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Water Heater Runs Off Outside Wood Furnace
Simon Martin has nine children and three bathrooms in his Pantego, N.C. home. So his hot water bills have sometimes been as high as other people's heat bills.
  When he started heating his home with an Aqua Therm outside wood furnace, he decided to find a way to also heat his hot water. He came up with a relatively simple solution that saves him $50 or more a month.
  His Aqua Therm furnace has a 55-gal. water jacket around it. The water heats up and is pumped underground to a heat exchanger inside the house.
  While working on a large Deere payloader in his shop, and studying the workings of the oil cooler on the big machine, he got to thinking: Why couldn't I heat water with this same cooler?
  So he took an oil cooler off a junked machine and took it to a couple of local "experts". They told him it wouldn't work with the 40 psi flow of household water pressure because the water would have to be "squeezed" through 120 tiny metal "straws" inside the cooler. Martin decided to try it anyway.
  Water is pumped from the Aqua Therm furnace into the house and through the heat exchanger that heats the house. From there it goes to the oil cooler, which is simply plumbed into the water line on its way back to the furnace. Fresh water is heated "on demand" as it passes through the water heater. A 3/4-in. pipe feeds fresh water to the 120 "straws" inside the water heater. Martin's 50- gal. electric hot water heater is completely bypassed.
  "Even when all three showers are going, there's plenty of hot water, heated on demand as it's used. I was amazed at how well it works and so are my friends, Šthe experts'," says Martin, who says he had to install a mixing valve in the hot water line to keep the water from being too hot at the spigots.
  Martin runs a sawmill so he has plenty of free wood to burn. A small fire is enough to provide plenty of hot water even when the furnace is not needed to heat the house.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Simon D. Martin, Martin Lumber Company, 301 Mainstem Road, Pantego, N.C. 27860 (ph 252 935-5294).

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2004 - Volume #28, Issue #5