12644Re: [Distillers] Re: boiler insulation
- Jul 1 1:26 AMI have to agree...converted my Water Heater in appx 10 minutes...my 14 year
old son could have done it as well....probably 7 minutes or
less...:>)...maybe its too simple for 'great minds' to grasp......read
somewhere that Einstein(sp?) couldnt recall phone numbers....:>)
>From: "rodmacd2000" <rmacdoug@...>_________________________________________________________________
>Subject: [Distillers] Re: boiler insulation
>Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2003 23:03:01 -0000
>I bow to your greatly superior knowledge Mike. Can just speak of my
>personal experience (non-plumber, non-engineer, and - sob - son of an
>accountant who couldn't change the oil in his car if the instructions
>were tatooed on his ass).
>I had absolutely *no* problems coverting a 43 litre GSA water heater
>into a boiler for my still following John Stone's clear (to me anyway)
>instructions. They included removing the "sacrificial anode",
>bypassing the thermostat, etc. and required no materials or tools not
>readily available at your local Canadian Tire or Home Depot store.
>It seems to me that anyone who can't see clearly that a still boiler
>must be open to the atmosphere (and therefore incapable of expolding
>from overpressure) shouldn't be building their own boiler anyway.
>IMHO the conversion of a water heater to a still boiler requires no
>more plumber or engineer qualifications then any othere means of
>building a still boiler.
>--- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Nixon" <mike@s...> wrote:
> > rodmacd2000 wrote:
> > Subject: [Distillers] Re: boiler insulation
> > For heaven's sake why don't you all just do the *simple* thing:
>i.e. use a hot water heater as your boiler! If I may quote John Stone
>once again (this time from his book "The Carriage Still".
> > ====================================
> > When it comes to amateur distilling there seems to be a burning
>desire on the part of the handyman to improvise a boiler out of some
>odd vessel which happens to be available, and no- one should be
>surprised to learn that everything from pressure cookers to beer kegs
>to milk churns to vacuum cleaner tanks have been adapted by ingenious
>do-it-yourself types for this purpose. However, we strongly recommend
>that you save yourselves a lot of time, trouble and expense by using
>an ordinary domestic hot water heater. In N. America these are
>available in all sizes from 9 litres up to several hundred litres,
>and are ideally suited for acting as the boiler in all amateur
>distillation systems. They are rugged, glass lined, already have an
>immersion heater installed, they are insulated, they have pipe
>fittings in all the right places, and are housed in attractive white-
>enamel steel housings. What more could you wish for? If you had
>drawn up the specifications yourself for the ideal boiler required
>for a still it would not be very different from a hot water heater.
>In N. America they cost around $140 in all sizes up to 100 litres.
> > =====================================
> > For the simple reason that modifying commercal water heaters is not
>always that simple. I note that John no longer talks about removing
>the magnesium sacrificial anode, nor the thermostat, nor the down
>pipe that is often attached to the inlet port, nor any of the other
>things that have to be done to convert a water heater into a safe
>distillation boiler. If you know what you are doing, and know the
>design of the particular water heater you are working on, then
>modifying something intended for an entirely different purpose is
>feasible ... and yes, it is a cheap solution and looks like an
>attractive proposition. If you do not (and how many are experienced
>plumbers?) then it can result in unforseen problems. I have
>personally seen a domestic water heater modified in this manner which
>blew up and caused a hell of a mess, fortunately without without
>injuring anybody. Before even thinking of modifying a commercial hot
>water heater, please be absolutely honest with yourself ... do you
>really have enough practical experience to do it safely? If you do,
>then please also remember that not everyone is as experienced as you
>are before endorsing a potentially hazardous procedure. I am am a
>crusty old engineer, and would like to think that I have a fair bit
>of experience, and I personally use a hot water heater as a boiler.
>However, I first asked a plumber to make all the necessary
>modifications needed and, despite my 'extensive experience', I was
>very surprised at all the things he had to do to convert the thing so
>it would operate safely. It rammed home the lesson that a little
>knowledge outside your speciality can be a very dangerous thing.
> > Mike N
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