Apr 29, 2013
I have heated my water by wood cook stove and home built 3/4 copper pipe with sweat fittings in the fire box for around 30 years. I used my cook stove for a space heater also for many years, we had more hot water than we knew what to do with, we dumped it out for live stock, 30 gallon water heater, 50 has been no such problem, most of the time the electric was not hooked up - didn't need it - OK for summer. I have tried various other ideas as well. This is the best, I did modify it however, I welded 1/2 nuts on the corners and screwed in 2 1/2 bolts for adjustable legs, leveled up great 4 square steel plate under the bolt heads to avoid excessive wear. My floor is uneven in this house built in 1910. I also converted the heater to burn WVO / waste vegetable oil. I fire it about every day, I have used a 50 gallon electric water heater for a storage tank for many years, when the water is hot I close the valves going to and from the tank and let the WVO fire go out - works for me. I put in a new electric water heater in January, it leaks around the nipples on top - manufacturer does not want to do anything with it. I am here about to buy your 42 gallon tank. I have used this heater for maybe 10 years, I don't have the one in the cook stove any longer, someone closed a valve and it blew the stove lid 2 above the stove - and put out the fire. I like the WVO as it goes out in about 30 minutes, I can secure the system and forget it. With wood I didn't know when the water in the boiler cooled off and began to flow back wards, I suppose I could have used a check valve without a spring; oh, I did. It built up pressure and didn't function as well as I would have liked. If you convert your heater to WVO - you WILL have to clean your stove pipes fairly regular of soot. If I can save a dollar that is two I do not have to earn, that is important to a guy too old and broke down to hold a regular job - no, it is not for everybody.
Feb 13, 2013
This is a great product! A lot of heavy gauge metal for the money. Well designed. I use mine outside on off-grid rural property to heat a 350gal hot tub, which it can do in around 6hrs. Most amazing thing is that I can use the tub in sub-freezing temps and the water temp won't drop (in fact in may rise still). I've never seen a electric spa with this heating capacity. One warning: the documentation is not great. I had to make multiple trips to Home Depot to get all the right sized fittings.
Sep 24, 2012
WOW! This water heater is AMAZING!!! I've built a few wood fired water heaters in my life but nothing worked like this one. I had one installed in our way off grid camp on Moosehead Lake in Maine. It performs way better than I ever could have imagined. One 5 gallon bucket full of scrap wood produces about 40 gallons of piping hot water within 20 to 25 minutes. The only problem I've had with it was when my wife, afraid our guests might not enough hot water for showers, filled the fire box a second time. This overheated the water and the temperature relief valve dumped hot water on the basement floor. Soon I will be installing one in my home in Connecticut. Thanks Lehman's and your Amish Friends!! farmer Nevin