put on the same timer as the wc solenoid, and with such low flow rates (<50gph) I think maybe the water will have enough contact time to warm up, at least half way there to reduce my max temp swing to less than 1* ideally.
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Old 01-12-2008, 05:08 PM   #49
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hmm that free heyco link doesnt work anymore ; ;
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:37 PM   #50
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I am so glad I found this thread I was planning to do something like this but now it is much easier to just copy and follow.
There is only one more glitch. I have a 100gal tank with two 300watts heater. Should I build two parallel inline heater or will one 300watts be enough for my tank with plants and a 10" jardini in it?
Please give suggestion on what to do.
Thank you.
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:50 PM   #51
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Quote:
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hmm that free heyco link doesnt work anymore ; ;
try this one.

http://sales.heyco.com/tsamples/hc_smpreq.pgm
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Old 02-07-2008, 08:24 PM   #52
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I use two heaters as well. I am planing on doing this for my 75g. I was going to run them parallel for the reason that the flow thought each reactor would be slower giving the heater more time to heat it up.
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:05 PM   #53
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I successfully made mine with that free Heyco sample but it has little effect for what I wanted. I made an inline heater for cold water line for my autowater changer. Even though my flow rate is slow, and I used larger 2" pipe, it still makes only a minor difference (with a 400W heater mind you). Here are some pics:


All parts shown.


Assembled


Installed

I actually was going to face the wye in the opposite direction but wasnt paying attention when I glued it. No biggie. And those are 1/4 tubbing quick connects since thats what I run between my carbon/micron filter to my tank. One problem I had at first was getting the Heyco fitting tight enough. The line its in sees a lot more pressure (I dont know, >20psi?) and the first time it spit the heater right out and started spraying water everywhere. The next 3 or 4 tries at tightening it resulted in it slowly creeping out. Its been going a couple weeks now and seems good, but I check it regularly.

Might just take it out of the loop though since it doesnt do much. I need to actually check the temperatures, but the resulting drop in tank temperature from the cold water fill is about 25% less using this heater.

The only thing that would concern me for regular aquarium use, at least with the Theo heater (not sure about others) is the minimum water level for the heater seems to be right at the end of the glass. So inside one of the cordgrip fittings the actual water line is almost 2" away from minimum which might effects its temperature control. Apparently this isnt a problem for most, or someone would have mentioned it.

It was a quick and easy project to do!

FWIW Heyco seemed to limit the # of free samples to 2. The form will let you put whatever number you want, I put 5 I think, but they only sent me 2.
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:42 PM   #54
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Here is the CO2 Diffuser I built for my tanks.




Here's a concept I came up with for a CO2 Diffuser with Inline Heater.
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:46 PM   #55
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Thats what I plan(ed) on doing, combining the co2 with the heater, but instead of a wye I got T's. Kinda put off co2 injecting my tank, things grow nuts as it is without co2 with my lights . Plus the only co2 supply I can find any where close to here only sells the big 50# tanks on lease. Which kinda put a stop in my plans. I do have all the regulator, hosing, pipes fittings everything ready to go if I decide to actually bite the bullet and get the 50# leased tank. :-\
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:50 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy loaches View Post
The only thing that would concern me for regular aquarium use, at least with the Theo heater (not sure about others) is the minimum water level for the heater seems to be right at the end of the glass. So inside one of the cordgrip fittings the actual water line is almost 2" away from minimum which might effects its temperature control. Apparently this isnt a problem for most, or someone would have mentioned it.
You can pull off the black plastic part of the heater that's butting up against your Heyco fitting. Maybe you have to cut it off, I forget, but it's easy. Either way, that'll let you get the heater another inch into the fitting. You lose the arrow that points to the temperature dial, but the arrow is 180 deg. opposite the cord anyway.

I'd tell you how the Hydor Theo is working for me inline, but I can't. I built the thing but I haven't bothered to install it yet.
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Old 02-08-2008, 04:50 AM   #57
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You can pull off the black plastic part of the heater that's butting up against your Heyco fitting. Maybe you have to cut it off, I forget, but it's easy. Either way, that'll let you get the heater another inch into the fitting. You lose the arrow that points to the temperature dial, but the arrow is 180 deg. opposite the cord anyway.

I'd tell you how the Hydor Theo is working for me inline, but I can't. I built the thing but I haven't bothered to install it yet.
Interesting, hadnt thought of that. But for me it wouldnt matter, since I am just trying to preheat cold water (doesnt matter if temp sensor is submerged, I cranked it to max anyhow and it'll never get there with 45* water or whatever it is).

