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Wood fired swimming pool heater?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by kwburn, Feb 17, 2009.

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  1. kwburn

    kwburn New Member

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    Ok, just thinking out loud here. I don't think I've asked this before.
    Has anyone on here ever tried to make their own wood fire pool heater?
    I'm not talking a professional boiler here. I'm thinking either an old wood stove converted to handle water pipes or I suppose an old stove of some sort that was actually already made to handle water. Thinking dirt cheap here and not necessarily 21st century efficient! Only occasional use.

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  2. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    I know a lot of guys heat their pool with their OWB, but I'm not sure I've seen it done with a wood stove. It wood take a big stove/HX/hot fire to really heat a pool in cooler climates. You could do it with a heat exchanger on a stove, but be careful as this can be very dangerous... In fact, most insurance companies will frown on it heavily.

    Also check you local zoning. Some areas will not allow burning to heat pools and will have bans during the warmer months.

    Good luck and keep us posted if you decide to move forward with it.
  3. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    I know there are commercially available solid fuel heaters for hot tubs. A pool's a whole different ballgame, because you're ordinarily talking about much greater quantities of water. 1 BTU/pound/degree F, that's what it takes to heat water. So, at about 8.35 pounds /gallon, you can figure out what sort of heat input your system would require. Don't forget to figure in some added capacity for the heat loss to the surroundings and the atmosphere once the water's above ambient, which will continue until it's back below. For any size pool, if it's not kept warm continuously, you're talking about a massive input of heat to warm it up. Rick
  4. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Just tell the local burning issues people it's your thermal storage unit. You just haven't built the cover for it yet.


    :LOL:



    Matt
  5. BJ64

    BJ64 Minister of Fire

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    I tried to heat a 30 foot above ground pool with one of those Chiminieas.

    I took 50 feet of 1/2 inch copper refrigeration line and coiled it into the chimney. I left enough of the copper line out the top to flow into the pool and enough out the bottom to hook a short hose and hose fitting onto. From there I ran the hose to a small 110 volt pump from Craftsman.

    The pump was able to push about 3 gallons per minute through there but the outlet water temperature was nearly 190 degrees.

    I could see it working on a smaller scale but it was not enough to heat the pool on that day.
  6. BJ64

    BJ64 Minister of Fire

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    Beautiful!
  7. Big Radio

    Big Radio Member

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    I have one.I'll try to get some pics of it in the next couple of days.My pool is 30000 gallons in ground.You can get the temp up 10 to 12 degrees in two days
    Brian
  8. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Interesting thread . . . I can see some possibilities here since swimming here is kind of hit and miss. Sometimes we get a good season of swimming and sometimes we only end up with a few weeks.
  9. kwburn

    kwburn New Member

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    OK, this is a great start!
    We need to keep this thread alive with some ideas. Personally I have an above ground 30ft round so its quite a bit of water.
    I was originally thinking I was going to have to somehow rig this to my filter system but now I'm thinking I could possibly use my submersible sump to move the water.
    I think whatever I may come up with is going to have to be somewhat flexible regarding how much exposure the the water has to the heater so I can adapt as needed after I start using it. I like the idea of having the water pipe exposed within the exhaust because in theory you can make a bigger coil if needed and also adjust the distance from the fire.

    Does anyone know about high temperature rubber hose? Does it exist and is it easy to find? Just trying to think of what I would use to run the hot water the final leg into the pool.

    by the way Brian, very interested in hearing about your setup.
  10. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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    The best diy heaters I've seen were solar, something as simple as a black barrel full of water with a heatexchanger in it.
  11. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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  12. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Why is my head ringing.....anyways

    An old earth stove with many-many feet of 1/2" steel pipe in a zig-zag fashion in the top. Converted to garden hose adapters for use with standard hose. It would increase 450 gal of water by 7-10 deg. per hour depending on the stove temp.

    Conclusion: if you don't like to sleep, and can run it hard for a couple of days, then yes, this will make a very noticeable difference in water temp. If you think your gonna fire it up and have the pool temp go from 75 to 85 deg in an afternoon......ain't gonna happen.

    Remember that LP or Natural gas fired pool heaters are usually somewhere north of 150000 btu and commonly above 200000 and they ain't real quick about bringing up water temp.

    Attached Files:

  13. Frostbit

    Frostbit Feeling the Heat

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    The Snorkel stove is the submersible wood stove for use in hot tubs. Aluminum or stainless construction, down-draft. Pretty basic. My friend has one at his cabin. I will tell you this: It uses A LOT of wood!
  14. Big Radio

    Big Radio Member

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  15. Jimbob

    Jimbob New Member

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  16. SciGuy

    SciGuy New Member

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    Brian,

    Did you build the unit and if so can you offer some information about its internals.

    Thanks,

    Hugh
  17. Big Radio

    Big Radio Member

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    [quote author="SciGuy"

    [/quote]

    Brian,

    Did you build the unit and if so can you offer some information about its internals.

    Thanks,

    Hugh[/quote]End quote



    No I did not sciguy,I bought mine direct from the builder in arkansas 7 or 8 years ago.I can't locate him on the internet anymore(i just tried) But,there are a few websites selling his product.It appears that he has expanded his line to 3 models,mine being the middle one.
    One of the sites I believe was warmwatersolutiuons.com,they had some decent pics up.Basically it's a lot of 1" copper pipe very tightly coiled up so it collects the heat as your pool pump pushes it through the heater.If you want I can try to get some internal pics later.
    Brian
  18. johnn

    johnn New Member

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    Seen some comercial units on line which were pricey. Even they took days to raise 30000 gallons,,,utilizes that expensive electricity of your pool pump,,,recommended a solar blanket,,,and required every2-3 hour to restoke fire. Might as well save the money,,buy a conversion kit for your barrel, some tubing, small pump, and 25lbs of coffee,,,Thats just my plan!
  19. SciGuy

    SciGuy New Member

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    Brian,

    Did you build the unit and if so can you offer some information about its internals.

    Thanks,

    Hugh[/quote]End quote



    No I did not sciguy,I bought mine direct from the builder in arkansas 7 or 8 years ago.I can't locate him on the internet anymore(i just tried) But,there are a few websites selling his product.It appears that he has expanded his line to 3 models,mine being the middle one.
    One of the sites I believe was warmwatersolutiuons.com,they had some decent pics up.Basically it's a lot of 1" copper pipe very tightly coiled up so it collects the heat as your pool pump pushes it through the heater.If you want I can try to get some internal pics later.
    Brian[/quote]

    Brian,

    It looks like warmwatersolutions has gone to a stainless steel heat exchanger. Perhaps it would hold up longer
    against chlorine and other agressive pool chemicals. On the other hand if your unit has survived 7 or 8 years its
    longevity doesn't seem to be a huge problem.

    The pool we which we wish to heat is only ~4000 gallons. My wife uses a 17' by 9' by 4 foot deep Tuff Pool to
    train for open wate swimming and triathlon swims. We installed a "Fast Lane" current generator and it is the
    bees knees for simulating open water swimming. The only problem is water temperatures here in Upstate NY.
    The water at the Hawaii IronMan is a bit over 80 degrees.

    How large is your pool in surface area and gallonage?

    Best Regards,

    Hugh
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