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Discussion Starter #1
So I was in home desperate (nope not a typo) the other day and I came across this gem. 1500w hot water tank element, it is 110v and a monster. So I got to thinking, how am I going to make this 12 dollar piece of equipment into a priceless barrel heater. So me being me I mocked up a 2" abs pipe cap and threaded it. Gasket in and seated and no leaks so attached it to a 2" piece of abs I had laying around the house. Wired it up with some 14/2 wire stuck it in the barrel. Voila, 12 dollar mix heater. On to plan B. So since I have proof of concept on my shifty plan now I'm going to thread it into my mix barrel and hardwire a plug end onto it. Get myself a thermocoupler or a controller and I have the best salt mix barrel on planet earth!

that last statement might be a bit of a stretch but hey, why not go for it. When I get it completed I will post more pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Very interesting, following along
what is that heating element made out of, will the salt water be ok with it?
I have no idea that's the best part!

I'm going to give it a run for the money. If it rusts out I'm going to epoxy over it. Figure mix up a batch let it sit for a day or two, drain it out. Figure that will rust it out if it is going to, if it does I'm going to dip the whole works in epoxy and put it back in. Kind of one of those..."hey maybe this will work" moments I have. I could order a 300w cheapo glass submersible element from amazon for 9 dollars but this seemed like more fun :)
 

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So here it is in the barrel. Ended up removing the gasket and siliconed that puppy in. Didn't thread as well into the barrel, much softer plastic than the abs but hey, can't win them all. Turns out the element is copper coated with magnesium oxide and nickel. At least I think. Will report back on progress.

 

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So here it is in the barrel. Ended up removing the gasket and siliconed that puppy in. Didn't thread as well into the barrel, much softer plastic than the abs but hey, can't win them all. Turns out the element is copper coated with magnesium oxide and nickel. At least I think. Will report back on progress.

Just a heads up, you mention the heating rod is copper coated. There is the possibility that it could slowly leak off copper and that could be very toxic to the corals / inverts. Keep your fish healthy possibly but kill off everything else 😓 maybe get a copper test kit before using the water in your aquarium!
Cheers

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #6
it isn't copper coated. I am under the impression it is copper internally and then magnesium oxide and nickel coated. I'm strongly leaning towards epoxy coating it just because that will extend its life and make me sleep better at night :)
 

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Copper inside is fine, copper outside will kill your corals, inverts & harm your fish.

Will the epoxy take the heat? Good luck with this project. 1500w is going to suck up a lot of electricity so better make sure the outlet its plugged into can handle the extra draw without blowing the breaker.
 

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I have it in a 20 amp so I'm all good there. Oddly enough it does not get all that hot thanks to heat transference and blah blah. It only is slightly hotter than the water that surrounds it. I tested this in the least scientific way possible by grabbing the thing 10 min after i plugged it in and started to heat 15 gallons of test water. Apparebtly there is no electrical current either :). I'm off to industrial paints and plastics to find a food safe epoxy today I can coat it all in. Did a leak test last night and all was well so it is forward momentum time
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So this thing is insane!
Heated 15 gallons of water from 55f to 75f in about 20 min!

Not that it is a fair comparison but I dropped a 300w in 50 gallons and it didn't feel like it moved in 6ish hours. It took me over 24 to heat the whole barrel that way, element for the win!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I figured heat it fast to mix it up, run it for 24 hours cold then heat it back up to go in the tank. The heat loss from a giant barrel of moving water uncovered is massive so a wee little 300w wasn't cutting it.

I can't take all the credit for this either, I think it was hondas3000 1200 gallon journal he did the same thing?? Can't quite remember but I'm thinking that sounds familiar.
 

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I knew a guy who had a home built 1000ish gallon outdoor aquarium in the end of his carport wall facing onto his ground level patio with all cichlids in it, he heated it with hot water tank heaters incorporated into his filtration system run off a controller and it worked well for him. :cool:
 
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