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kbhale 07-04-10 10:37 PM

rocket stove water heater
This is the rocket, I built to use as a backup hot water heater. I been using it to make hot water for my BBQ kitchen. It works but it needs to be better.

A bi-metal switch kicks on a 12v DC pump at 150F. It has a 20 degree differential. Circulates water from the 500 gallon storage tank.

What I'm planning to do is, instead of the rocket venting up the chimney. I'm going to vent it into another barrel containing the hot water tank in the picture. Then up the chimney. Have it on a separate bi-metal switch and pump. Try to capture as much heat as possible.

Here is the part where plan to make the rocket better. Instead of the furnace pipe I'm going with masonry and stainless steal. I built this as a cooker for now to work the bugs out. When I go to rebuild the rocket water heater. copper tubing well be wrapped around the top of the half barrel and a barrel well be placed over the riser.

You can almost see the flame burning sideways in this picture.

nibs 07-05-10 05:39 PM

Looks cool, can you give a source & spec for your pump control thermostat?

kbhale 07-06-10 12:54 AM

I'm still getting things squared away. Here is where I got the snap switches.
Fan and Limit Controls
Snap Disc Fan Controls , Fan Controls , White Rodgers Fan Controls -

Since I'm using Firestone 45 mil EPDM Pond Liner, I need to keep the temp limited to 140F to get long life from the liner.

Need to base the temp control on what your water storage container can tolerate.

I plan to use a bi-metal snap switch to set off an alarm (a 12v light) if the temp gets to high.

Hope to go this rout, later on with a differential thermostat controller
12 Volt Differential Thermostat Controller

nibs 07-06-10 09:57 AM

Thanks for the info KB, I had no idea that you could buy bi-metal thermostats. Can you tell me the current rating for these? I need one for a solar hw heater & another for my redneck (stock tank) hot tub.
Thank you again

wyatt 07-06-10 01:52 PM

I am guessing that this isn't like the "rocket stoves" I have seen in the past, burning wood. If it is, you will have to ask yourself, what is the water being used for? If it's potable, I would not recommend venting the exhaust THROUGH the water, for contamination issues. If it's being recirculated, I would guess you will eventually have buildup of junk in your pipes and pump causing issues.

Daox 07-07-10 02:11 PM

Cool setup. I'm anxious to see the water heater stove. :)

kbhale 07-30-10 01:54 AM
So far I've tried different lay outs for a rocket water heater. I tried heating a old hot water tank but even with a pressure relief valve I didn't feel it safe. Wood is not easy to keep at a set temp burn. So I'm using copper tubing to catch the heat.
I wanted to do a little cooking when fired the rocket. I'm cobbing, mudding, insulating the barrels in. All very wet and not done. I hope to have it, so the short barrel gets hot enough to make flat breads (pancakes). I have my doubts that will happen.

nibs 07-31-10 07:41 PM

A note to thank you for telling about snap switches, I installed one today on my hillbilly hot tub, it works like a charm. The hot water heater now controls the circulating pump, way more efficient than trying to remember to cycle the pump.
Thank you!!

kbhale 10-07-10 01:44 AM
Me and my Dad built this about 25 years ago. The framing material, recycled from a tornado. 448sqf garage and 784sqf living space. Right now it's just a garage and storage. Was never finished out to live in. It has a 20 amp 110 v circuit running to it and no plumbing. Plan to use radiant water heat.
About the fifth built. Still have copper coiled around the riser. Added a drum on top filled with about 35 gallon of water. Kind of a batch heater.
pump hot water to these old tanks. using them as radiators. My cat likes the heated shed.

cobbed my smoker for mass and insulation. Much improvement. Takes less charcoal. More maintains more even higher temps.

s25wilson 10-08-10 04:15 AM

this heater is looking really good.

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