Andrew & Kass - good idea on the combo .
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Old 02-08-2008, 08:37 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy loaches View Post
I successfully made mine with that free Heyco sample but it has little effect for what I wanted. I made an inline heater for cold water line for my autowater changer. Even though my flow rate is slow, and I used larger 2" pipe, it still makes only a minor difference (with a 400W heater mind you).
Keep in mind the tremendous energy-absorbing capacity of water. What you're trying to do is similar to those tankless water heaters. They're typically wired to 100A circuits - that's 24,000 watts!!

In your case of course the flow is alot lower than the 5-10 gpm of the tankless heater, but 50 gph is still about 50 grams of water a second. Raising the temperature of that much water 36 degrees F (20 degrees C) requires 50 * 20 = 1000 (small) calories per second, or 4100 joules per second. 4100 joules per second is another way of saying 4100 watts. In other words, your 400 watt heater is about one tenth the size it needs to be, to do what you want it to do.

I was hoping to heat the incoming WC water from the cold water supply, too, until I ran these numbers and saw it was a non-starter. So I'm now planning on mixing in some from the hot water supply, too.

Quote:
FWIW Heyco seemed to limit the # of free samples to 2. The form will let you put whatever number you want, I put 5 I think, but they only sent me 2.
I was wondering when their Sales Dep't was gonna wise up. Just order as many as you want from www.mouser.com ; they're not expensive.
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Old 02-08-2008, 01:02 PM   #59
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You could always fill a intermediary container with R/O water that you heat and pull from that for your water changes.... presuming that water can sit arround for a day or two you could drop in a couple 400 heaters into that and it would have a chance to heat up before you pull from it to do the change... donno if you would have the space for that or not. ;-)
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:08 PM   #60
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kass - yeah my entire original plan was for an aging tank actually, but determined to be easier to do just running straight from tap to tank and more reliable. I do not use RO, just carbon/micron. If they switch to chloramines here though then it will have to do RO and a holding tank.

PDX - yeah I never thought of running the numbers. Just dont forget the water running through the inline is dumping into my sump with 800W more heaters too, so 1200W total. I'm pretty sure my flow rate was a tad shy of 50gph too, I seem to have temporarily misplaced my notebook, I did test it a couple times since I need to stay under a certain amount for the carbon to be effective with chlorine. It takes about an hour total for 20g but the flow rate diminishes for the last20 minutes or so since the float is starting to pinch off the flow.

Its nothing critical anyhow, with a water change even with freezing temps outside now I still keep the temp within about 2*F without even using the additional inline heater (which was the goal). But I was getting close to the 2* drop so I threw this together quick to see what it would do. It appears to keep the lowest point the tank temp drops about .5* higher. On average my 800W in the sump raises the temp of the tank about .1*F per 15 min. So also .5* less it needs to come up equates to a little over an hour time shaved off the 'cold spike'.

I looked at the instant heat units like you mention before building my whole water change system. There was one link someone had a while ago to one that could be cranked down to 80*F (not all can even go that low apparently). But they where in the neighborhood of $100 (can't remember for sure) and a problem for me was circuit capacity, I am really pushing the limits of my circuits already.

BTW I am quite familiar with joules this is what I use for stored energy in capacitors, and I build various magnetic pulse projects and can measure efficiency by taking how many joules were used from the caps compared to the resultant kinetic energy transfered. For example my biggest cap bank is 12kJ and can dump that in <1msec, so were well into millions of watts railguns, induction launchers,you know... fun stuff .

One solution if I really wanted to actually keep the temp up on the incoming water would be to stop the flow every so often to let the chamber warm up. Since I am using a solenoid and a controller, this would be easy to do, I just got to make sure the heater will stay full of water and that it wont siphon out once the solenoid is off. I was a bit concerned since it is at a much higher level than the sump, and when I pulled the line off no water ran out, but I would think there must be water in there, its just going up when I open the line instead of down. Will double check that sometime.

{edit} Well actually, an easier solution - I can also reduce the flow down to nothing really since I have a flow valve in there since I needed to keep the flow under 80gpm (but wide open flow is much less anyways due to the long run of 1/4" tubbing I assume), so I can fine tune it later to get the flow down low enough for the heater to better keep up with it also.
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