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  • Cabin Water Heater

    So a friend just asked me today about a cabin water heater he wanted me to make. He showed me a sketch and it would be 2 barrels, the bottom one for the fire. I was thinking it was do able then realized it would make steam and pressure instead of just heating. Is there any way of building something like this but not making steam?

  • #2
    So long as you dont close it up, then steam is not a problem. If you want a pressure system, dont waste your time. You would need to be able to regulate, and shut off the heat. Really, an lpg demand water heater is ideal for a cabin.

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    • #3
      Gravity range boilers were the norm in rural America 100 years ago, A tank inside the wood stove of maybe 2 gallon capacity had two tappings high and low, a tall 7' high, riveted, galvanized tank sat on a stool behind, it too had at least tappings top and bottom. They filled either by hand or with a float valve like a toilet. Water circulated by thermo siphon, hot, expanded water would rise from the stove to the top of the tall tank, cooler heavier water would flow in to take its place. This circulation prevented overheating, in extreme situations boiling the water would use up a great deal of energy. You could ruin the in stove tank if you let it get dry. The top of the tall tank must be open to the atmosphere to prevent an explosion.

      In an earlier day people didn't tend to shower, they washed in a sink, or tub. What I can't figure out is how children were conceived in houses without showers?

      More recently Vermont Castings sold a tank that fit in the back of the firebox of a stove.

      I would suggest a float valve to fill, and a two inch pipe to the attic peak so a shower would work. You'll need a high flow shower head as pressure will be low.
      Dynasty 280DX
      Bobcat 250
      MM252
      Spool gun
      Twentieth Century 295
      Twentieth Century 295 AC
      Marquette spot welder
      Smith torches

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      • #4
        At a Civilian Conservation Camp from the Depression era ruin I saw a fire brick fireplace with dozens of 2" black iron pipes across the 2' width of the fire box above the fire. Up the hill was a spring, down the hill was the shower house. There wasn't enough left to see how the manifold was constructed.
        Dynasty 280DX
        Bobcat 250
        MM252
        Spool gun
        Twentieth Century 295
        Twentieth Century 295 AC
        Marquette spot welder
        Smith torches

        Comment


        • #5
          Cabin Water Heater

          We live in Amish country, have some as friends. Most don't have showers, wash basin and tub some just Galvinized tub and they have no problem with children. Most average 6-12 per family. Sure have me beat and I have 2 showers go figure?
          If any in your area check with them they have a lot of creative ways and know where to buy. There kitchen wood stove is built to also heat house and I think some built to heat water also.
          30 years ago built couple double drum burners but they were very inefficient

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          • #6
            I suppose if you don't have a wood fire anyway, a dedicated water heater makes some sense. If you do, integrate it into your heating system. Gas water heaters are pretty efficient, and trouble free. Electric, even more so. Wood, pretty inconvenient, but if you really want the "back to the earth thing" you have my blessing.
            Dynasty 280DX
            Bobcat 250
            MM252
            Spool gun
            Twentieth Century 295
            Twentieth Century 295 AC
            Marquette spot welder
            Smith torches

            Comment


            • #7
              This gets more and more complicated but you can build an open water wood heated heating system to feed a water to water heat exchanger in your pressure system. then you can control the heat input to the pressurized system, think safety. All of the outdoor boiler systems have this possibility and most dealers have or can get the hardware.---Meltedmetal
              ---Meltedmetal

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              • #8
                i have a customer up in the yukon. he sent me pictures a few years back of his system . he has a small shead like building inside of it he has a huge tube about the size of a jacuzzi under the tube he has a firepit .he has the tube filled with water for heating . inside the tub he also has about 2oo' of copper tubing coiled inside this is what carries his hot water to the house to bathe /cook wash dishes and also it runs under his floor to heat the house from the floor up.i will look and try to find the pictures he sent because it was a nice system.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by WillieB View Post
                  In an earlier day people didn't tend to shower, they washed in a sink, or tub. What I can't figure out is how children were conceived in houses without showers?
                  A woman's saying from that time: "A man is just dirty boots at one end and a dirty mind at the other."


                  Lots of cabins have no electricity, and propane is expensive and you have to pack it in, so a warm/hot water circuit that's part of a wood heat and cooking stove, or part of a secondary heating-drum above the stove, can make perfect sense. Google "hot water from wood stove heat exchanger" and you'll get more hits than you can read. (But don't believe all you read. I just looked at one of the first Google hits, a Mother Earth News article that has some serious errors).
                  Last edited by old jupiter; 11-25-2014, 11:46 AM.

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